When it comes to maximizing living space, I could write the book. I’ve lived in spaces from 850 to 1500 square feet, all with kids. In our current house, which we share with five boys, we don’t have a laundry room, a mud room, or even a foyer. That can get tricky when the muddy soccer cleats and wet jackets pile up by the front door. So when we put new floors in our family room last year, I took advantage of an opportunity to reorganize the space by our front door to create a makeshift mudroom.
Problem: Nowhere to store muddy cleats and wet jackets
Solution: Makeshift Mudroom
For all intents and purposes, the wall behind our front door wasn’t useful for much and had the potential to be wasted space. But, it is deep enough for a bench, coat hooks, and a set of shelves. It just happened that I had some wooden pantry shelving from Ikea, as well as a bench that my sister’s husband expertly made for us when we moved into this house. I reupholstered a bench cushion from another spot in our house and added ties to attach it to the bench. I took a shelf from the wall in another spot in my house that was a Goodwill find years ago. I had already painted it black, but this time I sanded it for a rustic look and then added some hooks to it for unique coat hooks to hang above the bench. Using some large wicker baskets that I purchased affordably at a discount store, I stash the boys’ fleeces, hats, gloves, etc as well as blankets on the repurposed pantry shelves.
Of course, you should assume that I staged these photos, that space would only actually look that neat in my left-brain sister’s house. As the “tangled” representative of Tidy Tangle, it’s very misleading for me to post pictures of my house looking this tidy.
Anyway, my makeshift mudroom doesn’t replace a real mudroom, but it certainly has helped. Lesson learned: never underestimate the potential for a blank wall to become useful storage space!
For other tips I’ve posted about organizing space for big families in small spaces, check out the Tips for the Big Family section of my blog posts.