Take The Mud Out Of Your Home’s Messiest Landing Space
The mudroom – it’s name just sounds dirty! And yes, mudrooms can collect quite a mess, but they don’t have to be. With a periodic deep cleaning, perhaps a few practical adjustments and a bit of regular maintenance, you can master your mudroom domain and not become enslaved to a catchall cave. For many of us the mudroom might double as the actual entranceway, so once you’re all tidy and clean in there, you can focus on adding a few personal decorative touches to make your mudroom entrance more inviting. Here is a guide to getting your mudroom space sanitary, clean and organized!
Cull The Herd
At least once a season, it’s time to give your mudroom a good deep cleaning, which includes clearing out the herd of clutter. This is the time to get down to the bare bones. Empty out old backpacks and gym bags, toss or donate outerwear that no longer serves you, and get rid of old or unwanted shoes like those late 90s espadrilles lurking in the bottom of a shoe bin somewhere.
After you’ve culled your collection of mudroom mayhem, take a few minutes to clean your storage units. Vacuum inside of any storage bins, crates or cubbies, wash and wipe down hard surfaces with disinfectant wipes. You can also hit these areas with some disinfectant spray, especially the soft surfaces that are difficult to clean. If you have them, and you should, take indoor drip trays outside to be hosed down and let them sit out in the fresh air to dry.
Make The Most Of Your Mats
Shake outdoor and indoor welcome mats outside and then vacuum. And yes, I said indoor and outdoor mats. Doubling up on your mats doubles your chances that your family and guests will actually use them. You might also consider adding a boot scraper outside next to the door to curtail slush and mud before it even enters.
Stash Supplies That Serve You
Designate a bin, basket, or cubby to store extra cleaning supplies right in your mudroom. A peg board mounted on a free wall is also a great option for hanging cleaning tools or other necessities. This gives you easy access to tools as soon as a mess is made. You might also consider investing in a handheld vacuum to keep in your mudroom so you can quickly address messes as they arise.
Pick A Place For Your Puppy Dog Pals
Pick a place for their stuff, that is. If you’ve got pets, the mudroom is the perfect place to create a dedicated storage area for pet food, leashes, treats, tiny doggy sweaters and the like. Combine open dry food packages into plastic storage containers, create a cute cubby for puppy toys and those sweaters I mentioned, and mount a couple hooks to hold leashes or their harness.
Manage Mildew And Mold
While you’re moving everything out to clean, be sure to check the mudroom for any mold and mildew that likes to grow in damp, moist areas – like that corner where you’ve been corralling the kids’ rain boots. Clean carefully using a solution of bleach and water or a product specifically designed for mildew.
Repair And Restore
If you’re feeling really ambitious, this would also be a great time to repaint and take care of any repairs you may have been putting off.
Follow With Flooring
Once you’ve finished cleaning out your storage areas and organizing, finish with a good overall vacuuming or sweep and mop the floor.
Other Helpful Hints
If you have limited space or find it difficult to clean behind storage areas, rolling storage – like a rolling clothes cart with options for hanging and stacking – might work better for you than traditional shelves, baskets or bins.
Outdoor fabrics that are designed to withstand moisture from various types of weather, are helpful in keeping mold and mildew at bay. They’re also able to take a lot of abuse from frequent heavy foot traffic.
Choosing racks or open storage for shoes allows them to air out rather than trapping moisture (and odors) inside congested bins or baskets.