backpack etc storage

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Joined: 05/23/12
Posts: 680
backpack etc storage

Hi everyone! I hope you'are all doing well and enjoying the big ones and little ones Smile

I am in an organizing predicament: the house we are renting doesn't have a decent mudroom or entry way from the garage to the kitchen where we always come through after school. So what we have to do is use the main entrance close since it's kind of big. I am not happy about this but this is the best we can do otherwise we'll never get our storage under control.

I bought one of these for the kids:

I thought it's perfect, there are 5 sections, one for each kid. My husband and I can hang our coats up on the rail in the closet. But unfortunately when it arrived it was damaged. It will fit in nicely in the closet and looks great, but I'm doubled minded if I just want a replacement or if I should try something else. The something else would be me going to Lowes or Home Depot and buying a wood panel already sanded and use ready then buying a bunch of hooks and nailing everything on the wall at about my 3 y/o's best reach height. It'd probably A LOT cheaper. But it wouldn't have the cute look and have each section.

So then I thought to ask you all what do you do with all of your kids stuff, backpacks, shoes, sweaters/jackets, hats etc. It's finally hit us that we need to streamline a few things like where we keep our stuff Smile

Any pics would be sooooo appreciated.

-Asha-'s picture
Joined: 02/08/12
Posts: 173

That is just TOO funny, b/c we are about to create a mudroom as well and I have been "google imaging" mudrooms for weeks!
Your unit looks really neat, something I would love to get, but I am not sure if it's too expensive. How much does it cost?
Do you have a link to the website?

I want to kind of do it for as inexpensive as possible. I was thinking of attaching metal hooks to a piece of wood, and building a bench under which we would store shoes. I would much refer a ready made unit though.
For gloves and such I just use the plastic stack-able bins. I write each childs' name on each drawer and that's it. Not very pretty, but useful. We are going to build the mudroom in the garage on the wall that leads to the house.

here is what we are thinking about. Except, there would be one shelf above and maybe milk crates for shoes for each kid? IDK...

Joined: 05/23/12
Posts: 680

I like that setup. I dont think it would work in the closet w/o modifying which might work

The one I bought was from school outfitters and was $199 plus ship making it 236

It comes precut in pieces so you have to assemble. I am disappointed in the damaged, and I think the factory was aware of some cracks in the wood because there was sticky wood glue on two pieces. For these reasons I am not sure if I should get a replacement or scratch the idea. You might be more understanding or patient. Just make sure you note the height which was perfect for our LOs for a long time.

I checked on home depot and hooks are expensive at all and putting a shelf up above seems ok for small baskets.

I saw a gorgeous mudroom from a housing developer here. I will see if i can find the pic. If I had my own house i wpuld make something like that.

Joined: 05/23/12
Posts: 680

et to fix the pic:

I like the cabinets in this mudroom, in how plentiful they are. I like that there is a large room you walk in to before going into the main house from the garage. Ahhh but for now, I'm pretty much limited to organizing THIS: ROFL!! It is larger than it looks and wraps around toward the right.

So I'm thinking to just put the hooks and some other concoctions until I have the dream house haha. I might run to the hardware store today and see what I can come up before I tell them not to replace the unit, though I love it otherwise Sad and would SO organized for our needs. My oldest is only 6 so.. it'd have YEARS of use.

Joined: 05/23/12
Posts: 680

Asha, I was just thinking that the pic I posted (the first one of my dream one lol) might work for you since you're already enclosing a space from the garage for the mudroom. You can just do it all in one go and build the benches etc. You may have to modify the hooks. The cabinets above are great for storing the winter stuff out of season. The shoe situation underneath is good, and you can one entire wall filled with storage cabbies or open shelves. For the baby stroller, depending on which one you might be using, it might can go on a sturdy straight hook.

I found this collage on youtube!! lovely!

-Asha-'s picture
Joined: 02/08/12
Posts: 173

Thanks for posting these!!!
I love the cabinets on top and double shelf for shoes. That video is like candy to my eyes... I hope we get started on the project soon. Winter is coming Sad

gardenbug's picture
Joined: 03/12/07
Posts: 2025

We are only 2 people at this stage of our lives, but have both farm clothes and city clothes (for work and town). When we moved in we gained a FABULOUS room for laundry, plants and storage. Next to the back door is a bench in which we stores shoes and boots. Above the bench we installed a board with hooks. There is an island in this room on which to fold laundry and more.

