So this week, we're working in the kitchen and entryway/mudroom. But I am going to keep separate blog posts for each area. Not everyone has a mudroom, but everyone has an entryway, which ever way it is you enter your house, whether it's your front door, back door or in through the garage, or a mudroom. In my house, our back door is in the mudroom (which is also my laundry room but more on that in a later post), but we also have a door from the garage that I use most often because I park in my garage, but that entrance into the house in right next to our mudroom. My husband, however, uses our back door and enters into the mudroom because he parks in the driveway and it's easier. No matter which entrance we, or the kids, use, the mudroom serves as our entry point. There are also some people who just prefer to use their front door as their main entryway. Either way, we'll get your entryway organized this week as well as your kitchen.
We will also work on the kitchen because a lot of people have told me everything they bring in the house lands in the kitchen. So why not work on these two spaces together? Hopefully you'll end this week with some ideas on what will work better for your family and your home's function.
Let's start with your routine when you get home from work/school. What's the first thing you do when you walk in the door? Probably put down your purse, phone, wallet, keys, lunch bag, briefcase, take off your shoes, put down any shopping bags, take off your coat. That's a lot of things you need to do as soon as you walk in the door so it helps to have a space that functions so those things don't just get left laying around and misplaced. Anyone ever spend 10 minutes just looking for their keys in the morning? Those 10 minutes can set your whole morning off. Yet another reason to keep the space functioning well.
So a few key parts to a functional entryway, is to have a place nearby to hang coats, and purses. This could be a nearby coat closet if you have one, or a cute coat tree to place next to the front door, or if space allows, a couple of cubbies with hooks. Depending on your shoes in the house rule, you may want to have some shoe cubbies, or a shoe cabinet near the door. This just makes a nice place to keep your shoes if you take them off right away and don't want to carry them to the bedroom closet.
Our mudroom is nothing spectacular but it serves the purpose for now. We have a shoe cabinet near the door, and also an over the door shoe holder that hangs on the mudroom door with some hooks on the wall for coats. Shoes kept here are the ones we wear pretty regularly. I haves every pairs of nice dressy shoes, that I wear like once or twice a year. I keep those in my closet as to not clutter up the mudroom anymore than it already is.
But maybe you have a coat closet near your entry way door, so that's a given for coat storage and even shoes could go inside, then you just need a small table nearby for keys, purse, wallet etc. Make sure all these things are always in the same place and you will always know where to find them. Your morning will run so much smoother. And mom won't have to lose her mind looking for her keys, or kids school books. I highly suggest NOT putting your keys in your coat pocket. If the next day you wear a different coat, you won't be able to find them. The best place for any item to belong is where you naturally want to put it. If you naturally drop your keys and purse on the first surface you come to, fine! Hang a hook or two on the wall above that surface for your keys and purse, or place a small decorative bowl there for the keys to go in. Hang backpack hooks near where the kids do their homework so its not difficult for them to put it all away when homework is finished. Keeping things near where they are needed is the key to it always getting put away. By nature, no one wants to put things away if it's going to take them more than a minute or two. Keep that in mind when deciding where things should belong.
If space allows, you can get pretty extensive with your entryway/mudroom storage plans by installing built-in cubbies for each family member like below. Complete with a space for each family member, hooks for coats, purses, backpacks, work bags, shelves for keys, and other small items, and baskets underneath for shoes. This is like a dream mudroom! You can follow this link for more mudroom inspiration.
Now, you just need to work on establishing some new habits so your stuff is always where it belongs or put away when finished with it. Maybe you don't really need to organize your space so much as just work on the habits, and behaviors to just put things away daily. Make it a point to stop when you enter to hang up your coat, and purse and lay your keys in the key tray rather than dropping those things anywhere when you walk in. It only takes a minute to maintain the organization, and that one minute can save you 15 in the morning. When you are already rushed to get out the door, is not the time you need to be searching for keys or purse or wallet. Help the rest of the family to establish the new habits as well. If the kids know where things go and develop the habit of putting things away, they will always find things in the morning and there will be no more missing shoes or school books. The easier you make it for them, the better it will be to implement. Imagine a morning where everything is where it's supposed to be and nothing is lost, and you get out the door on time. Use that as your motivation to keep up the new habits.