10 Steps to the Perfect Locker + FREE Mudroom Locker Building Plans
Welcome back to Week #2 of the 5 Week Design Jumpstart Program!
Once a week for five weeks I’ll deliver a email full of project ideas and tips into your inbox. The best part is I created a special FREEBIE to go with each week! If you haven’t signed up yet, you still can right here:
You can also check out the week of the Design Jumpstart Program where I showed you how to update a builder basic bathroom, created a Farmhouse Bathroom Mood Board, and the Free Guide:
But on to today’s theme: The Mudroom.
Mudroom Design Ideas
I have a secret obsession: my mudroom lockers. Seriously, I am obsessed with them.
I spent dozens of hours designing them, tweaking them, and making them perfectly fit the needs of my family. And honestly guys, that isn’t usually my style. With my own home I’m much more go-with-the-flow. But I have three kids and I knew our every day would be impacted by adding a mudroom to our home. When we moved into our home five years ago all we had was a concrete breezeway, but I saw this ugly little space as my brand new baby: my future mudroom. So today I want to share the love with you, so I created THREE brand new freebies to go with today’s post!
Freebie #1: Mudroom Locker Planning Guide
I have included all of the ideal dimensions, layouts, and organizational tips to create a locker that will use every square inch. Remember when I said I spent hours designing our lockers? I tried to think through every little detail and how to squeeze out the most use for every square inch. Plus I share some of the mistakes I made in the past when designing lockers so you won’t have to! I have also created two more freebies:
Freebie #2 Building Plans for Mudroom Lockers
I created plans you can build from with layouts and dimensions…for FREE!
Freebie #3: Perfect Locker Layout Guide
The perfect locker is more than just the right outside. You also want the inside of your lockers to work their tush off. And that means having the right baskets, bins, hooks, AND thinking through how to use each locker. I have you covered.
You can grab all three when you sign up for the Design Jumpstart Program OR if you are already a reader (thank-you!) you have a special link and password to access my Free Resource Library where all of these freebies live:
10 Steps to Creating the Perfect Mudroom Locker
+ Free Mudroom Locker Building Plans
I often tell my hubby I would be more than willing to unroll a sleeping bag and make our mudroom my new home. That is how much I love it. When we moved in, we had an unfinished breezeway where our three kids were dump all of their stuff everyday. It was cold, it was ugly, it was unorganized. We had garbage bags full of trash and recycling I had to step over just to get into my kitchen. And this was the entryway into our home every day…friends, it STRESSED me out! And soon as we were able to save up for it, we remodeled our concrete breezeway into a mudroom.
Here is my very own mudroom makeover:
How to Design a Mudroom That Actually Works
I’ve designed dozens of mudrooms for past clients so I learned in real life what really worked and what didn’t.
So many magazine mudrooms look beautiful but are oh so impractical.
I’m going to be harsh here. All of those beautifully styled open lockers you see in the magazines? You know, the ones with a beautiful straw bag of French bread and fresh flowers…where everyone’s items are artfully arranged. Whose home actually looks like that?
Um, certainly not mine.
Before building our mudroom, I spent a LOT of time designing it, and making sure all of the details actually worked for our family of five + Labradoodle pup. And I want to share the secrets behind creating my mudroom so you won’t have to make any costly mistakes.
10 Steps To Create the Perfect Mudroom
Mudroom Step #1: Add the Proper Floor
Let’s take a hint from the name of the room itself, it is a MUDroom. This is a room that is supposed to get messy, wet, and dirty. This isn’t the place for carpet, rugs, or hardwood floors. Instead I would recommend using tiles, vinyl, or like mine: a concrete floor. Look for floors that are easy to clean, and large amounts of water won’t damage it. I would also recommend looking for a floor with a lot of textural or color variation-this is going to help hide dirt.
Also, be sure your floor is slip proof. This is a floor that will get wet (especially if you live in a place with snowy winters), that snowy gear quickly melts into a slippery surface.
Mudroom Step #2: Add an area for guest storage
In my own mudroom, I designed individual lockers for each family member (see more on that below). But it is also important to have a place where guests can dump their belongings. I created a bench with additional hooks above it. I also added in pull-out drawers below and wall cabinets above for extra storage. I keep extra kid supplies like snacks, school supplies, and sports equipment in these.
Mudroom Step #3: Create a Mail Drop Area
Many mudrooms are the area between the garage and the main living spaces. Make sure you have a place to drop and organize everything that comes into your home. In our mudroom, I have a mailbox for each person and a recycling bin under it for junk mail. Mail literally never makes it past our mudroom (unless it’s a new magazine for me!)
Mudroom Step #4: Create a Command Center
This goes with Tip #3. A mudroom is the perfect spot to create a Command Center that keeps your busy life organized. It can contain any of the following:
Mailboxes for Family Members
Recycling or Trash Bin
Tray for keys, wallets, loose change, etc.
Charging Station for Phones, IPads, etc.
Communication Center: White board or Calender
Bulletin Board for hanging party invites, coupons, permission slips
Office Supplies: Stamps, Pens, Envelopes, etc.
And I word of caution here! I see so many Command Center designs that are so cute and fun…but not really that practical. If you won’t actually USE a chalkboard, then don’t include it. Keep your calendar on your phone? Then don’t waste space with a paper one. Only add the items that are practical and useful for your situation!
