by guest blogger, Wendy Monaghan
It's back to school time again and we're all starting to check off the list and beginning to get the kiddies ready with all their new gear and school supplies. It's the perfect time of year for a little back to school sprucing up for your home too. One of the most important areas of your home to have ready for back to school is the entry /mudroom. It's where all the backpacks, sports gear, notes and party invitations will get dropped when they enter the door after school. Having a system in place that gives everything an orderly landing place is going to make the school year run a whole lot smoother. No matter what the size, a few key elements and organizing tips will make coming and going quick and easy.
Out with the old: Start by removing everything, even if you want to keep it. Beginning with a clean slate will allow you to really see your space and plan the best way to use it. This is the time to donate clothes and shoes that don't fit and toss those that are damaged or worn out. Put away the summer flip flops and beach bags and get ready for shiny new backpacks.
Hooks: No matter what type of space you are dealing with, hooks are a must. They allow kids and adults alike to quickly hang their own coats, hats, bags. Hooks make the difference between everyone's gear hung up neatly or cluttered underfoot. Try hanging hooks at 2 heights for different ages and items. Over the door hooks are also a great solution for adults and kids who can reach.
Baskets or Bins: Open storage containers will make staying organized at the entry a much easier task. Dedicate a basket to each person or to certain items, or a combination of them both. Don't forget fun labels so everyone knows what to do. Use pictures as well as words if not everyone can read.
Seating: Having a place to perch to put on your shoes and gather your things on the way out to a busy day is a functional and beautiful element in your mudroom. It can be a simple, inexpensive stool or a customized bench. If you have a small space, combine functions and look for a bench with storage beneath.
Command Central: For me there are two logical places for command central – the kitchen or the mudroom. By incorporating it in your mudroom, "to do's" are at the top of mind on your way out and on your way in you can drop keys, mail, and update the calendar all at once. Include a calendar, a bulletin board, a place for mom and dad to write notes to one another – a chalk board, white board or pad of paper, bins / folders for mail and papers, and don't forget something inspirational or fun – a quote, painting, or family picture – whatever makes you smile.
Wendy Monaghan, Interior Decorator and owner of Link Interiors, creates homes where life and style co-exist with flair. She believes that a functional space allows families to have more quality time together and that children and all of their stuff can live in a beautiful home. She is the mother of 2 fabulous HRM girls, aged 7 & 5. For more information or to contact Wendy, visit her website, www.linkinteriors.ca