Here is what we started off with. The room is long, narrow & is the only access to the garage from the house (read: major thoroughfare). The bookshelves are from Ikea and in theory seem like a great idea but they had three major problems:
- They were too shallow to hold laundry baskets. So instead they collected clutter.
- Their footprint was too deep for the room, making the already tight space even more confining.
- They occupied the entire wall leaving no place for the kids to hang their coats (they can't hang coats up themselves in the closet).
|I had just emptied one of the three bookshelves when I took this shot.|
|Door to garage is straight ahead and to the left is a closet.|
|View from the kitchen|
So one night I set to work emptying shelves & organizing the ungodly amount of junk we had amassed. Hubby & I then theorized several different layouts & settled upon this:
We relocated the two larger bookcases to the garage. The emptied area now houses wall pegs for coats & backpacks along with a cubby bench. The bench is actually the narrow Ikea bookshelf (from the before) turned on its side.
|The kiddos can now hang up their bags & coats. The hope is this eliminates said items from|
being thrown on the floor and causing serious injury to either Hubby or myself.
|The center bookshelf has been turned into a bench w/cubbies for shoes.|
Each child has his/her own wall cubby while Hubby & I each have a set of three. The bins house shoes, hats, gloves, scarves, & purses. I love the clean & concealed look, rather than the open storage of the prior bookshelves. No matter how hard I tried, they just always looked messy & unorganized. How this room looks is important to me because it is visible from our kitchen dining area.
The wall cubbies came in black & I simply used chalk to write each family member's initial on his/her cubby. In the future we can use them as memo boards reminders/ notes or to decorate for holidays/special occasions.
|The fresh chalk was too much of a temptation for the kiddos.|
|I've had these bulletin boards sitting on the bookshelves unopened for months meaning to use them for the kids' artwork. They LOVE having their masterpieces displayed & I love how it helps corral the clutter.|
|You can see where we added another set of 3 wall cubbies at the "laundry" end of the room. The oak peg racks were hanging in the house when we moved in.|
The minor changes have made such a major improvement to the flow and function of the room. In fact, the pictures above were not even staged. It appears that there is a place for everything & near everything is in its place pretty much 100% of the time. To be honest, if 80% of it is in its place 80% of the time I would declare this a roaring success.
We are going to continue to live with this set up for a few more weeks (we've been in the house over 2.5 yrs and have yet to find a set up that "works"long term). Having to wait kills me as I am all about instant gratification. Yes, the organization in someways is gratifying, but I want to see all the pretty pieces come together.
So in an effort to pass the time, I am making a laundry list (no pun intended) of to-dos for the room including:
- Swapping out the horrific light fixture (thinking either a chandelier or pendant fixture)
- Paint for the walls, cabinets & shelving (maybe large horizontal stripes)
- Art work
- Bench cushion
- Chore chart
- Growth Chart
I'll be sure to keep you all posted.