BUT! I just want to add that training DH and guests to use the area well is very difficult. There is no way that the storage for foot gear is sufficient. We have loads of boots, skates, running shoes, winter boots, gardening shoes etc in the closets. We have tons of jackets and coats for every type of weather in every season. We have containers for mittens and hats. One or two hooks simply doesn't work for us. So even though this is absolutely the perfect room, (It was used by a family with 6 kids before us) there is much more to it than just hooks and shoe storage. Everyone must be on board to help keep things organized. Perhaps the organizing of the area could be added to the weekly list of the family chores. If you rotate chores, then each person would gradually learn how to best use the area.

One thing that I found useful when the kids were small was a mitten drying rack. I think we got it from Sears. They could always find their mittens, they were in pairs and they were dry!

I'll try to add a photo later on, but it won't be tidy. We have loads of house guests now and the dog leash etc is there as well. Wink

gardenbug's picture
Joined: 03/12/07
Posts: 2025
Photos

PS: Here's the boot bench area. This is our solution to hanging dry clothes. There was absolutely no wall space or floor space to add anything, so we put in a large dowel across the windows between the cupboards. It is SO useful!

-Asha-'s picture
Joined: 02/08/12
Posts: 173

Thanks Gardenbug for the pictures! I love how light and airy the room is! The bench that stores shoes- it is nice and hides stuff, but not very practical with a bunch of kids, as they would forever be looking for their matching sneaker... So I would like a shelf under the bench.
I think the huge clothes closet is a great feature too!

gardenbug's picture
Joined: 03/12/07
Posts: 2025

Absolutely Asha. Space is never enough! Snowsuits take up an enormous amount of space and don't necessarily dry overnight. Shoes and boots in the boot box don't work either. Looks like a good idea at first, but it just doesn't work...even for 2 people! We end up putting a soccer ball, a croquet set, skip ropes, etc in the box instead. And when seasons overlap and you need both rain and snow outfits, well there simply isn't space for it all and it isn't the kids's fault at all.

If you just need jackets, having a top and bottom clothes bar uses closet space best. My SIL used clothing racks on wheels for her 5 sons and frankly they were great. You could put clothes on hangers to dry on them, you could put coats on them, you could organize things according to each child. Maybe not lovely or cute, just super.

-Asha-'s picture
Joined: 02/08/12
Posts: 173

Yeah, I have those rolling clothes bars ( doubled by expending them to make upper and lower bars) in my laundry sorting room and that's how we sort laundry. It works great. Everyone has their own hanger color/style.
Boots might be a challenge, but the garage has this large tub ( for washing dogs?) and I lan to store them there during winter.

sarahsunshine's picture
Joined: 11/29/06
Posts: 1462

Looking at all the photos makes me think of my hockey lockerroom at university. It would be perfect for your situation, asha, but wouldn't help OP due to lack of space. The idea is a combination of gardenbug's, the OP's original idea, and here:

My version would make each stall 12-18" wide, and the unit 2-3' deep. The front foot would be a bench that goes the length of the unit, and the back back 18" of the bench opens up for each stall for storage of each person's extra shoes/gloves. The front base under the bench has an open cubby (like a milk crate on it's side) etc....the main portion has walls 12-18"deep and has hooks for hanging things up on the back and sides (hooks about 4' apart), and the top has 2 shelves for storing hats/mits/skates/etc... you could put a rubber maid container or a cupboard front on the upper cupboard if you like. I'll see if I can make sketch.

sarahsunshine's picture
Joined: 11/29/06
Posts: 1462

Here's my idea:

As you can see there is a bench across the front where you can put your current shoes, and a back part that opens for extra stuff. And then the top has two shelves.

momof5sweeties's picture
Joined: 02/08/06
Posts: 525

I just had to pop in and share my solution to buying expensive hooks at the hardware store, etc. We built our own area like these in the garage, and after seeing the price of new hooks, I decided to check out thrift stores. You can find beat up coat racks for just a cpl. bucks, and take the hooks off of them to use wherever you want! Also, I've come across some thrift stores that have little baggies of misc. used hardware things, and often there are hooks in there too. So if you don't mind hooks that don't match perfectly, and/or you are handy with a can of spray paint, it's a great way to save some $$!

