It’s Summer, Get Organized Now and Have More Fun Later!

July 6, 2012

With the arrival of Summer comes a plethora of swim gear, sandals, and beach bags.  It’s the time of year when the kids are out of school and us moms are on the go 24-7.  There’s no time to stay organized with the pitter-patter of kids running through the house, so instead of straightening “the stuff” every evening, do it once and be done.

The most important part of the home that’s a-must to stay organized is the entry / mudroom.  No matter the size, using a few smart organizing solutions will create for a pleasant “hub” of the home to enter and exit.

1. Out with the Old

My motto is if you haven’t used it in a year, give, toss, donate, or sell.  When trying to clean out and get organized, it’s best to start by removing everything, even if you plan on keeping it.  Starting with a clean palette will allow you to see the space better and determine the best way to use it. No matter if you have one small entry closet or a large mudroom space, clearing out is the right way to a fresh start.

This idea by the Red Chair Blog is great.  Keep bins handy (maybe in the garage) so items can easily be donated, sold, tossed, or given away.

2. In with the New

Once you’ve determined what’s going and what’s staying, it’s time to get organized.  Introducing baskets and bins will help keep the various items in an entry / mudroom organized.  You can either layout your space where every member of the family has a specific basket, or you can have specific baskets/bins for specific items, or a combination of both.  Then add a fun and useful organizational label to help even more so the kids (and parents) know right where to go.  During the Summer months, having the sunblock, bugspray, and hats in one designated spot for easy reach, keeps the kids covered and the moms happy.

This smaller entry featured at Better Homes and Gardens is filled with shelving for shoes, hooks for coats, and baskets for storage.  There’s even a comfy spot to sit.  No matter your size entry, work with the size of your space to create a functional entry “hub”.

3. Hooks at Two Heights

One of my favorite ways to stay organized is to add hooks which are perfect for coats, bookbags, towels, and more.  Hooks can also be placed at various heights to accommodate everyone in the family – lower hooks are perfect for the kids while higher hooks are at the right height for adults.  Along with adding hooks behind my front door, I also add hooks behind the door in my kids bedrooms which are perfect for hats, bathrobes, and light jackets.

This 2′ wide wall is the area behind my front entry door.  Even though it’s small,  it is the perfect place for our everyday wares and I was able to fit 10 hooks, 5 at two different heights. If you want to see how I made this, you may want to check out my DIY: Built-in Wall Coat Rack.

4. Have a Seat

Seating is another must-have in an entryway and can easily and inexpensively be introduced to provide a place to sit, put on your shoes, or gather your goods as you enter and exit the home. From a small garden stool to a large upholstered bench, any type of seating as you enter and exit is functional and adds an inviting touch.  If you’re tight on space, look for a dual functioning seat which could offer a space to sit, but also storage underneath for shoes or a spot to tuck away a basket.

This mudroom entry featured on Houzz has a beautiful built-in which includes cubbies for baskets, space for shoes, and a long nice bench for multiple people to sit.

5. Create a Central Command Center

Designating a “spot” with a family calendar, bulletin board, and shelves for important papers, is helpful for everyone in the family to stay on schedule.  Even though Summer is all about fun, there are also lots of playdates, weekend BBQs, and sleepovers.  Instead of wondering who is where or forgetting afternoon soccer practice, a central place near the entry or kitchen can be quite helpful and reduce the stress.

Central Command Center by Candice Stringham

This central command center  by The Handmade Home will keep the whole family on schedule.

This is the central command center that I made for my family last year. To create it, I introduced two organizing boxes for my husband and I, a personalized dry-erase family calendar, and inspirational quotes that can easily be changed depending on the occasion or season.

Major organizing can be left for the winter months when it’s drear and cold, but with a few smart updates, your summer can be alot more fun and focused on the kids.


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