It’s a bit cliche… a new year means a new start. In my case, a new year means trying to find room for all the stuff the accumulated during Christmas. It also means re-evaluating current organization (or lack of) and trying to make it better. What was the first thing to get my attention (besides the explosion of toys in the playroom)? My mud/laundry room. I have lived with this space for 3 years since moving in our house. There was something about it that just never set well with me and on Christmas, my mom figured out how to rearrange it. Unfortunately, her plan included tearing out the window & cabinets and completely redesigning the space. I was all for it… if she wanted to pay for it. So, how to fix the eyesore became consuming until I hatched a plan… it was going to be a DIY mudroom. Before I go further, I must give props to my friend who happened to write about DIY and her hatred for it… it is so true and my sentiments exactly. Her thoughts can be seen in her blog.
The mud/laundry room has 2 main problems: (1) It’s small considering it’s multiple functions… 6.5 x 10. Take away walkway between the house and garage and it becomes 6.5 x 7. In that space, it contains coats/etc, existing cabinets, a deep freezer, and a washer/dryer. (2) It is a dumping ground. Laundry, coats, shoes, hats, gloves, school & sport bags, recycling that needs to go to the garage, etc. If you can think of it, it’s probably landed in this room for at least 5 minutes.
Here is what prompted my action (in my defense… I decided to clean out the cabinets too, so the deep freezer had more piled on than normal).
After much thought, measuring, pinterest searching, and planning, I decided to go with the Billy bookcases from IKEA. This is where my hubby would tell you that I executed the purchase of said bookcases without getting the plan approved. As much as I hate to admit it, he’s really good at space planning and out of the box ideas. So, he would have seen some small flaws with my initial plan. Whatever… I bought the supplies and dove head first into the project. After having all the bookcases built and put into what I considered to be their space, hubby wandered through and hated the layout. I had 3 bookcases in an “L” format near the washer/dryer and 1 next to the deep freezer… my biggest issue was keeping both light switches open to be used from either door, and I didn’t love this arrangement but it would solve my clutter issue. Mr. “I’m not going to help with this plan” casually recommended moving 1 cabinet from the “L” to the side with the single cabinet and getting a remote for the switch by the garage door (since it would be blocked after the move). Brilliant!! But, that would cost me another $80 for my little budget project. Then, I realized a motion detecting switch (which we already laying in the basement) would solve my problem. With a little convincing, Mr. “I’m not going to help with this plan” installed the new switch… woo hoo!
I customized each cabinet with hooks & shelves at the appropriate heights for each member of the family. Now it was coming together… I picked up coat hooks and different cabinet pulls from Target that would match our oil-rubbed bronze fixtures already throughout the house. Note: The screws packaged with the new hardware were too long for the IKEA furniture… of course. So after a quick run to the hardware store, I was back on track.
Finally, everything was adjusted and installed. The doors were on (I wanted to completely hide the winter clutter… not just compartmentalize it), and everything had it’s place. The kids were excited to have their own lockers and promised they would use them as intended… we’ll see how that works out after a couple weeks… 😉
And it’s finished!! For reference, I purchased (4) Billy bookcases & (4) Billy doors from IKEA, (4) cabinet pulls & (8) double hooks from Target, and some random screws out of necessity from ACE Hardware. I re-purposed some baskets for hats, gloves, etc. Now I’m onto the next project… 🙂