Monday, March 18, 2013

Mudd Room

It's finally done! The Mudd Room is complete! This post is long overdue. I have been wanting to blog about this journey for so long, but life has been busy. Thankfully, this time has allowed me to put this room to the test, and I have really put it through the paces. Good news, it's PERFECT! I am so grateful for my time that I spent working on this area, and to my dear husband, who did so much to turn it into such a functional space. It has been so helpful keeping us on track, and much more efficient. To put this in perspective, some back story.
Years ago my sister turned me on to the desire of having a mudd room. She pointed out how functional it would be and how helpful it could be to have a place to Enter your home, especially with children. While house shopping, five years ago, a place to have a mudd room was on my dream list. When we found our house, it had this large laundry room right off of the garage and back yard. For five years, I have wanted to turn it in to a mudd room, but I never took the time or energy it needed. I regret that I didn't do this earlier, because it has been such a life saver.
The picture below is how our entry room looked (embarrassingly) most of the time. The door to the right comes in from the garage and the door from the left comes in from the back yard. We rarely use the front door. Everything that comes IN TO our home, usually comes in through these two doors. I needed somewhere for all of the worlds "stuff" get sorted and stored until being dealt with.
 I got so tired having three or four places in my home that stuff ended up and things getting lost in these piles. I hated doing laundry because there was no place to really sort or fold clothes. There was no place to put my purse, store the diaper bags or the mail. Finally, after having Logan and the car seat carrier came back into our lives, I had enough!
Three weeks, lots of Pinterest and blog research and several trips to Home Depot, and voilà!

I am so please with how it has turned out and I love coming into my home now.  There is absolutely a place for everything and my husband even puts everything where it goes because it is so logical.
The first picture below is of our coat area.  The door to the right is the door to the back yard.  Everyone has a hook, and Luke has his leashes there.  The only thing I don't care for is that we have to be careful when coming in and out the door because coats can get closed in the door. Just a small annoyance.
This is our shoe area.  The chair has been with us for some time, but has never had a home in this house.  Heath installed the shelves to the right. Every purse, diaper bag and shoe has a home.The basket below the chair is the "crap" basket.  Anything that doesn't have a home, needs to have a "temp" home or gets left out of place gets put in here. It fits perfectly under the chair, and in the evening I can walk around the house with it and put all of its contents away.

The shelf above the shoes is my favorite. The basket to the left is the inbox. Anything that just needs to come in gets placed there i.e. the mail, the newspaper, random papers, etc.  When we have time, we sort them into the file to the right and above. There are four files to the right. 1. Action File (anything that needs to be dealt with now and needs further action) 2. Read (anything I want to spend some more time looking at and reading) 3. Coupons (my coupon box goes there and any random loose coupons) 4. Shred (anything that needs to make it down to the shred machine in the office). The basket all the way to the right is a holder. Holds the pens and sticky notes and a junk bowl. It is nice to come in with the mail and drop it in the inbox, then later be able to stand right there, sort the mail, put the trash in the trash and recycle (blue and white receptacles located under the sink) put the bills in the action file, the bank statement in the file pile, the Bed Bath and Beyond coupon in the coupon file, and the credit card application in the shred file.
Following to the right is my favorite single addition to the house so far, my utility sink. So many uses, especially with the chickens and garden!

This white cabinet was here before we moved in.  We removed the door on the left to be able to have another set of file dividers (thanks honey for the great idea!)  The files are individual Amy, Heath, AnnaLog (my nickname for the kids) and Hold (random papers you need to reference that aren't digital and need to be kept for a period of time). There is also a "to file pile" and is nice that I can take things in piles and file rather than one or two pieces every day. On the top shelf above all is the cards box (filled with anniversary, birthday, and a random assortment of greeting cards) and envelopes. So nice to receive a "return receipt requested" piece of mail and immediately sign it and put it in an envelope. Behind the doors of this cabinet hold all of the laundry products.

