Winterizing Your Mudroom

Winterizing Your Mudroom

I have a confession to make – I love winterizing my mudroom! As a Floridian new to Minnesota, I’m having fun helping my own family and other families figure out how to manage all the winter “stuff” – I do love a good organizing challenge.

In the past, I really had to stay on top of this high-traffic area to keep it well-ordered, but now that my family has a system in place, it almost takes care of itself and it’s become a lot easier to get out the door in the mornings.

My three rules for keeping your mudroom organized are:

  1. Store belongings by person, not function.
  2. Keep it well-curated.
  3. Make sure everything has a home and everyone knows what that is.


Here’s my system:

Give it a label

Each person gets one labeled drawer and bin. The labels make it easy for our kids to both find and put away their items (Yes, I said they put their stuff away! Except for the 1-year-old, he gets a pass).

Have a shoe quota

Shoes go into each family member’s drawer — up to two or three pairs of shoes per person. If you don’t have drawers, bins or baskets can serve the same purpose. In the winter, we keep boots on boot trays, either on one inside the utility closet, or wet boots on one in the garage.

I keep all other shoes upstairs in the bedroom closets. They are always the rarely-used ones, or out-of-season, and I don’t want them taking up prime real estate in the mudroom. When I want to wear a pair of shoes that I don’t keep in the mudroom drawers, I just bring them down when I leave the house and return them upstairs when I arrive home or before I go to bed.

This mudroom shoe quota helps me keep the mudroom — the highest-traffic area of the house — relatively free of clutter and it helps me see how much of everything we have.

Keep socks on-hand

I also put a basket in each drawer for that person’s socks. The kids can get out their own socks and shoes from their assigned drawers, and I don’t have to run upstairs to get socks when we’re trying to leave the house. When I do laundry, I don’t even put socks into the bedroom dressers; they go right into the owner’s basket in the mudroom.

We use the same approach for other mudroom items — gloves, hats, and scarves — storing them in bins labeled for each family member.

Invest in a coat rack

We hang coats and snow pants on coat racks in the mudroom coat closet. I have little-kid hangers that the older two got the hang of using with just a little practice. I set them up for success by keeping the coat racks highly-curated to ensure that there is enough hanging space so that nothing has to be stuffed in only to fall of its hanger later.

Audit as necessary

About once every few weeks, I quickly review all the items in the mudroom and pull out and relocate anything that doesn’t fit, that serves a duplicate purpose as something else (e.g. two similar-weight sweatshirts for the same person), or that doesn’t align with the medium-term expected upcoming weather or forecast. This helps create the space I need to keep everything else organized and in its proper home.