Wednesday, November 19, 2014

After-School Storage Solutions

Hi, my name is Rabia and I have mud room envy. I see them in pictures all over the place. People have these nice entry ways where they can store all kinds of stuff from coats and hats, to boots and book bags. We have no such luxury at our house. The front door opens directly into the chaos of the living room.

I've been increasingly frustrated with the disorder in the living room this year. The kids have more stuff that they need on a regular basis: three backpacks, a violin, two soccer bags, a ballet bag, two lunch boxes, and at this time of the year assorted coats, gloves and hats. It's too much stuff and we had no where to put it. It all ended up getting tossed in a pile next to the couch.

I often hear that saying "a place for everything and everything in it's place" and it drives me nuts. Then I realized that the problem wasn't "everything in it's place" the problem was "a place for everything." With the correct problem in mind, I set out to solve it.

The kids are used to lockers and cubbies for storing their things at school, so I built on that and bought some more storage cubes. We have some already in the dining room to corral the toys, so I figured it would work for school stuff as well. Ken and I went out and bought a 3 x 3 set at Big Lots one weekend and hauled them home. I didn't buy any of the canvas boxes because I knew we wouldn't be using them for this project.

I put the cubes together and then turned them upside down. The place I had in mind for their home is right in front of a closet. We don't use the closet on a daily basis, but we do get in there from time to time, so I put felt squares on the bottom on the cubes. Now, if we need access to the closet, we can slide the cubes sideways on the hardwood floor.

When the kids came in and saw the cubbies, I didn't even need to explain anything to them. They knew right away which column was theirs and what stuff to put in each square. They decided the top square was for coats and hats, the middle square for lunch boxes and extra-curricular items, and the bottom cube for backpacks.

Now instead of a pile of junk next to my couch, I have a stack of junk a much more organized looking collection of school things. The kids have been happy to put their stuff away and I haven't had to nag very much at all. I think we were all frustrated with the previous lack of storage solutions.

How do you contain the school things at your house? Do you have a mud room? Does it have mud in it??

14 comments :

  1. I actually just cleaned out my hall closet for this reason, because the coats, hats and general stuff was starting to take over the house. In doing so I found I had bought a Michael Kors coat back before I had the girls, which I had totally forgotten about and got buried in there for a few years apparently. So, I am with you on trying my best to organize the mess and when I do find something like that coat I feel it is a total win-win! ;)

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  2. I love finding treasures when I clean! that makes it all that much more worth it!

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  3. My entry way is such a mess. I need a good storage solution. I like your plan!

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  4. The Dose of RealityNovember 19, 2014 at 4:39 PM

    OH MY GOD!! Have you been in my house today??!! I was *literally* having a conversation with Lisa on the phone earlier about how much I want cubbies like the kids have at school in my house!! It looks AMAZING!! LOVE it! :)-Ashley

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  5. I have mudroom envy too! I would love that but we don't have one.
    We have cubes like those above from IKEA and they're pretty awesome.

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  6. Oh my gosh I need to do this! Even though it's just my fiance and I most of the time, we have hats and gloves and totes and dog coats and leashes and...Yeah, the little space just inside my apartment door is nuts. It would be great to organize it this way. Thanks for the tip, lovely lady!

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  7. We don't have mudroom but we could use a bit more organization here for the place everything gets dropped off. Since we will be moving into our own place for the sake of my sanity, this will have to wait a bit.

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  8. This one was pretty simple and easy (says the woman who didn't have to carry the huge box the shelving unit came in!)

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  9. I've totally been spying on you and your kitchen table is really a mess! LOL!!

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  10. Some days I feel like I could decorate my whole house with these cube structures! I love them!!

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  11. Add the canvas storage cubes and you can corral a whole lot of stuff!

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  12. I hope you get your own place soon. I know that must be stressful. I don't think I would enjoy it much myself.

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  13. Jodi @the noise of boysNovember 22, 2014 at 10:36 PM

    I seriously need organizational help here! I feel like I am always cleaning up after everyone! If everything had a bin or shelf- I think it would help alot!

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  14. This really has helped. Even if they miss occasionally, not I have a place to stash it all!

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