“Mom, where’s my backpack?” “I can’t find my library book!” These are the cries of panic that mothers hear every day. Getting our kids organized and helping them be responsible for their things is a challenge all parents struggle with. One solution to helping your family get (and stay) on top of the chaos is to create a designated spot for everyday items. The solution is easier and cheaper than you think. Turn a mudroom or backdoor area into a neat, organized and practical storage space. No need for expensive remodeling or power tools!
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All you need are some storage cubes, which are available in a variety of sizes and shapes. They can be stacked and reconfigured to fit almost any spot in your home. What I love about them as an interior designer is that you can rearrange them for a new look every season, or whenever your needs change. They can even be painted or decorated to coordinate with your home’s decor. They’re also very economical, and they’re not built-in so you take them with you when you move—the perfect solution for renters.
Honestly, I’ve never met a single person who has enough storage space. It doesn’t matter how big or small your house is. A storage mudroom can be “built” in a hallway near the door. It doesn’t have to be an actual room, or even a big space. Choose a spot or wall near the door everyone uses daily.
Then the fun begins. Stack and rearrange your cubes until you get an arrangement that fits the space and your needs. I like options with space for seating, as it’s so much easier for the kiddos to put their boots and shoes away if they have a place to sit and remove them. My configuration allows only one seat, but if I removed the smaller right cube, it could fit two.
Choose cubes that make sense for your needs. Shoes and boots fit in long, open cubes. Those with dividers are perfect for library books, homework and other papers. Add baskets for smaller items like foldable umbrellas (you’ll never be caught in the rain again!), mittens and hats. If your kids are athletes, choose sizes and shapes that can hold sports equipment. I also added a bulletin board for notes and a calendar, but you could hang a row of hooks for jackets and coats.
The important thing is to design a “mudroom” around your family’s lifestyle. As the kids grow, you can easily make changes to accommodate the family’s needs.
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Merri Cvetan heads up MEC Design Studio, a Wisconsin interior design firm. In addition to design, Merri is an expert on home storage solutions and writes about both design and storage for Home Depot. Many of Home Depot’s storage solutions can be found here.
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Copyright © 2016 by Merri Cvetan. All rights reserved.