As I have been talking with my Mom friends I have come to realize several things.
None of us get enough sleep.
None of us can corral all of the Legos in our home.
None of us can get TOO organized.
And I’ll wave my Type A flag high on this one. I NEED things to have a place. I cannot stand piles or junk of my floor. So I felt like Christmas and my Birthday all rolled into one the day we finally tackled our mudroom. You see, I live in Michigan and in the winter, my children’s stuff multiplies. And it has babies and multiplies some more. After three winters of tripping over shoes and backpacks, I finally had a place to put it all.
But wait, you say! I don’t have a mudroom. I barely have a front entry way. How does this help me? Just hang with me.
I’m going to give you some ideas of how you can create lockers (aka a “mini mudroom”) in a couple different places in your house in Part II.
But first…there really is a proper way to set up a locker. Over my thirteen years of being an interior designer I have designed a couple of dozen mudrooms/entryways and I have found the way that I think works really well (please send me photos if you have lockers you love designed a different way).
Here is a photo of my very own mudroom:
And now I need to stand on my soapbox for a second. I ADORE seeing all of those beautifully arranged lockers on Pinterest too. You know…the ones with perfectly hung coats and a Whole Foods bag full of flowers? And perfectly lined up Hunter boots on the ground.
I made the mega mistake in my last house of adding lockers with NO doors to our front entryway. I have to tell you, they drove me nuts. I found myself “organizing” my stuff…you know, the same stuff that I was supposed to have dumped in my organized locker. And when guests came over, I would “pretty” it up. Seriously.
The only way I design lockers now is with doors. It is a Must.
So I’m going to show you some Real Life looks into my own daughter’s locker, no styling, no dressing it up, this is really truly how my lockers are set up in my own mudroom.
And Now: 10 tips to setting up a perfect locker:
ONE: Add a door. This is a bonus if you have unexpected guests…just chuck everything inside your lockers! You would not even believe how messy it gets behind these doors, but no one is wiser. If you come visit…go ahead and open one up!
It looks neat and organized, right?
TWO. Leave the bottom part open to the floor. Wet or muddy shoes will eventually ruin your wood finish of your cabinets.
THREE: Add in a shoe basket. Those shoes are NEVER going to be lined up perfect-Pinterest style. So don’t drive yourself crazy. Add a basket and let the kids chuck them in there. I like sturdy woven ones (like mine) or metal. Stay away from fabric or canvas.
FOUR: Create a bench. This is the perfect place to sit to put on a pair of shoes. It also gives you loads more storage in a couple of ways (see below). The perfect height for a bench is 18″ off the floor.
FIVE: Put a small basket or bin on your bench. For my kids this bin corrals mittens and hats in the winter. It holds my son’s glasses case. It is a great way to corral those “little” things. My plastic ones are from Target, they are sturdy and easy to keep clean.
SIX: Keep a tote on your bench. For my kids this tote holds all of the snowgear they are supposed to schlep back and forth to school everyday. In my locker, my tote holds our library books. For the hubby, it is all of the misc things to bring to work the next day. You get the idea.
SEVEN: Add some power. I put an outlet in every locker. This serves as a phone or IPad charging dock. And at night when everyone puts their electronics away, this is where they go. I put them even in my little one’s lockers, even if they don’t have their own gear. It is easy to do all at once, but a pain to try to add later. I would suggest adding one no more than 6″ off the bench so you aren’t worrying about cords.
EIGHT: Hooks. I think three is the magic number. Hang them high enough to allow for their coat to hang. Choose hooks that are strong enough to hold a (FULL) backpack. Those bad boys can get heavy!
NINE: Add another shelf…up high. Make the most of that vertical space! This shelf sits above the hooks. I have ANOTHER bin that I keep off season gear in. Right now since it is winter, I have bug spray, sunscreen, etc. in here. In the summer, I put our winter mittens/hats in here. It is SO much easier that taking it all back and forth from the basement. Every kid’s stuff stays with them and it takes about 3 seconds to swap out. I used these cute galvanized bins because they hold a ton o’ stuff!
TEN: Choose oversized handles. These are BIG doors and they needed more than the typical 3″ cabinet drawer pull. Even at the big box stores, you can find these. Mine are from Home Depot and are 18″ long. They will cost more (mine were around $50/each), but it is totally worth it. Not only do they fit the scale of the tall door, but in the long run it will keep your doors looking nicer longer.
Whether you are building fancy pants lockers or rustic plywood ones, I hope these tips or getting the most out of every inch of your lockers helped you! Take advantage of every inch of vertical space, and think about what you will put inside your locker before building them! The last thing you want is to realize your locker is 1″ too shallow to fit your kid’s backpack!
P.S. If you have pets, think about adding a locker for them! Our Labradoodle Jasper has his own locker (the one closest to the door above!) and we put his food, leashes, medications, toys, etc. all inside.
Want to see how we converted an unheated breezeway into our mudroom complete with lockers, guest bench, and Command Center? Check out the oh-so-bad before and all of the pretty afters HERE
$80 Painted Floor Makeover
Or just want to know how I took our concrete floors and gave them a painted makeover for just $80? Yah baby! Find the complete tutorial HERE
Come back in a few days for Part II…you may not have full blown mudroom, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a mudroom! I’m going to show you how to create a mini mudroom out of a closet, a hallway, or your garage. No matter how much or how little space you have, you can create your own space!