Archive | Organization

How to Create an Organized Garage Mudroom

The simplest answer to the title question of this post is to have a baby.  Specifically have a baby with a husband who can’t sit still for too long. Within the two weeks after having our new baby three major house projects got completed.  Whohoo!  I’m going to show you how we created more space and storage in our garage by making a garage mudroom.

The first thing that was done, thanks to my husband and Father-in-law, was putting up hanging storage shelves above the garage door.  These allowed us to get a lot of things off the floor and make room for a new mud room area.

Once things were a little more cleared out, work got started on the garage mudroom area.  I used a variety of inspiration pictures from Pinterest to create a seating area, shoe storage, and a place to quickly put coats. Another main reason for our garage mudroom, especially since we have one inside also, is to keep the winter nastiness outside.  I don’t want wet snow, dirty snow, or frozen snow in my house.

Garage mudroom ideas, garage organization ideas, garage mudroom diy, garage storage, garage storage ideas, garage mudroomWe used some adjustable shelves for shoe storage.  The best part is that we can move the shelves to fit whatever types of shoes we’re wearing for the season.Garage mudroom ideas, garage organization ideas, garage mudroom diy, garage storage, garage storage ideas, garage mudroomThe bench is completely custom with my husband and Father-in-law practically making a puzzle to fill in the awkward space next to the stairs.  It’s great to have a place to sit down to be able to put shoes and boots on and off.  The cubbies underneath give us a space to put those random things that collect in places like this.  I also plan to put a boot tray in the larger cubby to contain that winter nastiness I talked about before.  A cozy rug dresses up the space as well.

Garage mudroom ideas, garage organization ideas, garage mudroom diy, garage storage, garage storage ideas, garage mudroomI think my favorite part of the garage mudroom are the hooks.  I love how the black, chunky hooks pop off the white wall.  Surprisingly we found the hooks at Home Depot.  We were able to use some leftover wood and added the hooks onto them.  They are at the perfect height to throw your coat over as you’re going up the stairs into the house.

Garage mudroom ideas, garage organization ideas, garage mudroom diy, garage storage, garage storage ideas, garage mudroom

Garage mudroom ideas, garage organization ideas, garage mudroom diy, garage storage, garage storage ideas, garage mudroomThere are still a few things I may add to the garage mudroom to dress it up and make it cozier.  I’m thinking a pillow or two might make the bench even better.  Is it weird to have throw pillows in your garage?  I need to get that boot tray and figure out exactly what is going in the bins under the bench.  Labeling those bins will make it much more likely that they’ll be used appropriately.

This project also spurred the repainting of all the concrete skirting in the garage and the stairs into the house.  It looks so much cleaner and crisper now.  Plus, I won’t have to worry about the dark colored stairs looking dirty.  Now to figure out what color to paint the door.  I want something dark that will help to camouflage dirt, but black isn’t going to work with the stair color.  Maybe a fun color like a dark teal?

Garage mudroom ideas, garage organization ideas, garage mudroom diy, garage storage, garage storage ideas, garage mudroomI’m so grateful that the project got done and I’m anxious to see how we put it to use this winter.  Three cheers for my husband and Father-in-law working so hard to get it done while I was in baby-ville.  Stay tuned because the other project they completed will be in an updated room tour of our Master bedroom.  It’s a good one, so you don’t want to miss that.

 

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10 Tips to Quickly Unpack From a Trip

I recently returned from a road trip back home to attend my sister-in-laws super pretty backyard wedding.  Don’t worry you’ll get to see how cute it was soon.  When we returned from our 12 hour drive I had a strange amount of energy and got us unpacked so quickly.

After getting bags unpacked and put away so quickly I just had to share with you a few of the things I did to make it such a quick and smooth process.  I did a quick search and there are a lot of packing lists and checklists, but not many that will help you unpack quickly.  I’ll give you plenty of tips and tricks today, plus a free unpacking checklist to help you get it all done quickly.

How to unpack quickly from a trip, packing and unpacking tips, travel tips

1. Dump out all of your laundry right in your laundry room

No matter if you wore all of your clothes or not, washing everything that has been in your suitcase will give you a fresh, clean start.  Dumping it all out on the laundry room floor makes it easy to sort and start laundry right away.

2. Have a ready made meal for dinner

I highly recommend having a quick frozen meal ready to throw in a skillet or the oven once you return home.  You will definitely not feel like cooking after traveling.  Having something ready to go makes your life so much easier.  A great option is one of those one skillet Voila frozen meals.

3. Sniff Sniff

If you have gone on a road trip you most definitely will need to air out your car and make it smell nice again.  A simple way to do that is to place a cotton ball with a few drops of essential oil on it in your car for a day or two.  It will smell so nice afterwards.

4. Put your suitcases away right away

There’s nothing worse than feeling like it takes forever to unpack because your suitcases are left out.  If you get them put away right away the trip is visually over and you’re ready to get back into your routine.

5. Clean your house before you leave

Picking up big messes, making beds, and cleaning out the refrigerator before leaving for your trip will make unpacking so much easier.  Plus, coming home to a clean house is so much nicer than walking into a mess.

6. Keep separate bags

Keep toiletries and chargers constantly packed in a separate bag.  All you’ll have to do to unpack is take the bag out and put it away. No need to put everything inside of it away.  This means you’ll have a travel toothbrush, toothpaste, phone charger, etc. but they’ll all be grouped together and packing and unpacking will be a breeze.  All you will have to do is throw a toiletry bag in your suitcase and not have to fish out everything you need from your medicine cabinet.

7. Take care of the car

If you are taking a road trip, schedule an oil change or car detailing within a few days after your arrival.  Set this up before you leave to help you get back into your routine.  This will also take care of any car issues that may have come up on your trip.

