We all know that one of the important pieces of a smooth morning is having everything the whole family needs to get out the door quickly in one place – and that place is preferably near that door! But for many of us, that perfectly equipped mudroom is just a dream and reality is a small jumbled closet of coats, backpacks, single gloves and old hats.
Well, it doesn’t have to be that way! On an Ikea-sized budget, you can transform a side entrance space or garage landing into an efficient mini-mudroom that works for your family. Before you buy anything, figure out what items are necessary for daily use. This space is not a storage closet. When you’re done with the essentials, you can add extras if you have room.
In our family, this is what we needed:
- A hanging rod for adult jackets and coats
- Hooks for backpacks
- Hooks for kids’ jackets and coats
- Hooks for the black hats (that otherwise live on the dining room table)
- A place for everyone to keep their small items like gloves, keys, hats etc. so they can find them easily in the morning
- A place for purses
Our bonus items were:
- Less frequently used items like reflectors and rain ponchos
- Extra hats and gloves to replace wet or lost ones (or for guests)
- Bulky snow gear like gloves and neck gaiters
- A basket for items waiting to be returned
Now, I could’ve made this all color-coded, evenly spaced and perfectly lit to show you a “perfect closet”. But I chose to keep it real so you see how realistic it is to create a functional system in one afternoon. (Well, an Ikea trip is a whole afternoon, but other than that…) This is pretty much exactly what you’ll see on any afternoon you happen to come through my side door. And I love having a place to stash a hoodie and a cozy shabbos sweater on the main floor of my house because I’m always cold.
The hanging rod is the most complicated piece if you’re working with just walls. When doing some other construction on the space, we were able to bump out and enlarge our landing to fit the walls needed for the rod. If you need to work with a flat wall, you can consider a shelf/rod option like this one.
The rest is simple. These hooks are perfect for the kids’ stuff – each one can hold two items. We like to have two hooks per child – two jackets/coats on one, and a backpack and any other bag (gym bag, purse, dance gear) on the other. These hooks are the best for the hats, according to the men in my life.
Ikea was the source for the rest of the organization, of course. This Trofast cubby unit holds six little bins that are each perfect for one person’s small things. If you need more than six, there is another style that holds 9 bins. And make sure you label those bins! The top of the unit is the perfect shelf to hold a couple of purses.
We also added a small bin to hold hand warmers in easy reach.
On the upper shelf, out of the way, we have bins holding our bonus items.
And a larger rolling bin holds the bulkier snow gear.