The following is a guest post from regular contributor, Sharon at Mom of 6.
One of the challenges of moving to a new home is trying to figure out how to use the space you have to its best potential. In our case- our home has several entrances- you can enter through the front door, the kitchen door, or through the basement door- and it took me a few to days to determine which way the kids and I would be going in/out the most often… which turned out to be the basement door as that is the door closest to where I park my car in the driveway. The nice thing about this entrance is that there is a wall full of closets along one side. The downside to these closets- is that there is no hanging space- just fixed-height shelving to work with.
Give The Kids a Place to Stop and Drop
When my kids walk in the door- they immediately want to shimmy out of their coats, take off their backpacks and shoes and get rid of any gloves, hats, and scarves that they are wearing. Now I don’t know about you- but in my house getting kids to actually hang things up on a hanger is nearly impossible- so I have found that a better solution is to give them individual hooks for coats, a bin to easily toss shoes into, and another bin that hold hats/gloves/scarves for all of the kids. No one actually has to stop at a closet door and wait for their turn to hang something up. I put our hooks and bins out in the open- and they know I will see it immediately should they decide to just drop everything on the floor- so they take the extra moment to actually use the hooks and bins.
Create Dedicated Containers for Gear
Since I had all of these great shelved closets, I decided that instead of converting some of the upper shelves into hanging space (which would have left me with less storage capacity), I would just use bins to hold everything we don’t use every day. So one side of the closet is dedicated primarily to kids sports and activities gear. And the other side holds off-seaosn coats and shoes.
Have a Solution for Drippy Items!
This time of year, the kids are often walking in with wet boots, snow pants, and soaked hats and gloves. Rather than throwing those items in with their other (dry) shoes and coats, I’ve created a space next to the heater for hats and gloves to dry, set up extra hooks to hold snowpants, and dedicated the bottom of the closet (which has a tile floor) to boots, so kids can immediately deal with these items when they walk in and are dripping!
What Else Needs to be On Hand for Grab and Go?
In our old house, I used this baker’s rack as a “kids command center” to hold homework and papers for school. But in our new home, I am using it in our mudroom area to hold items that we need to be sure not to forget as we head out the door. Musical instruments and music folders for school, library books, umbrellas, and even sports backpacks (that don’t fit on our fixed shelving very well). I love that I can scan this rack quickly as we are headed to the car to make sure that there isn’t anything else that we need for the day ahead.
And Storage Space for the Grown-Ups?
Our home did come with a typical front entryway coat closet- that my husband and I are using for our gear. It’s a huge space for just the two of us- but would be way overcrowded and messy if shared with our 6 kids! So it feels kind of indulgent to have this space all to ourselves! (And please excuse the tools and boxes on the floor of our coat closet- we are still in the “moving in phase” of hanging pictures and stuff!)
What tips do you have for organizing a mud room? Please leave a comment below and share!
If you get a chance, I hope you’ll stop by to see me at Momof6 – a place where I write about organizing your home, using a family calendar, creating household routines, hosting at-home birthday parties, and holding a DIY summer camp! You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter (@sharonmomof6), and Pinterest!
Linking up: Six Sisters Stuff, Skip to My Lou, Home Stories A to Z, A Bowl Full of Lemons, House of Rose, Design Dining and Diapers, Somewhat Simple, Thirty Handmade Days, Today’s Creative Blog, Six Sisters Stuff