February 10, 2010

Mission Organization: Mudroom

Like all moms, one of the hardest parts of my day is getting out the door.  I don't care if we're going to be gone for five hours or five minutes, the act of getting kids dressed and buckled into the car is the difficult part.

I found early on that leaving the things I need right by the door gives us a better chance of making it out on time.  During our recent remodel, I had a floor-to-ceiling shelf put in our laundry room to serve as a staging ground to get us out the back door.  This is the place for shoes, coats, socks and diaper bags. All I have to do is grab and go...let's take a closer look:

My  original plan was to give each member of our family their own shoe shelf, but ultimately that didn't work best for us, so we now sort shoes more by style:  tennis shoes together, boots together, crocs together, etc.  It's rare that I'm just taking one kid with me, so keeping like items together saves me a ton of time.

The box on the top (circled in red) is where we keep hats and gloves.  I'm sure if we lived in a cooler climate this box would need to be a bit more accessible.  But let's be real, we live in Texas, so it's rare that we need all this gear.  For the few days we do, here it is.  In the summer, this box will move to a bit of a lower shelf and be stocked with sun hats, glasses, and every type of sunscreen on the market.

The boxes toward the middle (circled in green) are my emergency stash.  In a perfect world, diaper bags are always stocked and ready to go, but in my real world, seldom is a bag not missing a needed essential.  I keep a stash of extra diapers, wipes packed in Ziploc bags, small snacks, undies, small toys, pacis and extra clothes here.  I can't tell you how many times these little boxes have totally saved me.  Isn't it crazy how long it can take to find a diaper when you're in a hurry?  This lifts a huge burden daily!

The bottom-most box (circled in blue) is full of socks.  I used to keep the socks in each boy's closet, but that left me running to three different places each time we needed to get dressed.  Now they are all in one place and I can pull them on quickly as we walk out the door.  I keep all three of the boys socks in the same basket because the boys all wear about the same size.  If your kids have large differences in sizes, or you have children of different sexes, you could use multiple boxes, individual to each child.  We just haven't needed to take this step yet...

On the side of the shelf (yellow arrow), I hung multi-level hooks to hang all of the bags and backpacks we regularly need.  you know, those bags that are supposed to be packed and ready to go out the door?

I love my little custom set-up, but before we got fancy,  used a cheap, store-bought shelf and it worked just fine.  I'm sure you could find something that would work great for cheap on Craigslist or even free on FreeCycle.  If you don't have baskets laying around the house you can re-purpose by using shoe boxes covered in wrapping or scrapbook paper to coordinate.

There's more to come -  I'm working on other posts to give you a glimpse into how we stay organized and run.  I love learning tips and tricks from others and hope I'm able to help you guys out a bit.  Now, I'm off to find my wallet, somehow I've organized it out of my line of sight... let me know if you happen to find it at your house!


Tammy Stone said...

I wish I was as organized as you are. Even with me being single, I can not seem to do it but I read your blog not just to keep up with you, Heath and my adorable great-nephews but to get all the tips you put on there. They are helpful to everybody. Thanks for doing it!
Love ya lots,

Dawn said...

Very nice :-) You are soooo right that organization makes it so much easier to get out the door without losing your mind! I'm constantly organizing and reorganizing for maximum efficieny :-) You should see some of my kitchen org stuff - I have all the kids plates, cups, utensils in their own area down low and now they can help unload the dishwasher and set the table, get their own cup for me, pick out the fork they want and everyone's happy! It makes life SO much easier :-) You may not quite be there, yet though. Have fun and keep up the great work!

Anna said...