Mudroom Step #5: Baskets are Your BFFs
I use baskets and bins wherever I can! You can see all of the details in my Free Locker Building Plans, but I use four different types of baskets in each locker:
Baskets to corral shoes
I think this is key! Otherwise you are going to find shoes strewn all over your mudroom. There is NO way my little ones are going to neatly line of their shoes every day after school. Even if that is what Pinterest shows us.
Baskets for out of season gear
At the top of each locker I use a bin to store out of season items. In the summer, I keep mittens and gloves in there. In the winter, I throw in items like sunscreen and beach towels. You can also add sports gear in here.
Baskets to corral small items
You can see it in my Locker Building Plans, but I put a short internal shelf inside my lockers. I put a small bin to corral mittens, gloves, etc. IN SEASON. It gives an easy place for my kids (and myself) to put smaller objects
Basket for personal items/electronics
I also put a final basket on top of the bench of each locker. I put an outlet inside each of my lockers to work as a charging station. Then we can use this basket to put our phones and IPads inside. I also put things like my son’s glasses cleaning kit. My hubby throws his wallet and keys into his.
Below is a different mudroom I designed for a client. Not only does she have a basket for each locker, but these extra baskets below her bench help hide sports gear and extra winter supplies:
Mudroom Step #6: Take Advantage of your Vertical Space
Most homes have some sort of space limits to their mudroom…especially if you are doing a remodel. So use that blank wall space to your advantage. You can add hooks for extra storage. You can create a wall mount Command Center or mailboxes. Or simply use it for artwork to bring some personality into your space.
Mudroom Step #7: Pre-Plan Your Lockers
I spent HOURS designing my home’s lockers before we ever built them. I created this Cheat Sheet Guide below to show you the best dimensions, sizes, organizational tools, etc. to incorporate into your locker.
Actually measure your items! Measure the length of your longest coat. Or how big your child’s backpack is (when it’s full!). Do you want to include a spot for soccer balls and cleats? Find out how much space you will need. I even suggest finding baskets that fit your needs and build your lockers based on that size.
Freebie #1: Mudroom Locker Planning Guide:
You can access this in my FREE RESOURCE LIBRARY
Mudroom Step #8: There is only one way to paint your lockers
I’ll be honest-I take on 99% of the painting projects at our house. Walls, trim, furniture, you name it: I’ve done it. However…and please hear me out!
It is worth it to hire a pro to paint your lockers.
Why? Mudrooms and lockers get a TON of abuse. A pro painter can use a spray technique to create a stronger, more durable painted finish. I used a ceramic based paint on my own for a strong, easy to clean finish. If you paint your lockers yourself, chances are your painted surface is going to scratch or chip easier.
To further protect your painted finish, you can add pads to the baskets and bins you use inside of your locker.
Mudroom Step #9: Think To the Future
Maybe right now you have babies and toddlers. But eventually they will grow up and need room for items like backpacks and lunchboxes. You might also need a spot for extra school supplies or snacks. You may want to consider spots for sports items, even if you don’t need it now.
And I know this is going to sound really bizarre…but if you don’t have kids yet or aren’t done with your family, I would consider adding more lockers than you might currently need.
I strongly recommend using one locker for each family member if possible.
When I designed our mudroom, we didn’t have a dog-but I knew we would…someday. So I added in a locker for our future pup. In the meantime, use it for extra storage. You can put re-useable grocery bags in there, off season storage, beach towels….
Mudroom Step #10: Don’t forget your four legged friends
If you have pets, they come with a lot of stuff! As I mentioned in Tip #8, I knew we would get a dog someday, so I made sure to include a locker for our dog Jasper. If that sounds silly…his locker is the fullest! We keep items such as his 40 lb bag of dog food, extra bowls, leashes, treats, and medicine (we keep that high up on a shelf inside the locker).
Instead of a shoe basket under his locker, we put his food and water bowl tucked under his locker. I LOVE having his bowls out of the way, and they are no longer something I have to trip over before I have my caffeine fix!
Mudroom Budget Friendly Bonus Tip
Part of the reason my original mudroom posts were so popular was because so many people wanted to know how I painted my concrete floors! Instead of spending a thousand dollars on installing tile, we decided to keep our original (ugly) concrete floors. Using patio paint and sealer, I free-handed a design on my concrete floors. Three years later and they still look great….plus are a breeze to clean.
But there is a RIGHT way and WRONG to paint concrete floors. And I know because I totally did it the wrong way the first time…and had to completely re-do it. You can check it all out at:
3 New Freebies: Mudroom Locker Planning Guide
+ (2) Free Locker Building Plans
Okay, I know that was a LOT of information. But a picture is worth a thousand words. So I created 2 new freebie visuals that show you exactly how to build my lockers are you see them above. I spent hours designing these, but I wanted to pass on this information to my favorite readers! You can find all three freebies by clicking below:
Coming up in Week #3 of the
Design Jumpstart Program
So what can you expect to see in Week #3? It’s all about the kids! I’m going to show you the Top 10 Items you need for your Playroom, what NOT to waste your money on AND a Freebie Playroom Mood Board + Shopping List.