Is organizing the mudroom on anyone else’s list for the New Year? Kids come with a lot of stuff: book bags, soccer bags, dance bags, important field trip forms, swim bags, and a pile of boots and shoes. With two kids in activities and school I needed a way to organize the chaos that is my life. Well maybe not all the chaos but at least the bags and shoes. When I was trying to decide what to do to about this chaotic shoe and bag problem, the same five things kept coming to mind:
1.) I needed to enable the kids to become more independent (i.e. Mom didn’t want to put away everyone’s shoes and hang up everyone’s jackets anymore). In my kid’s defense, they were too short to hang up their jackets on the hangers in the closet or put their bags on the top shelf. So either I did it for them or it ended up in a pile on the floor of the closet.
2.) There really wasn’t a good place to put all the bags (and there were sure a lot of them). I could hang them on a hanger or put them on the top shelf on the closet. Neither solution was very organized or easy.
3.) Since we have a basically non-existent mudroom and people have to walk through that area to get to the downstairs bathroom I needed to be able to close a door on all this stuff.
4.) I considered ripping out a closet and doing a built in cubby system that you sometimes see in magazines but the cost outweighed the benefit.
Sometimes when you think through what you really need a creative solution comes to mind that is the lowest cost and least effort but get’s you maximum results. Really that is what this blog is all about.
So we added a chair rail in the coat closet and installed hooks around it at the kid’s height. This enables the kids to hang up their coats and bags without mom’s help. We also added two baskets (one for each kid) to keep important school papers and homework in and a shoe tray on the floor so shoes can be put away in the closet without harming the wood floors. A very inexpensive solution that has enabled the kids to be more independent and the kids stuff can be kept out of sight by simply closing the door. And has made mom’s life a lot more simplified!