Double Your Mudroom's Storage Space With A Simple Tension Rod Hack

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More hooks are one of the easy ways to keep your mudroom clean and tidy ... At least, that's the go-to option for many clutter-challenged homeowners. Often, though, there's no room on walls or in cabinets for more. The answer is staring you right in the Amazon search bar. Trust us: type the keyword "tension rod" and hit buy. Adding a tension rod to your mudroom closet will give you way more space than any amount of hooks ever will, no matter how large they are or how many you add. You can squish a lot more clothes (or other outdoor items) hanging on a rod than you can on a single or even a row of hooks. Plus, your space will look a whole lot neater.

This nifty idea requires very little planning. Essentially, all you need to do is measure the length of your closet nook or whenever you wish to hang items in your mudroom. Then, head online or to your nearest big-box retailer to buy the tension rod. Look for something substantial — most families hang winter coats and sports gear, which are all really heavy, especially when damp — and make sure the rod you buy is a few feet longer than the space you plan to hang it in. A two-pack of basic 15 to 23-inch white-painted aluminum tension rods costs $21.14 at Wayfair. The silver-hued AmazerBath 42 to 72-inch adjustable shower rod, $21.99 from Walmart, is designed to adhere to rough or even surfaces.

Consider a rod with brackets

A tension rod is great for renters or homeowners angling to build a mudroom from scratch because it doesn't need to be attached to anything. It's in the name: the tension (or stress) created from a spring inside the rod forces pushes each into the walls, defying gravity and keeping the rod securely in place. However, you might be limited on how much you can hang: 20 pounds on average. Plus, they lose strength the longer they're stretched. If weight limits have you worried, switch out the standard tension rod for one with brackets. For example, FACTIONGARDEN makes a 17 to 27-inch closet rod in stylish metal black — $14.99 on Amazon.

Attaching a rod with brackets requires a teeny bit of extra work. Grab some screws (they'll likely come with the rod and bracket as a set) and your power drill, a carpenter's pencil, and a measuring tape. Measure out how high up the wall you want your rod to sit, and mark the spot with the pencil. Affix the first bracket onto that spot using screws and your drill. Repeat the on the other side. Place your pole into the brackets. If you can't remove the rod from the brackets, rope in another person to hold the other end of the pole in place while you screw in the first side. Hang your clothes, bags, and other items, and voila la! You've completed the tension rod hack that creates extra storage in your mudroom.