Do you fantasize about having a mud room but know it’s not possible for your home? So did I! After several years of trying to find a solution, we finally found one that works perfectly for our family and space. Check out what we did as a mudroom alternative, and find out how to fake a mudroom area when you don’t have the space.
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When we moved out to our place in the country, we did it more for the land and the location than the actual house. I was pleased (and relieved) to discover, however, that there were a lot of things about it that I really loved, such as the open floor plan, the jack-and-jill bathrooms, and the master bedroom suite.
As with any home you don’t personally design, however, there are things I definitely do not love.
One of them is that we hardly have a lick of storage (which, actually, prevents us from collecting a bunch of clutter, so I guess that’s not all bad). Another is that there’s no separate space (such as a basement or upstairs bedroom) to send the kids when they’re being especially crazy. (Thank goodness for the great outdoors!)
But a third thing that used to drive me bananas was our entryway. It’s small and narrow and gets congested faster than you can say “coats everywhere!” Which is what you would say if you walked in because we don’t have a coat closet.
I wanted a mudroom in the worst way. I wanted to not be greeted by disaster every time I walked in the door. I wanted a space for all our coats, hats, gloves, boots, etc. And ohmyword, I wanted to not have dirt, mud, rain, snow, and who knows what else all over my floor!
Can you relate? Do you get tired of constantly picking up cold weather paraphernalia and mopping up your entryway floor? Do you fantasize about having a mud room but know it’s not possible for your home?
After several years of talking about possible solutions, rejecting those solutions, and coming up with new solutions, we finally found one that works perfectly for our family and our space.
Check out what we did as a mudroom alternative, and find some inspiration to fake a mudroom area when you don’t have the space.
Our Mudroom Alternative
Here is the system we put in place to keep things clean and tidy since we don’t have space for a mudroom:
In the absence of a hall closet, we installed two separate sets of coat racks — one above the entryway bench and one on the opposite wall at the kids’ height.
This was an intentional choice so they would be able to hang up their own coats. (Which, after a little bit of training, they are getting pretty good about doing!)
Here’s where the magic really happens and is my “why didn’t I think of this sooner??” mudroom alternative element.
We got a set of two rubber mats and placed one under the kids’ coat hook. It’s perfect for their muddy/wet/snowy boots and it catches any drips from their coats and snow pants hung above it. I also have them toss their hats and gloves there when they’re wet.
The other mat we placed in the hallway leading to the garage and is where Levon and I put our boots. (This space wasn’t wide enough to hang a coat rack without the coats obstructing our path, but a few boots on the floor doesn’t get in our way.)
I love these rubber mats for two reasons: 1) it clearly delineates for everyone where their boots should go, and 2) it keeps the dirt, mud, rain, and snow contained to those two small areas. The black color somewhat camouflages the yuck, and the mats are super easy to clean.
Baskets & Bins
I actually started using baskets a couple of years ago after reading The House That Cleans Itself. That book helped me realize the easier I could make an organizational system, the more likely we would be to stick with it. And dropping things in a basket is about as easy as you can get!
We currently have two baskets by the entryway — one for the kids’ shoes (if they’re not wet or muddy) and one for gloves, hats, balaclavas, etc.
I’m married to an Outdoor Man, raising country kids. In other words, they track in a LOT of dirt. Our indoor/outdoor rugs are wonderful because they’re super durable and easy to clean but still make our entryway look nice. (We got ours from Costco, but here are lots of other nice options!)
How to Fake a Mudroom in Any Space
Every house is unique in its set-up and every family has different needs. If our system doesn’t work for you or your house, here are some other mudroom alternative ideas:
- Convert a coat closet into a mini-mudroom
- Make (or buy) an entryway hall tree bench
- Turn a bookshelf into mudroom lockers
- Hang hooks along a narrow hallway
- Section off a corner of an enclosed front porch
- Turn a stairway landing into a mudroom alternative
- Set up a mudroom in the garage
With a little creativity (and our trusty friend Google), you can create a mini-mudroom or mudroom alternative in just about any home. View your space with new eyes, looking for the potential in every wall, nook, and cranny.
Start with a few hooks, a rubber mat or rug, and a couple of baskets. That will at least keep things tidy while you plan a more permanent solution.
SHARE WITH US: Did that give you a few ideas you can implement in your home? Share with us in the comments below!
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