If your hallway, backdoor, or mudroom (if you have one) resembles the aftermath of a tornado, you’re not alone. It’s easy for coats, hats, boots, schoolbags, and stuff to quickly pile up at the back door.
Rein in the chaos and give every little thing its place with a DIY mudroom bench and lockers! But before you grab your tools and start hammering away, we’ve compiled our best tips for picking a design and other things to consider before you get started.
First, What Is a Mudroom?
Mudrooms are where real life happens. If your main entryway is clean, clear, and kept tidy for guests, then the mudroom is where all the coats, shoes, and daily necessities pile up.
In most cases, families treat a side or back door or the entryway that leads into the house from the garage as a mudroom. This space is often used to remove dirty or wet clothes, store household items, and organize in-season and out-of-season apparel.
The mudroom might also include a sink or your laundry appliances, depending on your home. Mudrooms are common in new home construction and are often requested during home remodels.
Related Topic: The Decluttering House Checklist
Before Choosing Your Design Plans
Before you make a final decision on your mudroom design, consider your storage needs. Pre-built or mudroom lockers or storage kits are available both online and through hardware stores.
However, designing and building your own mudroom allows you to customize your lockers to meet your family's needs and available space. Below are links to DIY design plans for lockers, bins, benches, and mudroom organization ideas to get your creativity and some design ideas flowing!
Not as handy with a hammer as you’d like to be? No worries, dream up your design and let your local Mr. Handyman, a fellow member of the Neighborly family of home services, bring it to life with their expert carpentry and assembly services.
Create a Space That Fits Your Needs
A mudroom doesn’t necessarily need to be an entire room. If your mudroom consists of a hallway or a small space, make the most of it by leaning into wall storage instead of a structure with a substantial footprint. Low-profile coat hooks, floating shelves, and even flip-down benches save space.
For homes with a dedicated room to work with, consider a more substantial locker set-up that combines day-to-day storage (think shoes and coats) with long-term storage capabilities that can organize out-of-season gear such as snow boots and heavy parkas or life preservers and beach sandals.
Open Lockers or Closed Lockers?
Open mudroom lockers and shelving make it easier to spot and grab things quickly and easily. Having an open space also makes the area more versatile if you’re storing odd-shaped objects there occasionally (think your daughter’s award-winning volcano science project) and need a safe space to stash them.
Check out this locker style design, with shoe cubbies for your mudroom. It’s a good example of an open mudroom locker concept.
Closed lockers can limit your storage options but offer a degree of privacy, since items can be hidden and out of sight. Here’s an example of a stylish mudroom locker with doors.
Divided or Undivided Lockers?
This consideration goes hand in hand with opened and closed lockers but isn’t exclusive. Many homes need divided and defined spaces to keep the peace with the kids. Every family member has their own dedicated locker to put things in and take responsibility for keeping clean.
Divided lockers have walls to subdivide the space, not unlike your lockers at school. Divided lockers can be open or feature doors for privacy.
Undivided lockers lend themselves more neatly to smaller spaces by having a less fixed footprint and more flexibility. Undivided lockers are often simply well-organized coat hooks and floating shelves with or without a bench. Add custom drawers under the bench to create more space. Here is another example of an undivided mudroom locker that uses drawers under the bench to give everyone their own space.
Chest Storage or Bin Storage?
If you do choose to incorporate a bench into your design, you’ll have to choose between turning that bench into a large lidded “trunk” or leaving the space under it open and organizing items in bins or baskets like a shelf.
The lidded trunk option allows for more storage capacity and is an ideal solution to long-term storage for seasonal clothing, sports gear, and toys. It also keeps clutter out of sight. The drawback is accessibility. It can be hard to find items tossed into the storage space, and you’ll have to clear off the surface of the bench completely to start looking.
The open-bin storage option keeps more everyday items handy and is perfect for keeping winter gloves and hats organized and easy to grab. But it limits how many things you can store in the space and leaves any clutter visible.
Here's a design that offers detailed plans for building a lidded bench.
The Color or Finish?
When you’ve made these decisions and are ready to swing a hammer, you’re facing one final choice: What will it look like? So, you’ll need to decide how you’ll paint or finish your mudroom lockers.
Light colors make the space brighter and make finding items in baskets or bins easier.
Darker colors or finishes are better for hiding dirt and scuff marks that often mar white or light-colored options.
DIY Means Do It How You Want It
Building your own mudroom lockers lets you get all the details just right. Consider how to utilize your space best, prioritize your need to keep things separate and accessible, and how vital it is that your lockers are out of sight.
Getting your mudroom locker designs built and ready will undoubtedly help you and your family keep your backroom and whole-home tidier.
Clean and Declutter All over with Molly Maid
Adding a mudroom to your home is a great way to keep clutter contained. And while you focus on keeping your mudroom tidy, Molly Maid can help keep the rest of your home tidy and clean. Our cleaning pros are experts at keeping those high-traffic areas in your home clean. We offer occasional, special event, daily, weekly and monthly personalized cleaning plans to help keep your home looking great. To learn more give us a call at (800) 654-9647 or request an estimate today.