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Welcome to the Mudhouse

Do you ever feel like because you don’t have a mudroom your home turns into a mudhouse?  Do you have a designated “mudroom area” yet you still find dirt crumbs and muddy fingerprints all over your home?  With a few tweaks you and your family can eliminate much of the unwanted grime at the door.

Common sense should dictate but it’s easy to get distracted (you know….as soon as the key is in the door the dog is barking and the phone rings).  Try to get the mantra in your head and other family members’ heads….”shoes off & wash hands, shoes off & wash hands.” Chant, cheer and do it until it becomes rote.  If sink and soap are not nearby keep a package of hand wipes by the door so everyone can at least wipe off the first layer of grime as soon as they walk in the house.

Any corner or small wall area at your entryway can be transformed into a mudroom (or mud area depending on the space).  There needs to be enough space for a few hooks (one for each family member) or a coat rack, an area rug, boot mats or shoe baskets and ideally a small bench.

Double hooks are ideal so you can use them for both jackets & bags.  If space allows a small upper shelf to house small baskets is ideal for putting gloves, hats and other regularly used items like keys and cell phone accessories.  Again, try to have one basket for each family member or one basket per item (for example, one hat basket, one glove basket, etc.)  In warmer weather gloves and winter hats can be swapped out for baseball hats, bug spray and sunscreen.

The space by my back door is tight but totally maximized and functional for my family – low hooks for kids’ bags and jackets, baskets underneath a built in bench for for shoes and small baskets up top for other frequently used items.

Low kids hooks
Bench, grown up hooks, shoe baskets below and small storage baskets above

Here are a few more of my favorite, practical “mud spaces” that I found online:

If you can manage to leave most of the mud at the door and can find shoes, bags and necessary items for coming and going regularly you will give yourself more time to enjoy what you’re going out for and what you’re coming home to.

Photo taken at Great Falls in Paterson, NJ

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