Wednesday, February 27, 2013

My New "Mud Room"

For years I have hated and complained about our entry area from our garage. We use this entry 100 percent of the time.  When I bought the house I was happy the entry way had a decent size closet.  Add two kids and the entry way became a source of frustration.  With the addition of the twins, it was quickly driving me to the brink of insanity.

Bruce and I finally decided last fall that we would do something about the back entry way.  We considered adding on a small area which would have provided a very nice locker room as well as increased the size of my laundry room enough to have a large folding counter.  I have always used our kitchen island as my folding station.  Once the twins were home, the island wasn't big enough so my dining table became my folding station.  After an informal estimate of the cost to add on an 8 x 10 foot addition, we quickly dropped that idea.

Since are entry way consisted of a short narrow hallway and a 4.5 foot standard closet, I didn't have a lot of options.  My main goal was to have a place for everyone to hang coats and backpacks, store shoes, boots, hats, gloves, snow pants, etc.  The closet was filled with adult coats and shoes and miscellaneous household items. The kids had a small set of hooks for coats, but it was too low for the girls and it was jammed packed.  I then began looking at various closet systems to make are current entry way closet more efficient.

First, I thought about cubical type shelves with cube bins.  But, I could not come up with a configuration that would give us the storage we needed.  Eventually, I decided on a laminate shelving system.  I ended up buying a Martha Stewart brand at Home Depot.  You can design your system online and pick out different add-on pieces to include in your system.  Bruce did not have enough time to install my new system, so I hired our favorite handyman to do the job.  He had it completed in about 3 hours.

It consists of adjustable shelves and pull-out baskets for hats, gloves, etc.  I absolutely love it! I decided to leave off the closet doors to allow for a little wider area.  No longer am I stumbling over boots and backpacks!  No longer am I stuck by the door waiting for everyone to get the stuff off and get out of the hallway!  The area is just wide enough for me to walk around the cluster of kids!

Best of all, the entire system, including installation was under $500.  Granted it is not a classy locker room and I am still using the dining room table to fold laundry.  But, for the price, it is perfect for us. After all, I was going for utility, not aesthetics!

I didn't take any before pictures, but you can see in the pics below how narrow the entry is and it was worse with the closet doors on.  I even ended up with additional shelves for supplies.  All and all, a great investment.

view from my door

view from kitchen

full view of the new closet system

boot storage

pull out baskets - I love these - they are perfect for hats,
scarves and gloves - they slide in and out easily

shoe shelves for each family member

extra shelving for supplies and such

existing hooks located next to the closet - these are 
now coat hooks for mom and dad

existing hooks located across from the closet - these
are now coat and backpack hooks for the twins

new hooks added in the 1/2 bath which is just off the entry
way - these are now hooks for the girls

existing hooks in my laundry room - these hooks are for
snow gear in the winter and beach towels and 
wet swimsuits in the summer

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