We also have indoor cubbies (like the OP) for when it's so cold that damp coats freeze in the garage, and I'm currently searching for something to use in the bottom of them (like a boot tray?). Haven't found anything the perfect size yet. When I do, the plan is to put rocks in the trays. That way the wet boots/shoes can dry thoroughly, but the wood in the cubbies won't get ruined. Now if only I could think of an equally clever idea for wet hats & mittens...

gardenbug's picture
Joined: 03/12/07
Posts: 2025

I had the greatest mitten racks. You could dry about 4 pair at a time. I installed them on the stairway to our basement. You could easily just buy 2 sets and dry 8 pair at a time...or whatever. Each drying rack cost $2 at the time. (35 years ago!) I'd check out places like Sears etc...
Try things like this:
GLOVE DRYING RACK GREAT FOR GLOVES MITTENS OR SOCKS | eBay
Canadian Tire - Boot & Mitt Dryer customer reviews - product reviews - read top consumer ratings
Amazon.com: Rack'Em Glove Rack, 2 Pair: Sports & Outdoors

sarahsunshine's picture
Joined: 11/29/06
Posts: 1462

"gardenbug" wrote:

I had the greatest mitten racks. You could dry about 4 pair at a time. I installed them on the stairway to our basement. You could easily just buy 2 sets and dry 8 pair at a time...or whatever. Each drying rack cost $2 at the time. (35 years ago!) I'd check out places like Sears etc...
Try things like this:
GLOVE DRYING RACK GREAT FOR GLOVES MITTENS OR SOCKS | eBay
Canadian Tire - Boot & Mitt Dryer customer reviews - product reviews - read top consumer ratings
Amazon.com: Rack'Em Glove Rack, 2 Pair: Sports & Outdoors

If you are handy with pliers, you could easily make something similar out of coathanger wire - in fact you could make something that hangs on a hook and can have several sets of mittens on it!

Joined: 05/23/12
Posts: 680

You're all awesome!! I love all of our ideas. I packed up the damaged locker and sent it with Fedex. I ended up going to Lowes and buying a 6 hooks attached to a piece of wood already (in the organization dept). It only holds two backpacks because the hooks aren't spread out far enough from each other. It can hold the boys' hats. I have a shoe rack in the closet. I think this will work until next summer. My third will start preschool and will have his backpack, so.. til then. I eventually want to go back to the locker idea, somewhat modified. We will see if we are going to buy a house next summer and if so then I'll keep all of these things in my mind.

-Asha-'s picture
Joined: 02/08/12
Posts: 173

Sarah, I love your idea, especially with the bench storage! I am going to show it to DH and see if he could build it. For mittens and gloves, I just try to have enough so when the wet ones are drying, they have dry ones to wear...

gardenbug's picture
Joined: 03/12/07
Posts: 2025

Asha, if you built 2 of these units you'd have 2 spaces left over for visiting kids too. (That is, if there is space for all that.)

CamelNoodle's picture
Joined: 07/28/04
Posts: 908

When money is not so tight, we have plans to order some lockers from here:

Mudroom Storage Furniture

We've priced doing it ourselves, and may still go that way if my BIL every has a free weekend, but the materials alone are almost as expensive as buying them.

-Asha-'s picture
Joined: 02/08/12
Posts: 173

"CamelNoodle" wrote:

When money is not so tight, we have plans to order some lockers from here:

Mudroom Storage Furniture

We've priced doing it ourselves, and may still go that way if my BIL every has a free weekend, but the materials alone are almost as expensive as buying them.

