The stuff, or crap as we call it in our house that I’m talking about is the backpacks, the shoes, the jackets.  Where do you store yours?

I find these pieces all over my downstairs at any given time after school.  We literally have a “shoe pile,” in our front hall that I try and keep under control with some small shelves but it never really stays all that organized.  The backpacks don’t really have a spot – if they are doing homework they are by the table next to them but otherwise they sit in the kitchen on the floor in a corner for lack of anywhere better to go.

My mission for February:  creating a mud room/organization area for all of these items.  The challenge is space.  We don’t have a huge house and our downstairs is definitely cramped.  But we have a laundry room.  I blogged about it in 2012 when I did an overhaul of our arts and crafts (which I also store in there) and got a little more organized with those items.

Hubby thinks we can convert some of the space in our laundry room to house some sort of shelving and organization system for all of this stuff.  Our immediate problem is that we have small tables where we feed the cats and store their food.  Here is our current laundry room:


Later today I have a rep visiting from Closets by Design and I hope they will have some good ideas about some built-ins to figure out a way to house my kids shoes and backpacks on top of the cats items.  Hubby thinks if we do away with those tables that we can come up with some sort of cool shelving or storage against the wall that will help.

I’ve been looking at some of these items like this Southport Hall Bench – bench organization like you see in many entryways and we’ll see what they come up with.

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So what do you do with all of that stuff from your kids?  Have you used Closets by Design or another organization company?  My ears are wide open for any ideas you guys have for quelling the school and kid mess!




  1. Hi, Whitney.

    Love your blog–I’ve been following it for years and have gleaned great ideas from it!

    I’m a Professional Organizer and your blog post really resonated with me because I had the same problem–small house, two kids, lots of STUFF. My kids and I enter and exit our home through the garage and needed a place to store coats, backpack, sneakers, etc. My husband and I came up with a similar solution to what you’re thinking about. I blogged about it here:

    Something I tell all my family clients is that, ‘A family is always in transition.’ What works in your home today might not work five years from now. If you build something, make sure it is adjustable–your kids are going to get bigger and so will their coats, shoes and sporting goods!

    Have fun getting organized!

    Best, Stacey

    Stacey Agin Murray
    Organized Artistry, LLC

  2. Love the Southport Hall Bench(like the name too!). The beadboard style always so nice. Not sure it will store as much in your mudroom as a shelving system by a closet company would ?

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