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Make Your Mudroom the Tidiest Room in the House

There’s a reason it’s called the “mudroom.”

This is the place where muddy footprints and pawprints dot the floor, where mismatched mittens and outgrown snowsuits mysteriously seem to accumulate. This is where backpacks and gym bags are dumped, skates and hockey sticks are dropped, where shoes and boots are strewn.

Before you know it, your mudroom isn’t just muddy—it’s a downright disaster! Wouldn’t it be nice to do away with the chaos and clutter this winter?

Use these tips to keep your mudroom manageable:

  • Only store winter items. Eliminate some clutter by storing out-of-season items—like beach bags, bike helmets and lightweight jackets—in another location. You’ll free up space for bulkier winter coats, boots, etc.
  • Double up on doormats. Place sturdy doormats outside and inside the entryway. This will make it easier for all to follow the “wipe your feet!” rule. Make sure the mats are winter-weather friendly.
  • Get an over-the-door shoe holder. Store mittens and hats in the pouches of a closet shoe-holder. It’s a great way to keep them organized; everyone can find what they’re looking for at a glance.

    It’s also a handy way to store gloves and mittens that have lost their mates—if the other one shows up, it’s easy to reunite the pair. (This is a great storage trick even if you don’t have a mudroom. Just hang the bag from any door.)
  • Build cubbies. If possible, build individual cubbies for each family member. This way, coats, boots and backpacks are easy to find and out of the way. If you’re not too handy, you might find ready-made storage cubbies at a hardware store or online. Kids who are used to school lockers will find this a familiar way to stash their stuff.
  • Get rid of unused items. Given up on finding the mate to that pair of gloves from three years ago? Pitch it. Toss whatever you know you won’t be using anymore. Donate old coats and boots that are still in decent shape.
  • Store boots upside down. Build a boot rack! Screw upright pieces of scrap wood or thick wooden dowels into a wood plank, then waterproof it with commercially-available sealant.

    After the rack has completely dried, put it in the mudroom, where your family members can use it to dry their wet boots, upside-down, on the upright pieces. Make sure there’s a plastic tray or waterproof mat underneath to catch drips as the boots dry off.

Winters are long, wet and messy. Keep your mudroom organized; it’ll make your days a little brighter and make spring cleaning a snap later!

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