Make Room for Mudrooms

April showers bring May flowers – and typically lots of mud. This spring has been unusually dry, but the rain eventually will come and with it the dirty job of cleaning wet paws, boots and jackets before they hit our clean floors and furniture.

Adding a mudroom to your home is a good solution to stop the mess of mud in its tracks and create a practical transition place between indoors and out. Whether it’s located off a side door or backdoor entryway, here are some suggestions for creating a functional mudroom for your home.

Create an organized space to shed coats, hats, shoes and backpacks upon arrival. A locker or open cubby system with hooks for coats, and baskets for smaller items like gloves, works well for this. Install pre-made systems or custom cabinetry to suit your individual needs. Include a place to sit for putting on or pulling off shoes, and a designated spot for keys.

Make it easy to find and grab things as you’re running out the door. If your mudroom doubles as the laundry area, then include a folding counter, Murphy-style ironing board, hamper pull-outs for sorting, retractable racks for hanging wet clothes and storage for soap and other cleaning supplies.

Floors and countertops in your mudroom should be easy to clean. Laminate or a low-maintenance solid surface are great choices for countertops, and tile, concrete or linoleum are ideal for flooring. The mudroom should be command central for messy, emergency cleanups.

If you have enough space, consider a small drain basin on the floor with a hand shower to immediately wash muddy boots or paws upon entry. A large utility sink is useful for washing paint brushes, small pets or toddler T-shirts stained with spaghetti sauce.

Speaking of cats, dogs and other household critters, the mudroom is more than just a great place to keep them clean. Create a built-in bed or kennel for your dog, a designated place for food and water bowls and a space to hide the litter box.

One clever homeowner installed a cat door into a base cupboard to keep the box tucked away in a tidy “cat cabinet.” The cat cabinet gives felines a private spot for those private moments, contains odors and prevents kitty from kicking litter all over the floor.

If you’re building new or remodeling an existing home, we encourage you to make room for a mudroom. And if you don’t love this smart space that packs such a highly functional punch, then our names are mud.