For most of us, a mudroom is all about function. It’s the first line of defense against dirt and grime being tracked through your home. But a mudroom can be more than just a catch-all for boots, sneakers, leashes, and mismatched mittens. It can be a multipurpose room – it all just depends on your household needs and a little imagination.

The Dog Wash

They’re loyal and loving, furry and fun. Dogs are the best. Except maybe after they run out in the rain or roll around in something foul and funky, followed by running across your new rug, leaping onto the couch and – oh jeez, what a mess.

Well, remember how mudrooms are the first line of defense against dirt in your home? Then arm it with a doggy station. This can be as simple as a washable mat for your dog to stand on, a hook for their towel, and maybe even some doggie wipes. Or if you prefer a squeaky-clean pooch, a plumber could install a hose and drain, and your dog will love you for it. Or at least your home will.

Family Info HQ

“Mom, is soccer today or Wednesday?”

“Who’s picking me up from school?”

“What’s the number for the kids’ doctor again?”

Pick-ups, drop-offs, what’s for dinner… the list never stops. That’s because you live a busy life. Here’s another mudroom idea to help organize the entire family’s schedule: turn one part of your mudroom into an info center. Start with an oversized calendar, then populate it with your family’s commitments for the upcoming week – or if you’re really organized, the entire month. Another smart addition could be a whiteboard and dry-erase markers so that the whole family can leave notes for one another or important numbers in case of an emergency. Building a family info center in your mudroom can improve communication among members of your family -- and that's one of the keystones to running a smooth household.

The Arts and Crafts Studio

Arts and crafts are a great way to stimulate your kids’ creative sides and get them away from screen time. Also, there are so many different drawings, painting, and building activities they can engage in to keep them busy for hours. The only downside is the big mess that comes with creative playtime. Here’s where the mudroom comes to the rescue – it makes perfect sense to get messy in the one room of the house where it’s encouraged. In one corner of the mudroom, put a small table with a little storage bin for supplies and add hooks for smocks because every kid loves wearing a smock.

Storage Central Station

Remember, a mudroom should be all about function. And when it comes to a highly functioning mudroom, storage space is the bedrock of making sure it doesn’t become a huge pile of boots, sports equipment, jackets, and bookbags. Depending on the size of your family, there are several storage solutions available. If you have the space, cubbies are the perfect mudroom storage option. Each family member is assigned their own cubby, and they are responsible for keeping that space organized or disorganized as long as it doesn’t intrude into other cubbies or the common area of the mudroom. One other creative solution is lockers. Yes, the kind you used to have in high school. Not only will they give your mudroom some unique flair, but they will also instill a sense of privacy that growing adolescents crave, even if they don’t have locks on them.

Hopefully, one of these ideas fits your lifestyle. But just as every family is unique, so are their mudrooms. If you don’t know what you need in a mudroom, you could start by seeing what your home says about you in this introspective and interesting blog.

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