First Impressions

April showers bring…messy mudrooms. Here’s how to keep your entryways presentable, even in April.

1. Make a list of what you really need in the room

Mudrooms quickly become catch-alls, not only for boots and hats but also for old school papers, expired coupons, and Costco-sized boxes of snacks that don’t fit in the pantry. Figure out how you really want to use the room—what you really think you should see when you enter the room—then find another place for everything else.

Also, your list should be seasonal. Part of the plan should include rotating out the heavy coats and mittens to make room for the baseball gloves and umbrellas (and vice-versa). Don’t force yourself to work around off-season items; a functional mudroom is limited to the gear you’re using now.

2. Think “multifunctional”

Maximize usable space by getting creative with storage. A table with a fabric skirt can hide bins of papers. Open shelving can artfully display a collection that was taking up space in a closet. Add a window seat with drawers underneath.

Cubbies are great for organizing small, frequently used items like hats and gloves. Give each family member his or her own cubby so there’s no scrambling to get out the door every morning.

3. Shop your house

You don’t have to spend a fortune at the organizing store to clean up your mudroom. Look for furniture pieces and decorative objects that can be repurposed for attractive storage. An old wastebasket can hold umbrellas. Small vases can hold office supplies. Relocate a storage ottoman from the family room—it’s the perfect height to sit down and pull on a pair of boots.

 4. Plan for rain

We know that wet outerwear is an inevitability, yet we’re still caught off-guard when it arrives at the door. Plan ahead: Shallow trays for boots will keep the muddy puddles to a minimum. Don’t forget to place an extra one beneath the coat hooks to catch drips.

5. Go to the mat

Invest in a good-quality doormat. It’s key to setting a good first impression, and it’s a workhorse during the wet weather. Just remember to change it out when it gets worn—we see our doormats several times a day, so we tend not to notice when they get shabby.

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