The return of fall means lots of dirt finds its way into the house.  A conveniently-located and well-appointed mud room and laundry room can contain the damage and keep the rest of the house clean!

Laundry rooms and mud rooms rely on two main ingredients:  storage and work space.

Mud rooms need storage for shoes and boots, coats and hats, umbrellas and keys.  Bench seating makes a great place to store shoes and boots, out of the way and out of sight.  Coat hooks keep jackets organized and off the floor.  Vertical cabinets make room for umbrellas, brooms and dust pans.  A few cubbies or other shelves keep hats and gloves and other pocket goodies like keys and cell phones in close reach.  A well-placed charging station can keep cell phones and handheld vacuums ready to use and a chalk or cork board can be a great place to leave messages for the family.  A few simple storage solutions can make a huge difference in the utility of your mud room.

Laundry rooms are much more work-oriented.  Storage is critical in every laundry room, but workspace is also important.  A well-organized laundry room will have storage space for both clean and dirty clothes.  Consider hanging racks for drying hangable clothes.  Laundry baskets on casters or tracks make dirty clothes easy to access, too.  You’ll also want storage space for cleaning supplies, vacuums, brooms and other household tools or garden implements.  Shelving or closet space can be valuable for these items.

Every laundry room should include cabinets or shelving and countertops for folding and sorting clothes.  Ironing and sewing or repairs are other important activities that deserve their own spaces.  Custom cabinets can include space for all these activities.

Laundry and mud roomHere’s an image from one of our Fall 2013 Parade of Homes Remodelers Showcase homes. This laundry room takes advantage of the empty space above the washer and dryer for a convenient folding and sorting area.  It also offers lots of convenient storage for cleaning supplies, vacuums, etc. in addition to the hanging rack within easy reach of the washer and dryer.

Mud rooms and laundry rooms may not be the most elegant addition to your home, but they can be among the most practical.  Life’s a lot easier when the dirt stays contained!