Accessories and Assignments– Little ones not only need help putting on their outerwear, but also finding their things. Assigning each child a space and labeling it with their name will make them feel important and self-sufficient—ultimately encouraging them to take out and put their own gear on, and also put it back when the day is done. There are umpteen options available for labeling so choose a method best for your family. The most important aspect is that each child can recognize his or her cubby, so do not get too caught up in hunting for the most adorable or trendy option.
Select accessories based on their functionality. For example, if your space is tight, hanging a series of hooks that are aesthetically complementary to the space not only serves the décor, but will help keep coats and school bags off of the floor. Consider adding a bulletin board or spot for keys to minimize clutter and maximize organization. When choosing baskets, bins or other organizational containers, first consider ALL of the items stored in your laundry or mud room. How large is the biggest piece of sports equipment and how small is the tiniest mitten? The answers will enable you to choose containers of the right size.
Benchmarks– Every proper mudroom requires a bench. Whether pulling up rubber boots on a rainy morning or sliding into water-socks on a sunny afternoon, the ability to sit down and perform the tasks makes it easier for all family members. Choose a bench based on your budget or consider repurposing a narrow storage ottoman or coffee table. It’s easy to find cushions that match the dimensions—simply search for bench cushions, review the sizes and select. If you are outfitting a small space, consider having a custom bench built in or buy storage cubes available at big-box stores. They are inexpensive and can easily be transformed into a solid place to sit while slipping in and out of shoes and boots.
Customization– Depending on your budget, you may be able to have a custom cubby and bench unit built that fits exactly according to the room’s dimensions. Custom carpentry is beneficial to not only maximize space, but to accommodate dryer vents, heat ducts, water lines, etc. Even when designing on a shoe-string budget, you will be able to find modular cubes and accessories that will transform this typically small space into an area optimized for good flow and functionality during all four seasons.
Article by: Jennifer Elkow
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