How can I Make a Mud Room More Useful?

Sheri Cyprus

Mud rooms are indoor areas near home entryways that often feature a section of flooring as well as a coat closet. They are named for the muddy boots and other items that may be left in the room so as not to dirty the rest of the house. Whether your mud room is located near your main entrance or a side one, there are many ways you can make it more useful. Take a good look at the area as you consider which items your household needs to take outside on the way out the door as well as what clothing should be stored in the mud room.

Benches, shelves and books make mud rooms more useful.
Benches, shelves and books make mud rooms more useful.

Rubber mats can be used to store muddy boots and footwear. If boots tend to be mucky or leave water on your floors, recycling plastic dish pans or other bins for footwear storage in your mud room may be a good idea. Rather than placing wet raincoats and jackets in a closed closet, let them dry and air out by using wall space in the room to install hooks. Hooks are also great for children's school backpacks. It only takes a small amount of wall space in mud rooms to add a memo board to hold reminder notes that can be seen as people enter and exit the home.

Firewood may be stored in a mud room.
Firewood may be stored in a mud room.

If space allows, a bench with a lid that raises to reveal a storage box can really make a mud room useful. The seat can be used for putting on or taking off boots and shoes, while the storage area inside is great for small bins of mittens, scarves, hats and out of season footwear or even sports equipment. Even the smallest possible shelving unit added to mud rooms provides a good place for library or school books or work projects. The top of a small shelving piece or table can feature a basket or bowl to hold small items such as keys and parking change.

To make a mud room coat closet more usable, consider adding a storage system with shelves or shoe racks. Some people like to install closet storage systems with double hung bars to keep children's coats near the bottom and adult's outerwear on the top. Children's and adult's shoe racks can also be added. If a freestanding coat tree or wall-mounted hooks are used in the mud room, the closet can be fitted with shelving or bins to hold an entire family's collection of sporting equipment.

For more rustic mud rooms, such as those near a beach or in the mountains, there may not be a enclosed closet. A closed-door wood wardrobe with shelves and hanging space inside could make a rustic mud room more useful. Also, an open type of walled closet could be used to stack firewood neatly.

A coat rack may be featured in a mud room to store coats and outerwear.
A coat rack may be featured in a mud room to store coats and outerwear.

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