Everyone enters. Everyone has stuff. Most people dump their stuff on the nearest surface (or floor….) For mudrooms & entries, it is all about functionality. If yours isn’t serving you well, here are a few ideas to improve your space:
USE THE SPACE YOU HAVE
While you may not have a mudroom, you walk in somewhere. Think creatively about how to use whatever space you DO have to its maximum efficiency. Commonly overlooked areas include the backs of doors, walls, corners, landings and the space just outside in an attached garage.
The entry is where we walk in with belongings, so it is critical to assign very specific locations for all the “regulars.” Also, solutions are more likely to succeed if they are easy to use… few people will put items away in a box that is at the bottom of a stack.
Bags, backpacks hooks on a wall (put them low for children)
photo: Kantanya Green
Keys a dish or a key hook on the wall
Sunglasses a tray, dish, basket or an open box inside of a drawer
Loose change jar or dish
Coats hooks!! (nobody likes hanging coats on hangars…)
Hats/mittens a drawer or bin, ideally one for each family member
Shoes/boots in/under cubbies, on a low-mounted peg rack or on a tray
KEEP IT RELEVANT
Since entry spaces tend to be small, we need to keep only the items we are regularly using here. Take the time when seasons change to clear out the area and move out of season items to a long-term storage location. For instance, come April you can probably relocate gloves/mittens/scarves/ski goggles/hand warmers/etc. out of the space, and bring in sunscreen and bug spray.
Similarly, if you have family members involved in seasonal sports or activities, be sure to keep only the supplies for the current activity in the mudroom. The rest gets moved to a garage, attic, basement or closet.
Lastly, since shoes tend to pile up in the entry, limit the number of shoes per person that may be stored here –the ones that get worn every day. If your daughter wears dress shoes once a week, those don’t belong in the mudroom.
DON’T LET PAPERWORK PILE UP
Most people bring the mail inside and put it on the closest surface. Handling the mail is a whole other topic (see here), but the key for the mudroom is to not let it linger. If you sort your mail at a dresser or shelf in the mudroom, be sure to move it quickly to a desk, files or sorter so it can be acted upon. Paperwork in the entry tends to get piled over and lost – and it never makes the best first impression.
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Walking into our homes should give us a feeling of joy – “Ahhhh… sanctuary… I’m home!”, not “Ugh… I hate this house!” Take the time (or get the help) you need to make it work as well as it can for you and your family.
What tricks have you found work well in your entry space?