Below is the pièce de résistance!  This is our Command Center.  We have referred to ourselves as Team Kahler for quite awhile, a little cheesey I know.  This is a bulletin board I had in my room as a child.  It has been sitting in my parents garage and they nicely let me abscond with it.  I searched for just the perfect fabric and recovered it.  I panted the trim, and although I am not 100% pleased with it, I am pleased with the center as a whole.  The top left of the bulletin board is our home cleaning schedule, so that my husband always knows what is on the agenda for the day.  The next calendar (on the yellow backing) is our activity calendar.  It gives us ideas for what child friendly activity there is going on each and every day of the week.  There are a sprinkle of other calendars and fliers below that (rec center calendar, husbands work schedule, etc.)  The purple part on the top right is my post it to do list.  Each Team member as a column and the one in the middle is labeled "TeamWork".  This also communicates to everyone what the tasks to be completed are.  My husband always has a "Honey Do List".  Very rewarding to take of the completed post it and crumple it up.  On the bottom right of the board is our expense tracking and budget.  Dave would be proud that it has such a prominent display.  There is a regular calendar, clock, and mirror (just to check before running out the door).  The keys are hung high so that the children have no chance of grabbing them.  There are two post it pads hanging for the "take it with you to do list".  Often I right reminders of all the stuff I need to bring with me as on a big adventure day.  The dry erase marker board is our monthly tracking of spending, with a envelope to hold all receipts below it.  Lower on the wall are three hooks that hold random bags, jackets and items.  They are hung low enough that eventually they will be child backpack hooks.

This pocket system hangs on the back of the garage door.  It has multiple pockets for all of those "random" things.  There is a place for our ear phones (going for a walk, to the gym or out for a bike ride), the stereo face to my car, sunglasses, bug spray, sunscreen, hats, gloves and multiple other things.  The two pockets I love the most are my outbox.  I finally have a place to put the movie that needs to be returned, the mail that needs to go out and the book at has to go back to the library.  It is checked every time we leave, and even my husband asks "honey, do you need me to take this back for you", ahhhhh.

One of the things I learned the past 6 months or so is to really make my space functional.  It doesn't matter what it looks like. I used to store all of my pantry items in the basement on shelves.  Things were constantly expiring and I wouldn't go down there because "it was so far" I know I know.  This shelving unit used to be turned onto the other wall and hold all of my very special Grandma's china.  I thought we would use it all the time, but we just don't.  I have several key pieces that are in my cupboards, but the 12 place setting just doesn't get pulled out often.  I flipped the shelf onto the other wall and traded the dishes and pantry spots.  So much more convenient.  Now, when my dinner planning system fails, I can run out to my pantry, do a visual inspection and whip up something for dinner.

Another feature we created to make a functional system.  I love doing laundry but hate folding it.  We never had a good spot to fold, so it ended up being done and piled in baskets for weeks, being sorted and pillaged daily to find what you needed.  Not an effective system.  Enter laundry room organization.  My husband had the brilliant idea to make me a movable folding table.  A piece of plywood and some contact paper cut exactly to fit over the large utility sink.  Just enough room to fold everything and sort into the basket cart.  Each family member has a laundry basket.  Laundry gets folded straight out of the dryer, put into the family members basket and then taken to be put away.  My husband doesn't mind folding my clothes but doesn't ever know where they go.  Now I can spend just a few minutes putting away my very nicely folded clothes, once the basket gets full.  I don't have to put his clothes away either, and the system will be hard wired by the time the kids get old enough to know what laundry is.  The cart gets stored on the other side of my newly stacked washer and dryer, and is on wheels so it moves easily.

The other piece of the laundry system.  All hang able clothes get hung straight out of the dryer.  Who irons anymore?
The car seat carrier found a home up off the floor and "away" on the laundry cart.  No more tripping over it.

This is a view of everything "away"

The bottom shelf of the pantry holds all of my fancy dress shoes and the airtight dog food container.  Luke has his food bowl and water dish in the corner, out of the way.
There are a few pieces of art that are being created and need to be displayed, but those will come out in future posts.  I cannot tell you how rewarding this whole project has been and how much I enjoy my new "systems".  It helps keep me from going crazy, and keeps all of the "stuff" that comes into our house, out of our home.  It feels like its a gateway to the world, and I can shut the door if I need to.  Such a powerful feeling in this world of always being reachable and in touch.  Thank you for going on this journey with me and letting me share my joy with you!