April showers bring May flowers, but they also bring muddy tracks through your home. Save your house from the dirt and grime that spring showers bring. A mudroom acts as a barrier between the mess of the outdoors and your clean home.
If building a mudroom and upgrading your home has crossed your mind, we have a few tips for creating an efficient and easy-to-clean space in your home.
Build For Function
Mudrooms keep you from needing to scrub your entire house every time it rains. Make cleaning simple by choosing flooring that cleans easily. Optimal flooring options include tile, vinyl, stone, or cement. These low-maintenance options stop dirt from staining and are practically indestructible over time.
No matter what flooring option you choose, remember to pick colors that do not easily show dirt. Install a moisture-proof substance between the flooring and the base to prevent erosion or rotting in the base structure. If you think the mudroom is going to see some heavy traffic, think about putting in a floor drain to make rinsing floors easier.
A pretty rug at your door welcomes visitors into your home, but in a mudroom, rugs add to the list of things you will need to clean. If you really want to have a rug in your mudroom, consider a heavy-duty washable rug in a color that hides dirt and stains. Adding a boot scraper by the mudroom door minimizes the mess throughout the house.
If you plan on painting the walls of the mudroom, choose a paint that is mildew and moisture resistant. This section of your home will probably need a full wipe-down occasionally; an acrylic latex paint is stain resistant and will not easily chip or bubble from moisture exposure.
Pick The Perfect Spot
Adding a mudroom in most homes is an easy addition to make. Typically a small mudroom only measures about seven to nine square feet. If adding extra amenities (washer/dryer combo or small washbasin), consider setting aside more space before you start construction.
Put the mudroom where it will be most useful to your household. Think about where your family regularly enters the home. Most families use the kitchen as an informal entrance, tracking mud onto kitchen floors. Adding the mudroom to the kitchen entrance helps keep your kitchen area pristine.
Other homes use the garage as a transition area from the outdoors. If there is no room available for building on to the garage entrance, consider converting a portion of the garage into the new mudroom. Most garages have a concrete floor in place that will work great for a mudroom.
Consider Your Pets
A mudroom provides a great space for keeping Fido clean. Installing a simple washbasin takes only a little additional work and keeps your bathrooms clean from the often-difficult task of washing the dog. And if your dog tends to be a shake-dry kind of pet, the waterproof paint should make for an easy wipe cleanup.
Create Storage Space
Your new mudroom can provide the added benefit of doubling as extra storage space. Whether your equipment includes gardening tools, pet toys, or sports gear, map out a plan that makes room for your extra stuff.
Instead of leaving the shoes on a towel by the door, create personalized bins that each family member can use for storing shoes and muddy items. A laundry basket can be put in the room, too, if dirty clothes tend to pile up in the mudroom. Install hooks or pegs by the door for storing wet jackets, umbrellas, or dog leashes. These hooks can also be used for hanging keys so you can always locate them quickly.
Adding shelving to the mudroom can help with your organizational needs. Give kids a place to immediately set down their book bags when they get home. Bulkier sports equipment will also fit better on shelves than in pre-measured bins. The shelves provide additional storage for your bulky kitchen products such as paper towels.
No matter what you use the space for, remember to consider how much extra storage you need when planning out the construction details for your new mudroom.
Save On Heating
Mudrooms help retain your houses heat or cool air, depending on the time of year. This transitional zone prevents thermal air from escaping through often-used doors. When mapping out construction plans, remember that an ideal mudroom will have an outside entrance and an inner door to prevent hot or cool air from seeping out.
Although it may cost a little more to install, add proper heating and ventilation outlets to reduce humidity in the mudroom. Too much humidity causes mildew damage over time. Having a good airflow in the mudroom will help wet clothes to dry quicker, too.
A less-expensive option for airflow is a bathroom exhaust fan that runs on a timer and vents to the outdoors. If you opt for this cheaper alternative to a standard ventilation system, consider installing a heat lamp for colder winter months.
Add Laundry To Mudroom
Want to go all-out on your new home addition? Many mudrooms double as the laundry rooms, and rightfully so. Creating a “cleaning central” prevents mess from spreading to other parts of the house. Plus, opting for the mudroom/laundry station combination keeps muddy clothes quarantined from the rest of the house. Instruct family members to remove dirt-covered apparel in the mudroom and place into the available laundry basket. This will keep grime from contaminating other areas.
Other Things to Consider
- Place a bench or chair right inside the door as a spot to sit and remove dirty or wet shoes. Have a waiting pair of clean shoes or slippers waiting for you to keep your feet (and the rest of the house) clean.
- A mirror hung in the mudroom gives you a quick last look before you leave for the day.
- Make the most out of extra wall space. Put up a bulletin board for art or reminders that do not fit on the fridge. Hang sentimental artwork that does not quite “fit” with the theme or décor established in your home.
Look forward to spring and the messy weather it brings. Add a mudroom to your home and create a designated area for taking off muddy boots and hanging soaked jackets. A mudroom calls for a small initial investment, but it saves your beautiful home from the dirty footprints that come with the arrival of springtime.