A month or so ago, I saw an "I Did It!" column in Better Homes and Gardens where a mom turned her coat closet into a "mini mud room." She put in a bench and shelf. Under the bench, each kid had a bin for shoes. On the shelf, each kid had a bin for hats and gloves. As soon as I saw it, I knew it was the brilliant beyond brilliant solution to our laundry room coat closet. Let me paint you a picture...
Imagine if you will a typically sized laundry room. Not one of those gigantic magazine layout laundry room / mud room / whatever room that could fit the whole family plus the dog plus a 9 foot grand piano. I'm talking about a regular, normal people's house, laundry room. The kind where the washer and dryer (and one cabinet - if you're lucky) are on one side and a blank wall on the other where the family traipses out in single file to enter the garage. That is my laundry room. However, the builders of my lovely home decided that they needed to add a second coat closet in this tiny "room." (The other, smaller coat closet is in the living room just inside the front door.)
This closet, in the laundry room, was built over the stairs to the basement. Thus, it has no floor. Well, it has a floor. Set at a 45 degree angle. Not super useful to have a closet without a usable floor. The real issue though, was the doors. Now, if you're paying attention, you should have counted two doors. The big, heavy, metal door to the garage and the closet door. That open into each other, by the way. We lived here less than a month when we dented the garage door with the handle to the closet door since they were both opened simultaneously. (I was inside getting into the closet, my husband was outside trying to come in.) But what you haven't heard about is the door separating the laundry room from the kitchen. I love that door. It closes off the sound when the machines are going and it's a nice place to stash mess when unexpected guests arrive. However, that door ALSO opens into the laundry room. So you end up with a regular sized laundry room with 3 doors that all open into the same space.
To top that off, I had this mirror with hooks thing that hung behind the door to the kitchen for the kids to hang their coats. Thus, that door never really opened all the way. So, small space. Lots of doors. Cramped, cramped, cramped.
|Our "Mud Closet" After Picture|
|After Pic of the Bench and Floor|
I have since added hooks for the kids coats, bins on the shelf for their hats/gloves/scarves, and a cool drink bucket (found on clearance at Target) to throw shoes in.
I am super excited about what we affectionately refer to as our "mud closet." The only sad part is the retirement of "the system." Our former method of shoe/hat/glove/scarf organization has now been replaced with a pretty cool bucket, some awesome bins, and another (lame) basket in the other closet for my stuff. The true test is whether or not shoes actually make it into the bucket...