Creating a Mud Room—even if you don’t have one.
April 7, 2009 by Stephanie O'Dea
Our next house will have a mud room. Even if the kids have to live in a tent in the backyard.
I’m not a shoes-in-the-house person. I just feel more comfortable with my shoes off, and it seems that the kids prefer to be barefoot even in the middle of winter. I don’t ask that guests remove their shoes, although many do when they notice that ours are off. Our home is primarily wood flooring now, but our last 2 houses had off-white carpeting throughout, and the shoes-off policy really helped to keep the carpeting looking fresh and clean.
The challenge with this habit is shoe storage.
Most people house shoes in their closets—and we do have some in there, too— but the shoes that are kicked off at the front entry or in the garage need to go somewhere.
So we have shoe stations. I keep a basket on the front porch for shoes, we keep our everyday shoes in the hall closet, and some of the heavier outdoor shoes in the garage. The nice shoes are housed in the bedroom closets.
One of our other really cool things (thanks to my father-in-law!) is the garage kid sweatshirt-and-jacket rack. I was getting annoyed at how the kids would open the hall closet door and throw their sweatshirt or jacket inside then shut the door, hoping that I wouldn’t notice.
An easy solution would be to mount a few hooks on the back of the closet door kid-height, or to attach a wire extender thingy to the jacket hook thingy that we already have on the back of the door.
Instead, I did something even better. I asked my father-in-law to make a coat rack out of some PVC pipe at kid-height to keep in the garage. I LOVE it. The bar is 4 feet wide, and it’s 3 feet tall. For extra support, insert a wooden dowel into the pipe (Adam says it’s 3/4 inch-wide PVC). The kids now have no choice but to hang up their coats (because I’m terribly mean and make them), and I love it that since it’s in the garage the clothing can still be hung if slightly damp from fog or rain.
What do you do in your home? Are you a shoes-in-the-house person?
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