“A good system shortens the road to the goal.” – Orison Swett Garden

A mudroom is a dedicated space intended to accommodate our active lifestyles while creating a flexible system that will start and end the day with order. These high-traffic spaces have the greatest potential to keep our lives on track, simplified and safe.

A 2012 survey reported by the UK Daily Mail discovered that we spend an average of 10 minutes a day rummaging for lost items — from sunglasses to phones to car keys. Regardless if your home has a defined ‘mudroom’ or not, it’s important to allocate space for daily items entering and exiting the home to avoid unnecessary frustration.

As with any area, assess your space. Take inventory, remove the excess and determine what the current needs are to properly serve you and your family. While the needs may fluctuate often, here are some general components to include for maximum flexibility: open and/or closed storage cubbies, shelves, seating, hooks and durable fixtures and finishes that can be easily cleaned.

Keep storage labels loose and interchangeable.

Each person living within your household should have their own assigned drop off zone. This will keep things separated and personalized while ensuring each person is held accountable for the items they’re bringing into the home. The larger your family, the more important these zones become. Even though contents will be mixed, cut down on visual clutter by selecting coordinating accessories to create a cohesive look.

Reset this space weekly to ensure the items stored are orderly and accessible. Minimize clutter and keep maintenance quick by only storing things currently in use. Be honest with the inventory you keep. You may have had good intentions to start a new hobby, but if you’re only storing the gear – it’s time to remove the clutter and move on.

Remove out-of-season items and store in closed bins or in another dedicated area.
Beyond functionality, these spaces also contribute to the overall health of our household. Studies show that up to 90% of the bacteria and pathogens found on the bottom of your shoes can be transferred to floors in your home! It’s critical for footwear to be contained to one area to ensure surfaces can be cleaned and disinfected easily.

Quick Tips
1. Only store items currently in use to keep maintenance to a minimum.
2. Assign a drop off zone for each individual to cut down on frustration.
3. Safely contain footwear to a single area that can be disinfected often.

Sarah Parisi — The Clutter Curator
Chicago’s Premier Home Organizer

Photo via https://unsplash.com/photos/9BLf6H-czh0