The mudroom..UGH!!! I look at photos of mudrooms and dream about what it would be like to have a beautiful mudroom with things like; a huge closet, or a dog washing station, gorgeous built-ins, or a lovely potting sink. Let's face it, that is not a reality for this house right now.
However, we can always do some simple things to try and make the best of the space we have.
I spent some time this week as part of the Make Room Challenge, to declutter and clean up our mudroom.
Here is what it looked like before:
Okay, okay, not super terrible on the surface, but behind closed doors it was a bit worse. Our mudroom serves many purposes including: art display area, coat closet, dog house, work out area, sporting equipment storage, food storage (freezer), basement access, and house project "stuff" zone.
As the first room you enter into our house, it would make sense that this room would be the most important space to whip into shape so when guests come over we could give a better first impression of our home. Actually, for our own sake as well. Why shouldn't we deserve to come home to an organized and tidy mudroom?
So, I spent the day opening cabinets and sorting things out and trying to decided if I really need to keep ice skates I wore 20+ years ago, and only once since then?!
This is how it came out:
The first, and most obvious thing I did was put little things away where they belonged and cleaned everything. Although I don't agree with it, my husband insists on keeping multiple coats on hooks in the mudroom and that is a battle I am not willing to fight since at least they are getting hung up somewhere! We have this nice coat hook/basket combo shelf that came from Ikea way back when. We keep hats and dog leashes and toys in the baskets. My husband's shoes go in the matching storage bench since they are too big to fit in the red cabinet that we keep the rest of our shoes in. Hooks on the wall below the window are just the right height for the girls' book bags.
I brought in a bit of color with an oxalis plant that is still holding on from St. Patrick's Day.
Another area that I put some real effort into was our shoe cabinet. This cabinet was an old jelly cabinet from Ken's grandmother's house. I used to keep it almost empty with just a few items in our upstairs hallway, until one day I realized it would be great for our shoes! That's the funny thing; sometimes you just need to look at pieces of furniture you already have and see if you can envision using them in a different location or for a different purpose. I got rid of 6 pairs of shoes in 5 minutes! It becomes really easy to eliminate clutter when you just get real with yourself about what you have and what you need.
We keep our dress shoes in boxes in our closets and get them out when we need them. So, this cabinet only really needs to hold a few everyday pairs per person.
Here is what the inside of that cabinet looks like now:
We keep some of our overflow flip flops and crocs in a basket on top of the cabinet.
The other basket on top of the cabinet holds various hats.
We have some old lockers that hold sports equipment and umbrellas and such. They were pretty cluttered up. So much so, that I had to push the stuff in and then quickly slam the door!
I added a hanging clothes rail and inexpensive cloth cube organizer to create "cubbies" for the smaller items that needed to be stored in here.
Lastly, I took all the magnets and pictures off of our freezer. I love seeing my kids art work and I am sure we will put more up in no time, but it was a nice break for a minute. I did keep the girls' chore chart and message board on the side of the freezer. I also removed all the paint cans and tools from the top of the freezer and put them away where they go. The basket on the top of the freezer is for items that need to go to be donated (it's bigger than it looks in the photo). When it's full, I just take it to Goodwill.
And, this is maybe controversial to some people, but I made a sign a while ago for my mudroom that says "Please Remove Your Shoes." We are a no shoes in the house family. It's hard enough to keep the house clean without the dirt from shoes. So, our shoes and guests shoes stay in the mudroom.
This mudroom clean up was part organize, part declutter and part clean up and just put things back where they belong! It is nice and fresh and clean feeling now; just in time for the warmer days ahead.
Thanks for following along with my progress in the Make Room Challenge. Why not join in now and make some room in your home as well. You can find out more here.