Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Facelift

There are several small projects we're tackling while Jamey is on winter break and several motivations involved.  One is that while certain arrangements of areas have worked well in the past, a growing family necessitates change.  Another motivation is to make areas easier to live in/more functional.  A third is the desire to rid our home of things we no longer need/use.  For us, this means donating them to a thrift store that supports MCC with it's proceeds or taking the items to consignment.  Another reason may be the fact that Jamey and I have been watching episodes of Hoarders lately (via Netflix) and while we are not hoarders, the show does point out the illogical thinking that's involved in keeping things you will not use/need (in a reasonable amount of time).  Others could make much better use of most of it.

Living in a 120-year-old house with little closet/storage space makes making these challenges...well...challenging. Especially when we're committed spending very little money to make these changes happen.

The project we started with was our laundry room.  The picture below shows the room in full-use mode.  I don't have a before picture, but imagine there is no shelving above the washing machine.  The shelves are what we added.  Where else am I going to store roller skate and blade boxes, gift bags to reuse, beach toys beach towels, and my tool box?

Over the past couple weeks, we focused on our mud room.  If this room was truly just the back door where only family and very close friends entered the house it would be one thing, but no one uses our front door (except the UPS man).  This means it matters very much to me how the mud room looks.  It's impossible to keep everything in it's place when you have three children at home full time.  That goal was let go by me years and years ago.  I DO care what the very first room visitors enter might look like.

For years, two coat trees held our families coats, bags, umbrellas, etc. just fine.  Lately, as you can see below, it wasn't working as well.  The coat trees began to look like really tall piles of clutter.  It also made getting into our outer/unheated mudroom (where we keep potatoes and squash and Jamey's outdoor work clothes) nearly impossible to get to without rearranging everything.

Our solution was to install two sets of hooks- one higher for grown up things and one lower for the kids.  Jamey and I each have four hooks above and each child has two.  Each hook has places to hang two items, so this gives us ample space.  The shelf gives me some space to display a couple things that will hopefully make the room more inviting.  The giant box is our shoe box.  Only wet/snowy boots are allowed to set outside the box (now under the kid's coats).

Between the doors, Jamey installed a set of two hooks to hold our egg basket and recycling bag.  Our grocery bags hang on the door knob of the outer mudroom door.

I'm thrilled with the change.  It's easier to find what I'm looking for and the kids can hang up their things without knocking other peoples things onto the floor.  We can get in and out of the outer mud room with ease.

Now, on to the next mini project- the office. Pin It


  1. Love your new mud room/entry arrangement. I have a similar problem, but we don't even have coat trees to hang stuff on at the moment. We've been in the house almost 8 years and no place to put coats! But I'm very close to finishing it. If the weather would just hold out so my husband could finish painting the beadboard and then hang it, add the hooks and black board I have for messages... we'd be done! It's going to be like getting a Christmas present in January!

    Enjoy your newly organized spaces!

  2. It looks great! Very neat and tidy...and welcoming!

  3. Great work! We have a large coat hanger behind our front door too... I use to keep my re0useable grocery bags in the laundry room... but now I just keep them in the trunk of the car... that way I never forget them :)

  4. I love how it turned out and am now making a note-to-self to put up additional hooks at kid friendly levels so we can stop picking them up off the floor :)

  5. Great job! We too have plans to work on each room in our home to simplify and organize as well. I dread doing our basement, but I know it will feel amazing to get it all done. Thanks for the inspiration!

  6. We had to get rid of our coat rack a couple years ago because it would always become such a we have little choice but to put the clothes away in their proper places. One of our goals this spring is to do exactly the same as you are and remove some of the clutter and things we just don't use. Sometimes it seems as though the more one has the less we are able to respect and care for those things.

    On another note, we heard this on the radio the other day and though you might appreciate it. "The many blessing of a mom"

  7. Mr. H,
    Thanks so much for the link- an excellent reminder and I do appreciate it:-).

    If you're a stay at home mom, go read it!

  8. Love the mud room. Living in an old house ourselves we face the same challenge in regard to storage space. The good thing about an old house is high ceilings so there is plenty of room to go vertical with the storage.

    No one uses our front door either. Everyone comes in thru our laundry/mud room, and I feel bad about the way it looks. I plan on using some of your ideas to spruce it up a bit!

  9. Tackling our storage room here....oh my, what a project! Reorganzing/unhoarding seems to be going around. Several others I've talked to today are doing this same thing! Good luck with your remaining projects!

  10. Doesn't organizing make you breathe so much easier? It's my most satisfying thing to do.

  11. I think I need a shoe box too! Right now we have a rack, but oh my word, the shoes do not get on it.
    I love your refurbished room. So encouraging.

  12. Awesome makeover of the mud room! Mind if I ask where you got the shelf/coat hooks? We are looking for something similar for our entryway, and I can't find anything I like for anywhere near a reasonable price. If you would, I'd appreciate you messaging me back on FB, as I am absent-minded these days and will likely forget I posted this question and will not check back here . . .



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