From the Floor Up

Create a Back to School Command Center

Posted by Daltile Team on Aug 4, 2015 9:03:00 AM

Mudroom Organization Hacks that Simplify Your Busy Days

Esta Villa in Garden White 12 x 12 grid pattern on the floor

The months of lazy summer days filled with endless lemonade and beach towels may have made you forget what it’s like when the kids walk in the door after school. Not to ruin your final days of relaxation before the hustle and bustle begins, but let us remind you about the pile of shoes, backpacks, lunch boxes, and random papers that follow them throughout the house when they come home.

The good news is, it doesn’t have to be like that. A little revamp of the mudroom can transform the chaos into order, or at least limit the disaster to a single room. Here are a few mudroom organization hacks for turning your mudroom into an after school command center.

Stashing Stuff

You know how your mother told you that there’s a place for everything and everything in its place? Now you probably say it to your own kids and they hate hearing it as much as you did growing up. Having an organized drop zone for stuff encourages you and your kids to put everything where it belongs, which makes it easier to find too.

  • Install lockers or individual spaces that each kid can stow their most-used stuff.
  • Provide pegs and hooks, at the right height, for backpacks and jackets.
  • Use lower hooks for the stuff they use the most and hooks up higher for off-season coats and sporting equipment.
  • Hang a few file boxes on the wall to corral in loose papers.
  • Get a shoe cubby unit. One with different sized cubbies or adjustable shelves lets you store all different types of shoes.

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Streamlining Space

The command center will take up as much room as you let it. Finding room for everything can be a challenge. But a few of these hacks will help you make the most of the space you’ve got.

  • Take doors off cabinets. It makes everything more accessible and your space will feel less clunky.
  • Get creative with vertical space. Add lots of hooks, cubbies, and cabinets at all different heights to make the most of the space. Plan for the heights the kids are now and take into account growth over the years.
  • Let storage double as seating. Having a place to sit and put on shoes is handy but seating that is also a storage box is even better. Organizing shelves and cubbies. Photo courtesy iruhsa at Dollar Photo Club

Organizing Junk

Command centers tend to become home to little things that just don’t seem to fit anywhere else. The junk drawer gets these items out of sight, but it is also a black hole where things disappear forever. Don’t pretend that once you revamp the mudroom this won’t happen anymore. Always plan for the little odds and ends.

  • Categorize all the little things and let them have their own contained space. That way they are stored away but you can still find them when you want them.
  • Hide junk in opaque boxes or bins so your space looks clean. Clear boxes may give you the ability to visually identify what’s in the box, but it can also start to feel like clutter. Try labeling opaque boxes for identification.
  • Code each box, bin, or cabinet by color. That way everyone knows, at a glance, where to start looking for a particular item.

Finding What You Need Now

Where are the scissors? I need a pencil sharpener! When is back to school night again? How am I going to get that kid to remember his lunchbox? The command center should be the answer to all these problems.

  • Include a large calendar where everyone can see it. No matter how advanced technology becomes, nothing can do the job of keeping the family on schedule better than a good, old-fashioned calendar.
  • Post a dry erase board, chalk board, or magnetic board. This allows you to remind the family about important events or just tell them how much you love them.
  • Make a place for supplies. Having an accessible place for all the homework and activity necessaries makes everything run smoother. Scissors, glue, pencils, poster board, sunscreen, and bug spray are always where every member of the family can find them. Put not-so-kid-friendly supplies out of reach to keep little ones safe.

Bragging About a Job Well Done

When the refrigerator becomes overcrowded with adorable art projects, straight A report cards, and certificates of achievement, it’s time for an overhaul. You want your kids to take pride in their work well done—just give them a better place to do it.

  • Create a place to display work in a busy area where everyone will see it.
  • Magnetic boards make display simple. You can also try a string with clothes pins.
  • Keep papers to a minimum by picking out one project per kid to display. You can even frame it and hang it on the wall or set it on a ledge. Change it out occasionally as they bring home more great work.

Maintaining the OrganizationFile holders and boxes for organization. Photo courtesy of GoodMood Photo and Dollar Photo Club.

The beginning of the school year is about fresh starts. But it doesn’t take long before the fervor starts to wear off. That’s why you want to make maintaining the organization and cleanliness of your mudroomcommand center as easy as possible.

  • Use materials that are easy to install and keep clean. There’s going to be dirt, mud, water, and whatever else the kids drag in to deal with. Easy-to-clean materials like tile flooring can make your job easier. You might even consider including wall tile or tile backsplash to make cleaning doubly easy.
  • Use materials that withstand high-traffic and occasional hijinks. The mudroom command center is like the debriefing space after a long day sitting in school. Everything needs to be tough and waterproof. Once again, tile is a great choice for the mudroom. Select waterproof paint, stainless steel surfaces, and rounded hardware that won’t collect dust.
  • Select colors that will hide dirt. Light colors make dirt stand out. Pick a tile with a pattern and color that won’t make you feel like you have to wash down the floor twice a day. Grout darkens with time anyway, so a darker grout gives you longevity and hides the dirt.

Plan for how you are going to use every square inch of your mudroom space. If you leave anything unused, it becomes prey for junk creep.

Not only will an organized mudroom keep everything in its place, it also gives you peace of mind. You’ll be able to find things when you need them, keep the kids stuff in one place instead of spread out all over the house, and the heavy weight of a messy room needing your attention will be gone.

Start this school year off right and in a way that you can keep up with all year long.

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