If you have kids or outdoor pets that come inside, then you are likely well-aware of the mess they can make. Muddy boots, wet paws, and dirty feet have an amazing ability to track in stains or leave behind foul odors that have no earthly purpose being in your house. Not to mention a spouse with a messy hobby or two that marks up your home with dirty hands.
If you are scratching your head looking for an answer to all these messy problems, then you might be the perfect candidate for a mudroom. This is a separate antechamber that can contain all the messes your loved ones and little ones carry with them. Think of it as an airlock that keeps messes out of your home’s otherwise pristine spaces.
Depending on your budget and your home’s characteristics there are a few different mudroom features to consider. Some can be surprisingly affordable to install. Many of the basic features from one of the following concepts might also fit nicely with another to create a fully customized mudroom that saves you hours every week in cleaning time alone.
Popular Mudroom Features
Doormats, Floor Mats & Boot Scrapers
As the name implies, mud is the biggest problem in a mudroom. Keeping as much of it outside as possible. While a large doormat is obligatory for catching a little mud, it’s rarely enough to get the major jobs that can pack into the texture of boots and running shoes.
Putting the boot scraper near the doormat gives everyone a handy way to clear away more mud. It also helps serve as a reminder to kids and people who might forget to make the most out of the doormat. It would also be a good idea to put a backup doormat close at hand in case the original gets too gunky.
A large indoor floor mat on the other side of the door is also a must. Not just for catching mud, but for giving wet feet traction to avoid slips and falls.
Transform A Laundry Room Into A Mudroom
Another way to keep mud from tracking into your home is to put soiled clothing directly in the washing machine. Though you might want to upgrade to a heavy-duty washing machine with a large capacity drum. This will give you enough volume to handle multiple jackets and bibbed overalls at one time. Of course, you’ll also want to have a dryer with a large drum to directly transfer everything from the washing machine, without having to leave a few articles behind.
The other advantage of converting your laundry room into a mudroom is that you gain access to the large wash bin or laundry sink. This is a great place to wash off mud, clean fish, wash hands, bleach stained clothes, and rinse coolers.
Boot & Glove Dryers
Wet hands and feet are a recipe for misery when you’re going outside. Most soaked gloves and boots rarely dry out on their own overnight. Yet a high-quality boot & glove dryer might be able to do it in just a few hours. Most use a tube to force warm air into the liner of the gloves and boots. The air is just warm enough to dry up the moisture, without being too hot to melt or burn the liner. They also tend to be a lot gentler than tossing mitten and boots in the dryer.
A Shower Stall Or Floor Drain
If you have a pet, like a dog who likes to roll in random stinky things, then you can’t exactly toss them in the washing machine. Most also don’t take well to the soaking of a cold garden hose. Especially if it’s not a warm sunny day.
A simple shower stall or a floor drain with a curtain you can pull around it will give you a convenient place to spray off and perhaps shampoo your dog with warm water. In a pinch, you could even use it to wash the grime off a child who had a little too much fun splashing in muddy puddles.
A Retractable Hanging Rack
Most mudrooms have limited space. A retractable hanging rack is set up on a spring-loaded system. When you don’t want it, you can simply leave it up by the ceiling to keep it out of the way. When you need it to let damp items dry overnight, you can grab a simple handle to pull it down. Then lock it into place.
Stackable Tote Bins
Mudrooms also tend to double as a storage space for seasonal toys. Pool floaties, ice cleats, squirt guns, running shoes, climbing gear, and more all tend to need a place to live when not in use. Heavy-duty stackable tote bins give you a place to keep gear, without bringing it taking up space in the garage or basement. Putting removable labels on each one makes sure that everything goes where it belongs, as well as making it easy to find what you need when you’re rushing out the door.
Improving Floor Traction
Wet floors can be slippery whether you’re wearing your boots or walking barefoot. There are several ways to improve the traction of your mudroom floor for improved safety. Traction floor tiles and textured epoxy tend to be two of the more affordable options. Most can be installed in a single day, and also make the floor easier to clean.
Personal Cubbies With A Bench
If you have more than one child, then you know how frustrating it can be when outdoor items get intermingled. Simple wood or metal cubbies give each person in the family a place to hang their outdoor items. A bench in front of the cubby space can hold shoes, and serve as a place to sit while tying laces.
A Firearms Safe
If you are a family that likes to hunt, then you need a place to safely keep your firearms. Keeping a firearm safe in the mudroom keeps guns, bows, and ammunition from entering the home, while also ensuring that everything is properly locked up when not in use. It’s an absolute must if you have young children in the house.
Overhead Storage Clips
Anglers always need a place to keep their fishing rods. The last thing you want to do is invest hundreds of dollars in a high-quality rod and reel combo only to snap the rod when it’s stored in the corner. Simple overhead clips or Velcro loops let you keep fishing rods and other long items up and out of the way. Yet you can see them quickly find exactly the one you need. A step stool nearby would also be a good idea if you have high ceilings.