And with those come mud, dirt, cut grass, and just plain water doing their best to come into your well-kept home. Between the inside and the outside is your mudroom. It takes the brunt of the Fall mess to save the rest of your home. But how do you keep your mudroom clean?
Keeping your mudroom clean starts with the way your mudroom is built. Flooring will dictate what types of care your mudroom will need and how well it’ll be able to handle all the wear and tear headed its way. Obviously carpet is out; you will never be able to get it properly clean and it will stink! Hardwood is not a bad option, but it will need to be cleaned and dried quickly after use to avoid damage.
Your best options for a mudroom are going to be non-porous surfaces like tile, stone, or linoleum. These surfaces can be easily cleaned with a mop, sprays and towels, or even just a hose if you need to. If you have found that your mudroom often needs a serious wet clean, consider installing a drain in one corner to make clean-up much easier.
Cabinets, coat hooks, and shoe storage are all necessary elements of a mud room and the place you can make your mud room really yours. Ground level material selection should be influenced by how hard you expect to use the mud room, with metals and plastics being better solutions to hard wear than lumber or melamine. Above ground level, let your imagination run wild! Select colors, materials, and styles which come together to create a complete look, making your mud room more than just a practical space.
Designing a mud room yourself is difficult, but doable. However, the best option is going custom by speaking to a Closet Factory designer. They work hand in hand with you every step of the way, combining their expertise with your wants and needs to create the perfect mud room: does what it needs to, looks great doing it, and is easy to clean!
Keeping your mud room clean in autumn can seem Sisyphean, but it is both possible and rewarding! Here are a few tips to help make cleaning easier.
Don’t bother with a broom unless you must. If you need to clean dry or even damp things, consider purchasing a small shop vacuum with a brush attachment. Irrespective of your flooring material, a shop vacuum will do a better job picking up debris and dirt than a broom ever will. It will also be useful if shoe shelves or other surfaces need to be cleaned, as the flexible hose makes them adaptable.
Take cleaning a bit at a time to break up cleaning while also giving that rewarding feeling of having completed something. Clean just the floor one day, then a few days later, clean just the shoe racks, then a few days later, clean just scuffed walls, and so on. This method is also a great way to assign work to kids, as it won’t overload them with too much work and is a task which is completable within a reasonable time frame.
If it’s particularly muddy or dusty where you live, put two tubs next to the exterior door of your mud room. Fill one with soapy water for cleaning, and one with water for rinsing. When people come in from outside, they can clean their boots or shoes easily by dipping them in the water, using a scrubbing brush, or even just their hands. By cleaning shoes every time people come in and out, the floor will stay cleaner for longer and shoes will stay in better shape.
Have appropriate places to dispose of whatever refuse people are bringing into the house. The two biggest ones are trash and dirty clothes, especially if you have kids doing sports. Having a trash can and a laundry hamper in your mud room will make disposal much easier. If there’s something else that someone in your home is regularly bringing home, consider adding a place for them in your mud room. Homework, newspapers, etc.
While your mud room is indoors, you should treat it more or less as an outdoor space. Expect it to get dirty and to wear more quickly than other rooms. Be mindful of the types of wear you expect your mudroom to get when preparing for cleaning, and remember to not overwhelm yourself!