Tips for Creating an Organized Mudroom & Coat Closet

This is Wisconsin. The temperature is dropping, and we’re all pulling out boots, winter jackets, gloves, and all the gear that goes with our Wisconsin winters. It’s overwhelming, even if it’s all very necessary (especially on the coldest days!). The big question is: how do you organize all that gear (and the hunting clothes, motorcycle jackets, etc.)? That’s where an organized mudroom, porch, or coat closet comes in handy, if you know how to take advantage of that valuable space.
Plan
We can’t emphasize how crucial this step is to creating an organized mudroom. Ask yourself what functions you need from your mudroom. Do you need to organize your kids’ stuff? Or do you need a place for all your motorcycle or hunting gear? Organizing your papers and computer bags? Try to use every square foot you have efficiently; even small spaces can alleviate some of your storage and organization issues. Measure the area so you know what you have to work with, and take inventory of what you need space for; do you have a mountain of boots, gloves (and mittens and scarves and…), backpacks/work cases, jackets, hobby gear (sports, motorcycle, etc.)? Do you need organization for all your notes, mail, and all the other papers that come in?
Evaluate your options
Look for inspiration for shelves, hooks and cabinets on online websites. We’ve seen some very unorthodox organization solutions: buckets, wooden crates, customized furniture pieces, etc. that worked very well for winter gear or filing. Whatever you choose for your mudroom, coat closet, or porch, make sure it’s flexible enough to fill many uses if you find you need it for something else down the road.
Make a plan
Don’t worry about corners; use every square inch possible. A corner can be the ideal spot for hooks or a shoe organizer. Once you have it measured and drawn out, put it aside and think about your plan. Ask a contractor for ideas if you plan on using a professional for the job; they may have ideas from other jobs that work. Make changes until you have a plan you are satisfied with and is functional for the future.
Install and enjoy
Hire a professional to make your plan a reality or install your shelving, hooks and other mudroom furniture yourself. Make sure you find a stud when you hang hooks; you don’t want your coats to come crashing down or getting damaged. When you’re done, enjoy the benefits of having all that gear organized and ready for whatever our Wisconsin weather throws our way.

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