Progress in the Entry Dilemma

Hello everyone, how is your week going?  Our week has been a really weird one, my days are all mixed up. Liam was home on Monday recuperating from a tummy bug.  On Tuesday he had not one but two Christmas concerts, and it was so wonderful to watch him perform in his first concerts.  The children did such a lovely job, it was so sweet to see all the kindergarten and grade one children dressed up like little bears.  Yesterday was the only some what normal day this week, and today I have Liam home with me again.  Whatever caused his upset tummy on the weekend seems to have worked its way lower, so I opted to keep him home, just in case.  And tomorrow we have Liam’s field trip.  He going skating for the first time, and I can’t miss that one!  Yes, all in all, it’s been a busy, crazy week.

Despite the craziness and the full schedule, or perhaps because of it, I’ve been noticing little areas around the house that need some serious attention.  Not being one to shy away from a challenge, I decided to tackle the worst one yesterday.  Our old house had a whole room for an entry/mudroom.  In our new home we’re not so lucky.  Our entryway by the front door is a good size.  The coat closet in the entry is a good size.  You would think good sizes would make it easy to organize a landing zone for all of our outdoor needs.  Not so much.  You see, while the size is great, the flooring is not.  The front hall is done in laminate flooring, and we all know that laminate does not like to have moisture sit on it.  This has proved to be quite a challenge, especially since we live in a very rainy environment.

Thankfully, there is an alternative that doesn’t involve me having to mop up the floor every time we come in.  We can come in through the garage, into the laundry room (which had lino floors!).  I didn’t give a whole lot of thought to how I set it up when we first moved in, I was more or less just looking to get it set up.  No good systems in place mean things get messy pretty quick.  Here’s what it looked like yesterday before I got my hands on it.

It wasn’t an easy room to photograph.  This shot was taken standing in the door from the hallway.  As you can see it was getting pretty messy.

This one was taken a little further into the room.  The umbrella was hung there on purpose, so it could dry.  Just one of the many reasons why this room makes sense to use as the family entry.  (and yeah, the rental came with a top loading washing machine 🙁  )

And this is looking into the room from the door to the garage.  Not a pretty sight at all!  But I have plans… oh do I have plans. I really only have two walls to work with in here, when it comes to using vertical space.

Because opposite the washer and dryer is this closet.  Which would be an incredible blessing if it wasn’t already full.  Behind those doors are our furnace and hot water tank.  As those are kind of important things, I won’t complain too much.

First step was to clear out the room.

If I could have, I would have left it empty!  It looked all pretty and open.

Next step was a good cleaning.  With the room as empty as I could make it, I took advantage and gave everything I could reach a good scrubbing.  Then I worked on my plans.

 I pulled out my handy dandy room organizer and started making plans.  It’s always good to have a plan when you tackle a space.  In this case, my plan will need to be implemented over time, but that’s ok, we have a direction for this space.

Next up I started to put things back in. I had a few things I wanted to include in the space, like something to make use of the back of the door to the hall.

I wanted to find a way to include storage space for winter gear like mittens, hats and scarves, and I wanted to make space to store my mop and broom in here, since there really isn’t a good place to keep them in the kitchen.

Here’s what I started with.

In theory I thought this would work.  In practice, it doesn’t.  I didn’t want to put the taller shelf back beside the dryer because I wanted to be able to put the broom and mop in that corner.  Having the shelf here severily impeded access to that corner.  And from the hall it looked awful!

See what I mean?  Since my long term plan calls for installing four wall shelves, I decided to ditch the wire cubes and get a little more creative in short term solutions, and have patience while waiting for the long terms ones to be implemented.

Since all my laundry supplies were in a small tub, I simply set them on top of the dryer.  This effectively killed  two birds with one stone.  I was able to remove the ugly shelf, and since there is something already on the dryer, I’ll think twice before putting other items on it.  No more drop zone (I hope)  The mop and broom are super easy to access now.

And the view from the garage door is better too.  I laid down a couple throw rugs, that I will eventually replace with a proper runner, but for now they are doing the trick nicely.

And the back of the door?  Ah, this is the part that, for me, brings it all together to function as our entry way.

(sorry for the crappy photo, it was the only one I got of the back of the door, and my batteries died before I could take another one)  A simple over the door hanger and there’s a place for our coats and some of the winter gear.

To make it workable for Liam I simply added some 3M hanging strips to the back of his wall hook plaque and attached it to the door at a good height for him.  Now he has a place for his backpack and coat.

All in all, I’m happy with how it turned out.  My plans for the future will make it even more organized and multifuntional.  They include:

  • hanging four shelves on the window wall.  2 per side
  • towel hook for by the sink
  • small shelf for beside the dryer
  • wall hanger for the broom and mop
  • cubbies for shoes and baskets for hats and mittens
  • drying rack or line of some sort
Pretty basic I know, but in making my plans I’m trying to be mindful of the fact that we are renters.  Our landlord doesn’t mind if we put up shelves, as long as we patch the holes and repaint if/when we move.  But still, I don’t want to be putting holes willy nilly into the walls.  
So, what didn’t go back into the room?  My cleaning supplies and rags.  They are going to find a new home…. somewhere… not sure where yet.  Yes, that is a HORRIBLE organizing plan I know, but I’m toying with a few ideas.  For the moment they are stashed under the kitchen sink.  Which is another area that has really been bugging me lately, so maybe that will be the next zone I tackle.
Do you find that life’s busy times highlight organizational problems in your home?  Do you ever add more to your already full to do list because you just can’t stand to let one more day go by before getting to a project?  Would you rather tackle a project in stages, or wait until you have everything and do it all at once?

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