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If you live, or have ever lived, in a house where there’s an immediate transition from the main entrance into the living area, you know how this can make it hard to keep your house clean and organized. You often end up with a big fat mess dumped unceremoniously around the entrance — shoes, hats, coats, whatever anyone casts aside while walking through the door — as well as mud and dirt spread through the home.

In older homes, the entry from the garage often opened into a hallway or directly into the kitchen or living area. Dirt was easy to track inside, and keeping entrances clear of dirt and wet raincoats was difficult. Those few homes that did feature mud rooms only had small spaces with a couple of hooks for coats and not much else.

Mudrooms are a common solution in rural areas, but even in suburban areas, there is often a porch or foyer that can perform that function. Wherever you live, it can be useful to create a dedicated transition zone between outside and in.

Some families use a mudroom simply to store or clean shoes thoroughly before entering the home. On the other hand, some families use mudrooms to store shoes, coats, backpacks or hats and mittens. A family mudroom an also be used for storing items that are commonly carried out of the home.

Modern mud rooms, however, are so much more practical. In fact, a well-designed mud room is often one of the most useful rooms in a home. Think of everything you might put in this room or space — every last thing. Consider how you and your family live, including kids and animals. They might all want to leave their stuff there.

These are some of the things you might want to store in this space, we ask our clients these questions to determine their needs:

  • How will you be using this area? Will you be storing coats, gloves, hats, shoes, boots, briefcase, purse or other?

  • Storage area for sports equipment. If so, will you be storing tennis racquets, bike helmet, biking shoes, ski boots, baseball bats and balls, footballs, basketballs, snow skis, snow shoes, or other?

  • Storage for music instruments, many kids participate in band, or other extracurricular activities, do you want all of this paraphernalia to be scattered in your home, or would you prefer a dedicated resting place.

  • Golfing equipment?

  • Hunting gear some households have hunters!

  • Fishing gear?

  • Storage for horse riding equipment?

  • Gardening hats, gloves, or clothing?

  • Outgoing mail and outgoing item area?

  • Dry cleaning area if you have home pickup and delivery.

  • Laundry basket or dirty shoe basket?

  • Keys, remotes, cellphones, charging stations?

  • Water dispenser so children do not have to come all the way into the house for a sip of water

  • Bathroom off the mud room?

  • Recycle bins?

  • Family message center?

  • Dog bed area?

  • Pet Shower?

  • Dog food/item storage?

  • Cat litter box?

  • Cat playroom?

To meet the needs above, which of the following items will you need and what kind of storage do you want to use:

  • Individual lockers or cabinets for each member of the household

  • Cubby holes for each member of the household.

  • Open shelves

  • Drawers

  • Coat hooks for each member of the household

  • Hooks for key, dog leashes

  • Blackboard, bulletin board or wall board for family messages

  • Chair or bench to sit in when removing shoes

  • Cabinet for dog food or cat food

  • Doggy door

  • Area for cat litter box

  • Room or area for cat to play

  • Umbrella stand or hooks

  • Cubby, drawer, or cabinet for beach towel and beach items

  • Bins for separating recyclable items

Unlike a front entry, seen by all and used by guests, the mudroom is usually a home's secondary entrance. ... It's a hardworking space — even the tiniest of mudrooms is helpful for keeping the house clean and organized and the family efficient. When building or remodeling it could be one of the best ideas you may want to consider.


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