Improve Access and Flow with an Open Mudroom Closet

A mudroom serves as a vital transition space between the outdoors and your main living areas. As the entry point after work, school, play, or exercise, it needs to efficiently accommodate coats, shoes, gear, pets, and everything in between. But if your current mudroom consists of a small closet with doors that limit accessibility and workflow, some clever remodeling can unlock its potential.

Converting this underutilized cavity into an open-concept version provides more practical square footage to address your family’s needs. By removing the existing doors and integrating customized storage solutions, you can curate a custom-fitted mudroom that both organizes essentials and makes your life easier. This post covers everything you need to know to undertake this type of DIY project.

Determine If An Open Concept Is Right For Your Mudroom Closet

Before demo day, assess if eliminating your mudroom closet doors and creating an open layout truly aligns with your space and lifestyle.

Consider Available Square Footage

Measure the overall dimensions of your closet, including depth, to calculate total area. Generally, a footprint of at least 25-30 square feet allows adequate room to include seating and frequently accessed gear after eliminating confinement.

Also, account for necessary openings to your outdoor entrance and any heavily trafficked rooms. Pathways for navigation should meet suggested widths – at least 32-36 inches for principal routes. If your current layout won’t permit proper traffic flow, expanding the mudroom’s borders or reconfiguring walls might better suit an open concept.

mudroom closet with doors

How Many Entry Points Are Needed?

Determine how many active doorways directly serve your mudroom space based on your home’s layout. For example, if positioned near both front and back entryways, consider dual access for improved convenience. But if it only adjoins one external access point, a single entry suited to that purpose should suffice.

Generally, maximizing ingress/egress expands functionality and streamlines use for all members of the household. Just ensure the structural framing can accommodate multiple openings without compromising structural integrity.

What Will You Store?

To optimize your open mudroom design, analyze how your family currently uses the space and any pain points you aim to solve. Make a list of essentials everyone needs to stash, from daily outerwear, bags, and footwear to sports equipment, pet supplies, or even charging stations.

Customized built-ins like benches with cubbies, mounted shelving, and racks can then provide dedicated, organized storage for each category. Tailoring to your household’s needs ensures everything has a designated spot to keep the space tidy.

Best Practices For Removing Doors

Once you commit to an open concept, properly removing existing doors is a critical first step.

Gather essential supplies before starting demo:

  • Pry bar
  • Claw hammer
  • Utility knife
  • Tape measure
  • Level
  • Screwdriver
  • Drywall screws
  • Drywall compound
  • Joint tape
  • Sandpaper

Step-By-Step Door Removal

With supplies at the ready, follow these sequential steps:

  1. Use a utility knife to score paint between door trim and walls on all sides.
  2. Carefully pry trim away with an appropriately sized pry bar.
  3. Locate and remove any screws securing trim, hinges, or hardware to framing.
  4. Lift door unit out of openings and set aside without damage.
  5. Remove remaining screws, nails, or hardware fragments from framing.

Patching Holes

Fill leftover holes appropriately based on size:

  • Smaller holes can be filled directly with drywall compound.
  • For larger holes, cut backing patches of 1/2″ drywall and screw in place before mudding.

Cover patched sections with joint tape and smooth seamlessly into walls with a trowel for an even surface.

Prepping The Space

Finish prework by removing base trim around rough openings, scraping away paint splatter, vacuuming dust, and addressing any remaining irregularities on surrounding walls before building out storage.

Incorporate Storage Solutions

Customizing storage is key to improving functionality within your new open concept. Evaluate your family’s needs and select a combination of built-in and accessory solutions.

Built-In Benches

Integrating one or more benches maximizes seating and storage capacity. Freestanding options like lockers offer modular flexibility, while permanent bench seats spanning an entire wall work well for narrow footprints. Incorporate cubbies, hooks, and shelves to organize essentials right where you need them.

Hooks, Shelves and Racks

Install sturdy shelves and coated metal hooks at varying heights to accommodate all members of the household. Coordinate measurements based on tallest users to determine top mounts. And don’t neglect vertical real estate – floor-to-ceiling racks for items like bikes and rackets prevent wasted space.

Cubbies For Separation

Designate cubbies built into bench backs or mounted storage for individual family members to contain outerwear, backpacks, sports bags, and shoes. Separating items avoids jumbled piles and makes maintaining organization much simpler long-term.

Additional Elements For An Inviting Mudroom

Once your core storage framework is installed, infuse additional purpose and comfort with these supplemental details:


Carry interior flooring outward for a seamless, clean look. But for heavy outdoor traffic, durable surfaces like tile, luxury vinyl plank, or seamless rubber withstand dirt, water, salt, and wear. Extending the footprint outward also prevents grime from marring indoor areas.


Include adequate task lighting above principal work areas for getting ready routines like changing shoes. Undercabinet LED strips provide focused spot illumination without glare. Also incorporate ambient lighting on both the interior and exterior for safe navigation day or night.


Infuse additional purpose with a large mirror for quick outfit checks and hair fixes. A coordinating small rug lends a welcoming touch while protecting floors. Charging stations mean no more misplaced phones before rushing out the door. And a magnetic memo board captures important communications for the whole household.

Maintaining An Open Concept Mudroom Closet

Preserving both aesthetics and utility of your new space requires ongoing effort:

Establish Clear Use And Care Guidelines

Cultivate orderly habits from the outset by meeting with all family members. Demonstrate designated storage zones tailored to each person’s gear and belongings so everyone understands where items live. Create schedules for quick tidying to uphold neatness daily and deeper cleans seasonally or annually.

Frequently Edit And Declutter

As your family’s needs evolve, continuously reassess contents and organization. Seasonal wardrobe transitions present opportunities for pruning unused items. Donating gently worn pieces creates space for new additions. And reassigning cubbies or shelves reinforces purposeful placements.

Adapt Storage As Necessary

Children outgrowing dimensions and changing hobbies may necessitate alterations over time. The versatility of open concept allows room to modify formats, switch out freestanding furniture, or integrate new built-in elements whenever required. Keeping adaptable helps maintain optimal function despite shifting demands.

Converting a lackluster closet into an open-concept mudroom unlock limitless potential for increased storage, better accessibility, and enhanced utility. By mindfully removing doors and integrating solutions purpose-built for your family’s needs, you gain valuable square footage and simplified routines. Just remember that maintaining maximal organization requires ongoing oversight as contents and requirements progress over time. But with a thoughtfully designed framework providing specialized homes for everything, it’s easy to keep your new mudroom looking – and functioning – as awesome as the very first day.

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