Getting ready to send the kids back to school means getting organized and being at the top of your game. Sometimes, just getting everyone out the door in time to catch the bus can be tricky. You can make things easier on everyone involved by making your mudroom work for you.
Durability is key.
Since mudrooms have such a high traffic volume and dirt, sand, water and snow will get tracked in, you’ll want to be sure all of your surfaces are resilient. That goes for paint, door handles, floors and bench tops.
What to include in your kid-friendly mudroom:
• Sturdy hooks for jackets, backpacks and everything else you normally have to pick up off the floor – they are quicker and easier than hangers on a rod in a closet so they are more likely to get used. Everyone gets his or her own designated hooks.
• Drawers or baskets for mittens, hats and scarves – again, everyone gets his or her own to keep things easy to find. There are lots of fun ways to personalize your hooks and baskets, just be creative!
• Storage bench or cubbies – provide seating and extra storage. They are even better if they aren’t sitting directly on the floor so you can put shoes underneath. You could also use locker-room style cabinets like the Ikea PS Cabinet or school-house-style cubbies like this Entryway System with a drawer and two lockers from Pottery Barn. Alternatively, you can have a system custom-built by your general contractor to suit all your needs.
• Large bins or baskets for outdoor toys or sports equipment. Of course, if you have a garage, I highly recommend placing this bin out there to keep the mudroom uncluttered but if that isn’t an option, you can always place the bin or basket on a shelf in the closet.
• Durable flooring that can stand up to all the dirty shoes and boots that will be coming through. Stone and tile are good options since they are highly durable, as is eco-friendly Marmoleum, one of my absolute favorites for entryways. You’ll also want an absorbent rug that won’t slip or mildew and is easy to clean. Place one at the entryway and another one where you want the dirty footwear to be left.
• Of course, no home improvement project is complete without adding some style. Even rooms that are focused on function and organization need a touch of personality.
I think kids are pre-programmed to drop their backpacks and coats on the floor near the door and kick their shoes off willy-nilly. Setting up the mudroom with them in mind is a good way to ensure that the mudroom and entryway stay clean and tidy. And that’s just what everyone needs for a smooth transition back to school.
Related post: The Perfect Study Space – Back to School, Part 2.