Your Neutral Zone – The Mudroom
One of the most overlooked but important spaces in your home is the space between the inside and the outside. Whether it’s a simple hallway or a full sized mudroom, this space is essential to the smooth transition from outdoor to indoor activities and vice versa. Even in a small space, a simple organization system will go a long way to helping your day go smoothly as well as keeping your house clean.
With spring finally arriving and an increase in outdoor activities, perhaps it’s time to consider organizing these transitional spaces. So whether you have enough space for a full mud room with benches and storage bins or you only have space for a simple storage area, you should consider the many ways in which this space can help organize your day.
Some of the most common features of well-organized transitional spaces and mud rooms include the following:
- Pegs or hooks for hanging everything from jackets to backpacks
- A bench for putting on/taking off footwear
- Storage bins for seasonal items
- A rack for keys
- An umbrella receptacle
- Mats and/or boot cleaners to remove dirt
- Bulletin boards for family communications and reminders
- Shelves for hats, gloves, sweaters and other items
Most of the above items can be designed into even a very small space. If there is more room, you might consider other additions based on how you use the space. Are you a gardener? Maybe you want a space just for your gardening tools, and perhaps a small sink to wash up. Are you a bicyclist? If you need to store that sleek new road bike somewhere, maybe a wall mounted rack in the mudroom would be best, along with a row of hooks or pegs for your helmet, gloves and shoes.
Before you jump into designing your transitional spaces, and in fact, before you design any type of space, you should first think about how it will be used. Don’t just think about how it was used. Think about how you would like it to be used going forward. Spend some time imagining the optimal use of your space and how it might be able to improve your life, and then work from there. There is no point in designing a space only to end up with a newer version of what you already had, especially if what you already had was not working well for your needs.
Spring is a great time to get organized, and these types of spaces are natural places to start. And just like spring, a new mud room or entry way organization system can be a chance for renewal and getting a fresh start.