8. Set a Timer

For procrastinators it may help to set a timer once start unpacking.  Have a time limit will help you get motivated to get everything out and put away.  Give yourself a prize if you need to for finishing unpacking before the timer goes off.

9. Don’t repeat

When unpacking, be sure to put like items together.  One way I do this is to put everything that needs to go back upstairs on the bottom step. This way I’m not running up and down the stairs a bunch of times, but can take everything at once.  If you use a central location to unpack, like your laundry room, you can even just make piles of items by which room they need to go back to.

10. Enlist Help

You probably didn’t go on a trip alone, so you shouldn’t be the only one doing all of the unpacking.  Get your husband, kids, or hey call a neighbor if you need to to help you.  Having someone sorting laundry while someone else is cooking dinner will make the unpacking go much faster.

Now that you’ve gotten some great tips, feel free to click on the image below to print out a quick cheat sheet to help you unpack.  I highly recommend just posting this in your laundry room or central unpacking area as a reminder.

How to unpack quickly from a trip, packing and unpacking tips, travel tips

Do you have any other unpacking tips?  If so be sure to leave a comment so I can reply.  I hope you get to go on a great adventure this summer! I’m sure it will be a breeze to unpack with these tips when you return home.

 

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How to DIY Coat Closet Shelves and Decrease Clutter

Happy Thursday friends!  We’re over halfway done with this week!  I’m super excited for a fun party I’m hosting this weekend.  You’ll get to see all about it in a few weeks!  Today, though we’re talking about the coat closet.  It may not sound that exciting, but it is, at least for my husband.

Recently he’s been getting super frustrated with all of the shoes that were piling up in our mudroom.  I’m grateful that we have a little place right off of the garage to take our coats and shoes off. However, with winter weather and the myriad of footwear, it was getting a little out of control.  Here’s the before of our coat closet.  Nothing special, just a rod of hanging coats and one shelf.  This left the bottom of the closet as fair game to throw anything and everything in there.

Click here for an easy DIY to create coat closet shelves and get rid of the mountain of shoes.Click here for an easy DIY to create coat closet shelves and get rid of the mountain of shoes.I mean there were shoes, bags, vacuum cleaner parts at one point, hats, Christmas gifts received and to be given.  Crazy!

So with Pinterest to the rescue, and my annoyance of hearing my husband say repeatedly that he hated all the shoes in the mudroom, we came up with a pretty easy solution.  Here’s how we DIYed some easy shelves that solved all of our problems.  We had this super organized coat closet as our inspiration.

First, we cleared everything out and did some measuring.  Using our most used shoes we got measurements of how far apart the shelves needed to be and figured out how many shelves we could squeeze into the bottom of the closet.

We decided to add two shelves in the bottom of the closet and an extra shelf above the existing shelf at the top of the closet.  Our house has pretty high ceilings so I wanted to make use of the vertical space at the top of the closet.

Click here for an easy DIY to create coat closet shelves and get rid of the mountain of shoes.Click here for an easy DIY to create coat closet shelves and get rid of the mountain of shoes.List of Materials for One Shelf

  • 2- 1″x8″ boards to create the horizontal shelf
  • 3- 1″x4″ boards to create the bracket under the shelf.  One longer bracket in the back of the closet and two shorter brackets on either side of the shelf.
  • A handful of screws to attach brackets to the walls
  • Leftover paint
  • Possibly caulking if there are any gaps that need to be filled

Instructions to Create Coat Closet Shelves

  • Clear everything out of your closet
  • Measure where you want your shelves to go
  • Create a board list using the materials above and what the measurement of each board will be
  • Begin by screwing in the long bracket of your first shelf on the back wall of your closet
  • Then add the side brackets by screwing into the side wall of the closet
  • Paint/caulk the brackets
  • While paint is drying, cut your shelves using the 1″x8″ boards listed above in the materials.  You’ll need two boards per shelf depending on how deep you want your shelves to be.  We needed two boards to accommodate the depth of our closet and shoes.
  • Paint shelves
  • When all paint is dry, lay your shelves on top of the brackets
  • If there are any gaps add a bit of caulking, or screw shelves into the brackets from the top of the shelf.  We didn’t do this, but you can for extra stability
  • Repeat the process for all the shelves you’re adding
Click here for an easy DIY to create coat closet shelves and get rid of the mountain of shoes.

Bottom Shelf Brackets

Click here for an easy DIY to create coat closet shelves and get rid of the mountain of shoes.

Progress shot of brackets

Click here for an easy DIY to create coat closet shelves and get rid of the mountain of shoes.

Brackets for the shelf at the top of the closet

Overall, I think we achieved a similar look to the inspiration photo.  The process was pretty easy too.  It can totally be completed in a weekend and we were able to add these shelves (plus three more to my daughter’s closet) for under $100.  Totally worth it to get more organized.

Click here for an easy DIY to create coat closet shelves and get rid of the mountain of shoes.Click here for an easy DIY to create coat closet shelves and get rid of the mountain of shoes.Click here for an easy DIY to create coat closet shelves and get rid of the mountain of shoes.Now that there is so much more room in this coat closet, it’s going to be working triple duty for us.  Holding coats, bags, shoes, and even storing hats, gloves, scarves, we’ve eliminated the mountain of shoes in our mudroom.  I do plan to add hooks to the inside of the door for purses and bags to free up shelf space.

Having these shelves has also helped to teach my daughter where to go to get ready to leave, and to put her shoes back when we get home.  An unexpected bonus of a little more organization and having a spot for everything.

If you have a coat closet that is being under utilized or not serving you well, I highly encourage you to add a few shelves.  It will give you so many options to organize all of your things and probably end up creating more space.  Let me know if you were inspired or plan to give this method a try.

 

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Celebrating everyday!