The entryway or foyer of your home — whether it's the same thing as the mudroom or not — is often the busiest part of your living space. That may be why U.S. home buyers are increasingly requesting plenty of storage, including mudrooms.
“As we’ve become more casual in the way we live, side and rear entrances, often adjacent to the garage, have become de facto main entryways into the home,” architect Barney Maier recently told the Boston Globe.
As family members and visitors enter and exit multiple times, shedding coats, shoes, gloves, purses, backpacks and other necessities of daily life along the way, the room can also easily become one of the most cluttered. But that doesn’t have to be the case. Consider how these foyer design tips might help keep everyone in your household better organized as they manage their busy lives.
- Mine, Mine, Mine: Creating and labeling individual storage containers for each family member (especially the youngest ones) can go a long way toward averting chaos in your entry. Multiple options and materials abound; check out Pinterest, Ikea, the Container Store or any custom closet company for inspiration on how to install closets, shelves, cabinets, drawers or cubbies and strategically equip them with baskets, tubs or boxes designated for each person. When making your choices, however, consider whether your family will take time to open doors and drawers to neatly stash away belongings, or whether they'll likely just throw them into open bins.
- Look at Lockers: As an alternative, school-style aluminum lockers are so in right now that they’re available in a variety of colors. You might also haunt antique stores or shows (or Craigslist) for vintage models. Bonus: They’re usually premade with handy shelves and hooks.
- Beneficial Benches: Bench seating with lids that open for storage allows you to easily store gear while providing a convenient place to put on shoes and boots.
- Hang Handy Hooks: Instead of allowing purses, hats, scarves, backpacks and other clutter to accumulate in plain sight on your entryway floor, seek likely spots for adding decorative hooks (or shelves or racks holding multiple hooks) to your walls. Hesitant to add more holes to your walls? Simply add inexpensive S-shaped hooks to your closet rod to invite easier storage.
- Ready, Set … Charge: Chances are, multiple people in your family now own smartphones, laptops and/or tablets, and they’re all vying for the same kitchen outlets with which to charge them. Solve that by establishing an entryway charging center where cords and plugs never go missing, stashing a multi-outlet USB charging station in or on a specially designated cabinet, box or drawer with enough room to hold everyone’s devices.
- Information Central: If you’re constantly juggling different family members’ schedules (and what family isn’t?), think about hanging a combination whiteboard/corkboard/calendar in your foyer to keep everyone on top of important info. Encourage them to post reminders, add events and tack up important forms, notes and papers.
- Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Keep recycling bins in the foyer closet and assign someone the task of moving their contents to outdoor bins each week. An adjacent paper shredder could further centralize the recycling process. Unwanted mail could then be immediately shredded or recycled preventing it from accumulating in the house.
- Shore Up Your Shoes: Keep track of family footwear (and prevent left from being separated from right) by incorporating shoe-sized cubbies into a foyer closet or cabinet.
- Delegate Your Door: Hang an organizer to store miscellaneous items you may need on your way out — sunscreen, sunglasses, umbrellas, gloves, hats, pet leashes, keys, etc.
- Trap Signs of Traffic: Consider adding a jute or sea-grass carpet that can hide stains, trap sand and dirt and clean up easily with a shake-out or vacuuming. For your permanent flooring choices, avoid easy-to-damage wood and marble and opt for hardy, large-scale porcelain tiles that require minimal grout. Then choose dark-colored grout that shows less grime.
Once your organizational system is in place, ask family members to go through their designated spaces weekly so they can throw away unneeded items, put away important belongings and/or send dirty clothes to the wash. Otherwise, your new system could easily be derailed by clutter that continues to accumulate over time.
“The mudroom serves as a transition from being outside to being inside of the home,” Maier notes in the Boston Globe. "So clients want it to feel welcoming, beautiful — and functional.”