Updated: Dec 17, 2020
In their role as gateways to a home, mudrooms and entries are transitional spaces. While entryway closets are usually the main door that leads into a house, mudrooms are typically located at either side or back doors and most are reserved for the comings and goings of those who live there. No matter what door you use most often and no matter whether you have an entryway closet, a coat closet tucked off to the side, a wall optimized as a drop zone or a large and spacious mudroom, it receives a lot of traffic.
Entryway closets and mudrooms serve as spaces where a home’s resident(s) can shrug off backpacks, bags, purses and jackets and remove footwear before entering other parts of the home. Depending on an individual house’s design, they may also function (and usually do) as catchalls for hats, mail, pet leashes, and a landing zone for sports equipment.
Similar to a seasonal clothing switch in your closets, editing and organizing your entryway closet or mudroom/coat closet as winter turns to spring can really lighten the load.
Here are some of Neat Little Nest’s suggestions for optimizing your entryway closet or mudroom as you transition it over from winter to spring:
decluttering + cleaning your entryways
Whether you have a small wall area, a closet or a dedicated mudroom, declutter before you start organizing for the spring/summer seasons. With our Neat Little Nest clients we remove everything from the space and begin the review process; what stays, what gets stored away and what is discarded.
With everything removed and decluttered from your entry space, this would be the time to check for cracked bins, fraying or worn rugs/runners, or loosened hooks as well as the time to clean the space. Start by sweeping or vacuuming and dusting (dry cleaning) followed by a good wet wipe down. Nothing time consuming, just a solid cleaning. You can find my favorite cleaning items here.
You can also make any additions or upgrades such as new hangers, additional shelving, dividers or hooks if needed, but sometimes just pulling out all the winter item bulk and visual clutter and organizing makes the space look new again.
One of the upsides to a spring decluttering + cleaning of an entryway space is that it is a far easier task than in the fall when there are so many more items to find a proper place for. This time of year removing heavy jackets and a plethora of boots, scarves, gloves and hats can create a sense of joy just simply by lessening the amount of visual clutter.
Neat Little Tip: Visualize your entryway in an organized state and go for it. Remember it is a zone that is specifically designed to serve as a segue from the outside world into your home, your happy place. And as such you don’t want it overrun with visual and physical clutter. So less is more.
organizing your entryways + mudrooms
Once you have removed the excess and bulk of winter items, it is time to organize for the current season. Doing so doesn't have to be complicated. You can use the same coordinating bins and baskets that you did for the previous season as you reset for spring/summer.
An organized entry with systems in place provides measures to deal with the inevitable clutter of day-to-day life transforming it into a calm, tranquil space as you enter your home from the hustle and bustle of the day. Once you consider all the working needs of your mudroom/entryway, it will be easier to organize essentials and come up with a functional system that will work. If the square footage is limited, you will need to get creative with how you make it all work cohesively. It can be fun to experiment until you find the right mix!
The key to organizing an entryway closet or mudroom is to create a home for all of the items that will live in the space, either with cubbies if design allows or by using storage bins/baskets. Creating a home for everything is half of the battle to keeping the space tidy for the long haul. If you opt for a more high-end look with natural or fabric baskets, a simple bin clip label can be both beautiful and practical.
As you unpack sunscreen, totes, visors, rain jackets and boots, be sure that any labels (if you use labels based on content) get updated if content is different. They can be labeled by contents (sunglasses, keys, bug spray, dog, et al) or by an individual family member’s name.
Maximizing space and creating enough storage (and the right type of storage) goes a long way in keeping it clutter free. The secret to keeping the space tidy is to put the items away into their home when you're done using them. Making that one habit change is literally the difference between a tidy vs. cluttered home.
Neat Little Tip: Use an umbrella stand to corral umbrellas but creatively consider using a stand or a sturdy decorative wire wastebasket to keep oddly shaped items orderly, like yoga mats, grocery totes or towels (for your pup’s paws or yourself on a rainy day).
prepping + storing off season items
Look over all items before washing and storing and check for things in need of repair. Bulkier items such as snow pants and parkas take up a lot of room and could be hung or put into plastic storage bins. Wipe off boots and look over shoe laces and zippers before placing them in a storage container for the off season.
Be sure to utilize all vertical real estate where shelving could be added or additional hanging rods hung. By adding any storage where it permits (even high above in existing closets, if ceiling height permits), you can store seasonal wear until you need it again.
If you are storing items in bins or hanging bags in locations where bugs/pests also reside, be sure to include some preventive measures such as airtight lids and aromatic cedar packets.
P.S. Neat Little Nest’s blog next week will be all about how to best manage a garage declutter + clean as off season “stuff” finds a place to hibernate and in season items that are ready to be used again find a place that is accessible yet organized.
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