Brace yourselves, it’s coming: back-to-school and the inevitable load of back-to-school gear that blocks your door and overwhelms your entryway. Ironically, the room that takes the biggest beating is your mudroom or entryway—the room where all the books, backpacks, shoes…and boots end up. Here’s how to get all that “stuff” organized for a great school year, even if your mudroom or entryway isn’t the biggest space.
Have a place for everything, and everything in its place.
Hooks for back packs. Cubbies for athletic gear. A place for all your shoes and—eventually—winter boots. Design your mudroom for all the gear you need and might need from the ground up. Start designing with a durable floor that looks great and can take all the grime that gets tracked in, such as a tile or vinyl (other beautiful and functional ideas for your mudroom flooring here). Sketch out your organization to make sure you are using every inch efficiently, such as corners and vertical spaces (after all, you need to maximize every inch of storage). From there, plan shelves, baskets, hooks, and cubbies that are functional and beautiful (ideas for creative and attractive mudroom storage here).
Be prepared for bad weather—with rugs.
While the weather on the first day of school may be beautiful, the cold and wet fall and winter weather is inevitable in the Midwest so you might as well be ready for it. Use practical flooring (this doesn’t mean dull) and rugs in your mudroom to keep all the mud, ice, and snow out of your home and off your floors. This small step saves you valuable cleaning time and keeps ALL your floors looking great.
Create a command center.
Get a firm grasp on your athletic practices, school play rehearsals, games, and all the schedules that comes with school by making your mudroom your command center. Use chalkboard paint, a whiteboard, magnets, and containers so you can post and manage your calendar, newsletters, and notes—and so your family members always know where everyone is and where they need to be.
Clear the clutter.
If you can’t even get through your mudroom or entry way, clear it now—BEFORE all the backpacks, shoes, and back-to-school gear clog it up. Purge the excess gear (possibly from last school year?), clean the floors, and wipe down all surfaces to prepare for all the “stuff” (and grime) that comes with back-to-school. If you’re not sure how to clean your floors (such as wood floors), don’t guess; you can damage your floors more or void your warranty if you don’t ask the experts.
Ready your kids (and yourself).
Start transitioning your family to your school routine now so your kids are ready by the start of school. Do the same for your mudroom; do as much of the work designing and prepping for the school year now before the backpacks move in. When the first day of school comes, you, your kids, and your entryway is going to be glad you did—especially when the real fall and winter gear starts to come out.