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.
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.
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!
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!