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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Organizing Your Entryway or Mudroom

Happy Thursday! Time for more organizing....
If you are just joining us, we have been getting organized using Jennifer Ford Berry's Organize Now book.

It has some great info and tips on organizing various parts of our life and home. You can see past posts here:

Week 1 about Organizing Your Mind and Life Vision HERE,
Week 2 about Organizing Your Priorities HERE,
Week 3 about Organizing Your Schedule HERE
Week 4 about Organizing Your Cleaning Schedule HERE.
Week 5 about Organizing Your Personal Information HERE. 
Week 6 about Organizing Your Finances HERE. 
      Week 7 about Organizing Your Bill-paying System HERE.
        Week 8 about Organizing Your Receipts and Taxes HERE
Week 9 about Organizing Your Files HERE
                               Week 10 about Organizing your Magazines and Newspapers HERE.
                                               Week 11 about Organizing Your Email HERE
                                                Week 12 about Organizing Your Mail HERE
                                         Week 13 about Organizing Your Child's Toys HERE.
Week 14 about Organizing Your Crafts HERE.
Week 15 about Organizing Your Photographs HERE.
Week 16 about Organizing Your Purse or Wallet HERE. 
 Week 17 about Organizing Your Vehicle HERE.
                                                  Week 18 about Organizing Your Pet HERE.
Week 19 about Organizing Your Books, CDs and DVDs HERE.

We have made it to a new section of the book: Organizing Your High-Traffic Areas! I have been excited and also nervous about this section for awhile. I really want to get some of these areas more organized in my home. 

This week we are organizing our entryway or mudroom. This isn't the formal entryway that always seems to stay clutter-free. This is the main entryway to your house. For me, it is the entrance off of the garage. For you, maybe it is a mudroom. It is a high-traffic area, and one that always seems to get cluttered with shoes, jackets, backpacks, hats etc. And it is also an area that needs more regular cleaning attention. This is what most people see when they visit.

Here are some before pictures of my entryway!

My husband hung these hooks last year, which have really helped a lot! And I love how they look. Although you can't see them when they are covered in coats! I like having two rows so we have more room and also so the kids can reach their hooks.

 After you enter from the garage, you are right in the kitchen. This is the first thing we see. It is so easy to clutter up the chairs and the island. Does this happen to you too?

I think that having a place to put your keys is crucial to staying organized. I still have a way of losing mine from time to time though. lol. But having a hook by the door saves me time on most days. We got this in California. I think it may be due for replacing as it has been knocked off of the wall more then once. :)

And here are some after pictures.

I cleared out all of the winter coats, hats, etc that we don't need right now, and put them into an upstairs closet. And now you can actually see some of the hooks that I love so much:)

I also cleared out a lot of the shoes and put them into a bin in our downstairs closet. Boots went to upstairs closets.

Here is the after picture of what you now see (on most days - lol) of our kitchen entryway. Much better, isn't it? We are just trying to get into better habits of putting things in their place right away. A work in progress!

 Jennifer also talks about organizing the closet that is near your entryway. This one always tends to clutter up too, doesn't it? We only have one closet in our downstairs area, and no basement, so it tends to fill up fast! Here are some before pics.

You can see that we had WAY too much stuff in there. It is supposed to be a walk-in closet! lol My music therapy stuff is right in front, which makes it easy for me to access on days that I work, but harder to access the rest of the closet every on other days.

My husband put these bins together last year after reading the Organize Now book for the first time. We have some CDs that I use in my Music & Me classes in one, and hats, mittens, scarves, etc in the others. At least there was a little order in the closet! lol

We also hung these hooks last year.

And here are a few after pictures of the closet. I took everything out and put many things that we were not using like winter coats, snow pants, boots, etc. into the upstairs closets and storage bins. I also put a ton of things into our ongoing garage sale pile that we will either sell or donate. Feels great to purge!

 The hooks are great for my grocery bags, purse and umbrella.

That may have seemed like a lot, but it really did not take me more then an afternoon to do. And it was fun! Getting organized is freeing! And addicting. Once you get going, you get on a roll and wonder, what's next? So trust me, if I can do it, then I know you can too!!
This Week's Goals:

 1. Sort out everything that does not belong in your entryway or closet. Group it by family member and put away. (or have them do it if they are old enough to)

2. Wash rugs or replace them. I washed ours and was amazed at what a difference it made. This rug gets so dirty so fast.  Here is a before picture. 

Here it is after I washed it! What a difference! It looks brand new again!

I used some of my favorite earth-friendly cleaners to make it look like new. First I sprayed the stains with my Basic H2 organic spray (16 oz of water to 1.5 tsp of Basic H2)

Then I washed it on a regular cycle with the Fresh Laundry Liquid Concentrate along with a scoop of Nature Bright (awesome and safe alternative to bleach). What do you think?

I also used the Basic H2 spray (this time 16 oz of water to 1/4 tsp. of Basic H2) to clean the bottom of the doorway. Boy, does that ever get dirty fast!! Ick! You can see the difference it made in the after picture.

3. Jennifer suggests keeping a wicker basket by the door for shoes. We don't have the space for that, which is why we keep ours in a clear storage bin in the closet. I know some people who use a nice wooden box or bench, which could also serve the purpose as a place to sit to put on shoes.

4. Put non-clothing items in the closet. Take everything that does not belong in the closet or that you are not using and store it in the appropriate place. Or get rid of it!

5. Put hooks or cubbies in for each family member's coats, backpacks, hats etc. Teach them to use this space to hang things up. You can label the area with each person's name if you choose to.

6. Keep a bin in your closet, if you have space, for things to donate or sell. Add to it regularly and periodically donate or sell the items in it. Coming from a reformed packrat  - This Feels Great!!!


Jennifer says that corners are the most underused areas of rooms. If you have a corner of your mudroom that is not being used, find a creative way to use it!

Well, there you have it! Another week of organizing done. If you have felt like you are not keeping up with the posts, today is a great time to get back on board with our new section. Feel free to comment on how it's been going - good or not so good. I am sure other readers would appreciate it and could benefit from it. And we can all support each other's efforts.

Next week we will work on the living or family room.

And remember that there is still time (through May 31, 2012) to take advantage of Shakee's Free Membership with ANY order promotion!! (19.95 value) Shaklee's earth-friendly cleaning products and natural supplements are wonderful. You can read my Shaklee story and why I love the products so much HERE and you can learn more about the free membership promo HERE. 
 Members save at least 15% always with no annual fees or minimum purchases! So great!!

Thanks for reading! Have a great day!!


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