I have said many times in this blog that life can be very messy. It doesn’t hurt to repeat it again. If you have a few kids and an athletic husband, you know what I mean. I have a houseful of creatures who don’t know how to take dirty shoes off outside the back door. They apparently think the floor is the washing machine. How do they think these cast-off items get into it? Cleaning up means sweeping crumbs from the dinner table onto the floor. I guess they also think the dog is a garbage disposal (sometimes I agree). Fortunately, I have a mud room and I must tell you that this is a must for every family at all times of the year. While stuff gets littered all over the house all day long, at least the worst things—muddy boots, wet umbrellas and drenched jackets—find their way here. At the least, everyone knows how to hang up a jacket on a hood and shove boots and shoes under the bench.
If you have a laundry room, you can convert part of it by installing a small bench and a few sturdy hooks. If there is an appliance closet, take off the door and use this space. My mud room is a nice size as I move the washer and dryer to the basement. We exposed the concrete floor, so the kids can set their shoes down without creating a mess to mop up. Things are always dripping with no ill effects. You can paint concrete to make it look more presentable. There is a long countertop where everyone can throw backpacks and assorted packages. Inevitable, they are all in a hurry to do something else and they return to the mud room later to retrieve their items.
The coup de grace for this marvelous mud room is a new outdoor ceiling fan my husband installed to circulate the dank air in winter. It also cools everyone off when it is really hot outside, so they don’t sweat allover the carpet. It is a great utilitarian object and it looks good to boot. The stained wood blades match the countertop and cabinets above. He got the idea from a friend and put it in as a surprise. I was more than happy to see this addition. My mud room is now complete. There is nothing lacking. We even have a small minifridge to the family can grab a bottle of water or soft drink on their way outside.
I wish I had a floor plan for a mud room to share with you or at least a photo of how to lay one out for most efficient us and storage. I suppose, like anything else, you can find this online. Don’t worry about the size because even a small space will do as long as the room is strategically placed by the back door, just off the kitchen.