Creating the perfect "drop zone" in your home
Who doesn’t love a great mudroom? All those neat little cubbies, shoes lined up perfectly beneath a comfy bench, jackets and coats hidden away behind cabinet doors and backpacks hanging neatly in a row.
The mudroom is the ideal ‘drop zone’ for containing and organizing all the things you take with you when you go and bring back when you return; things like keys, purses, coats and jackets, backpacks, shoes and boots.
In addition to the everyday functionality an efficient mudroom adds to your life, it’s also a feature that adds value to your home when it comes to resale. A well planned space could be the wow factor that compels a buyer to choose your home over others in the neighborhood.
Whether you have room for a spectacular custom mudroom, or just a corner by the front door, here are a few mudroom essentials you can build into any space to help you stay neat and organized.
Start with a solid foundation
Ground your space with a comfy seat to put on and remove shoes. A bench is the ideal choice and comes in a number of different configurations. A simple bench with open space below can accommodate a rack or rubber mat for messy boots. A bench with built in cubbies or drawers underneath can store shoes or hats and gloves. A box style bench with a lift up top provides lots of room for sports equipment or backpacks.
Add storage above
Shelves and cabinets built above the storage bench are ideal for stowing away a plethora of items. Store seasonal items that are out of rotation, like hats, gloves and scarves in the summer, or swim goggles, sunscreen and floaties in the winter. Or store household items like extra school supplies, light bulbs, batteries- anything that you need, just not right now.
Lockers or cabinets put items behind closed doors
Nothing is more satisfying than closing a door on a big mess. A mudroom with cabinets allows you to stow away coats, backpacks, household supplies, pet food, you name it! There are a number of ways to customize mudroom cabinets to make organizing easy- from racks and hooks to shelves and cubbies.
Make room for the whole family
Assign space for every member of your family to store their belongings in the mudroom. Designate hooks, shelves, cubbies and drawers and label them with names or, if you have younger kids, pictures.
And don’t forget about your furry friends. Install hooks for collars and leashes and provide storage for waste bags. Recently, we installed a bench in a client’s mudroom with a kitty litter box built right into the bottom. A hole was cut out on one end for the cats to get in and out, and doors on the front provided easy access for cleanup.
What to do if you don’t have space for a dedicated mudroom
Not everyone has space in their house for a dedicated mud room, but every home needs a drop zone. They key to creating the perfect mudroom for your home is to examine the traffic pattern in your home closely, take a look at your family’s needs, then look for creative solutions that fit the space you have.
Place a chair and side table or a small bookcase next to your entryway, or position a pie-shaped shelving unit into a corner with just enough space to hold small things like keys, glasses or a wallet.
Install a row of hooks and a basket for shoes inside the garage door. A customized coat tree decked out with all the essential storage you need takes up very little space but adds an organizational punch.
Other places to consider for a drop zone: laundry rooms close to the garage entry, front hall closets, unused space that can be opened up under stairs, and the garage. With a little creative thinking and some careful planning, you can create the drop zone that works for you and your home.
Tia Hunsperger is a Senior Designer at Closet Factory in Denver, Colorado, which has been creating completely personalized and unique storage solutions for clients for 30 years. View their profile or, to set up a design consultation, contact them at 303.690.6901.
Content for this article provided by Closet Factory.