Your home’s entryway is the first thing guests see as they cross the threshold. Keeping it clean and tidy sends an important message to everyone who visits. It can also set the tone for the start and end of your workday.
Yet kids, pets, and summertime fun can all be messy. Squirt gun wars, water balloon fights, beach sand, and mud puddles all have an insidious way of making it through the door. Not to mention how one untimely muddy dog shake-off can leave you wondering if it would just be easier to repaint the entire foyer!
The answer to this all-too-common problem is to transform another room in your home into a custom mudroom.
Best Rooms to Repurpose Into a Custom Mudroom
If you have a large home you might feel spoiled for choice when it comes to deciding what room to repurpose as a custom mudroom. Even a lot of modest size homes have spaces that can be transformed into a functional mudroom.
Part of the Garage
The garage is a popular space to consider repurposing into a mudroom. Especially if you’re already using it for storage space rather than a vehicle parking spot. Though even a spare garage stall or an area near the garage side access door can be walled off and transformed into a mudroom.
It also helps that a lot of garages already have their own floor drain and water lines to tap into to create a spray-off area. They also tend to be easy to plumb for a washing machine and dryer.
The Laundry Room
If your home’s laundry room had an exterior wall, it could also be a prime candidate for transforming into a custom mudroom. The plumbing and drains are already there, and most are wired with GFCI electric outlets. Though you’ll likely need to have an access door added via the exterior framing.
A Guest Bedroom
A disused guest bedroom or basement storeroom could also be a potential candidate for a custom mudroom. Though the ideal candidate will already have some sort of water lines and/or drains nearby. This might be a guest bedroom with an adjacent bathroom, or a lesser-used basement entryway with a floor drain.
How a Custom Mudroom Helps Keep Your Home Clean
Mud, dirt, sand, and even road salt all have insidious ways of finding their way into your home on the bottom of boots and paws of your beloved family members. A well-designed custom mudroom acts as a sort of airlock giving your family a place to deposit all that debris without tracking it any farther into your home. The best custom mudrooms also have special features that provide other benefits such as:
Laundry Facilities for Soiled Clothes
A lot of custom mudrooms have a washing machine and dryer in them or at least a waterproof hamper. That way when your family comes in, all the dirty shirts, pants, and saturated dog towels can go straight into the washing machine or hamper without having to enter the formal living space of your home.
If you’ve got the space and budget for it, the wise move is to have a separate washing machine from your primary one. This “Beater” washing machine can then be put through the paces of washing dirty clothes without you having to worry about any of that outdoor grit and grime getting into your pristine everyday washing machine.
Hanging Space for Wet Things
A custom mudroom with ample floor drains is also a great place to hang wet, dirty clothes. They can then drip dry or even be wiped down to keep that outdoor grime from getting past the mudroom door. This can also be handy for getting the bulk of the grime off laundry items before they go into the washing machine.
Shower Facilities for Filthy Bodies
A lot of summertime activities can leave you muddy, dirty, salty, or sandy. Having a shower stall built into your custom mudroom makes it easy for everyone in the family to shower without having to traipse into the rest of the house. A shower with a detachable handle can also be used to spray off a dirty dog.
Convenient Storage for Toys & Outdoor Gear
Summer toys and outdoor gear can be just as dirty, sandy, and salty as people. A custom mudroom gives you a place to stow things like:
- Pool noodles & floaties
- Life jackets & safety vests
- Shower shoes
- Bathing suits
- Water skis
- Fishing gear
- Tents & camping gear
- Fire pit tools
These things get a dedicated storage space that keeps their inherent mess from entering your home, without taking up undue space in your garage or lawn shed. It also makes them easy to find later without having to untangle a bunch of fishing gear from the weed whip and extension cords!
A Changing Space
A custom mudroom can also be used as a changing space that makes it easy for family members to slip out of their day clothes into bathing suits and other outdoor summertime gear. A lot of families choose to give each person their own cubby or locker with a privacy curtain. That way they can secure their day clothes without worrying about getting them messy again when they come back in.
An Exchange Place
One of the simplest ways that grime and dirt find a way into a home is when someone forgets something or needs something from the kitchen. It might be the marshmallows and graham crackers to make s’mores around the family fire pit or snacks to be chomped on poolside. When you have a mudroom, you can stage popular supplies inside the “Airlock” or someone who is already clean and dry in the house can pass them to a filthy family member, without a single dirty toe setting foot on a clean carpet.
Another way for dirty footprints to invade the clean parts of the house is when someone playing in the yard or swimming in the pool needs to use the bathroom. That’s probably why a lot of custom mudrooms have a toilet and sink built into them.
Fast First Aid
It’s a plain fact of life that a lot of summertime outdoor activities can cause bumps, bruises, cuts, and scrapes. Most custom mudrooms have a dedicated spot for first aid supplies that lets people clean wounds, bandage cuts, and put ointment on burns without having to rush directly into the house covered in sand, and mud.