I LOL-ed at the "when money is not so tight"- somehow it always ends up being tight! Those are beautiful lockers!
Also, yeah -wood is expensive but you want wood so the furniture can withstand time and "ab"use.

sarahsunshine's picture
Joined: 11/29/06
Posts: 1462

The nice thing about wood is that there is usually a lot you can get for free from old falling down buildings and construction sites, and 2x4s are so cheap these days that they are hardly worth scrounging. DH makes picture frames out of old barn boards, and we just acquired (and passed on) some home made garage shelves made of 2x4s. The hard part is having the equipment to build it - but we have acquired enough that we can do most anything - splitting 2x4s with a table saw to be the size you actually want them.

And Asha, you are right, if you make it out of simple materials and raw wood, you can always fix it if it breaks. Wood almost always lasts longer than OSB or particle board too! And now that you have land, you can use rounds from trees to make some neat looking "raw" furniture too - it always looks nice. DH's uncle sells pine beds and couches made from trees on his land. They look like this:

And then you can try building something like this (what we hope to do next summer):

Then add a living roof and cob walls to make it look like this:

-Asha-'s picture
Joined: 02/08/12
Posts: 173

Oh man sarah, showing this to my son Phillip. He is going to love the building idea! We do have a lot of fallen trees in the woods.

sarahsunshine's picture
Joined: 11/29/06
Posts: 1462

It's called a reciprocating roof round house. You can make just the roof and have it as a picnic structure, or you can make the walls out of cord wood (cut wood with mud plaster between them), straw bales (you want to make sure you build the uprights the right distance apart), or whatever you want. Tell Philip to Google/YouTube Reciprocating Roof Round House and there are a bunch of videos on how to build them.

To the OP - I just realized how much of a tangent I took onthis thread - sorry!

boilermaker's picture
Joined: 08/21/02
Posts: 1984

I"m late to this....but, when we built our house 2 years ago we designed a mud room. I've been pretty happy with it thus far. I do have to care for the wood with lemon oil on a regular basis to keep it looking shiny and lovely-- but other than that, we're good.

Our kids aren't quite big enough to make use of the top cubbies, but I think when they get older they will. We keep shoes in the bottom cubbies and they are sorted (our big girls in one basket, our boy in another and our little girl in another.) Trey and use the hallway closet for our stuff, mostly.

We rotate seasonally and keep big snowsuits in our basement on a line to dry. I didn't take a picture of it, but we also have two cloth bags hanging in the mudroom. In the summer one holds sunglasses and the other sunscreen. In the winter, one holds hats and the other mittens/gloves. We do have to hang things on the line downstairs to dry...but that is okay.

The kids know that their stuff has to be hung up (and lunchboxes put away in the dishwasher, etc) when they come in. Shoes left out, I get to keep and they have to do a chore to earn them back (I'm mean!)

Sorry this pictures are kind of wonky, it is hard to get a good shot. The mudroom is off of our garage.

sarahsunshine's picture
Joined: 11/29/06
Posts: 1462

Hey Audra - I agree in principle, but as DH keeps saying, how can I insist that they be organized and put things away instantly if I don't? I mean, my clothes go in a pile next to me bed when I finally get the chance to drag myself off to bed. I'm lucky to be able to wash them (the clothes not me) in every couple weeks. So how can I insist that the kids make their beds and put clothes, jackets and shoes away daily? On the other hand, there's no other way when there's so many people sharing the same space.

boilermaker's picture
Joined: 08/21/02
Posts: 1984

The way we enforce it is the "common areas" have to be cleaned and tidied. Bedrooms? I only enforce occasionally. But mudroom, kitchen, living, dining, etc-- must be kept super clean.

And I'm the mom. It is the same reason that I can drink a soda if I want or stay up late. Our house isn't a democracy and it isn't always fair. Wink When they work all day, care for kids and own a home, they can keep it however they'd like.....

Joined: 12/01/05
Posts: 1000

My bedroom is a mess. But we have coat hooks and shoe racks in the entry way. When the kids come home, they put their shoes on the rack and hang up their jackets and backpacks. DH and I do try to hold ourselves accountable in the common areas too. I think we do lead by example.

pico83's picture
Joined: 09/06/06
Posts: 3011

We only have 3 right now, but the shoes were driving me nuts so I got a cube organizer and each kid has one bin for shoes and one for hats/mittens. Someday, when we buy a house (we're renting until we have a better idea what size our family will be) I'd love to do a locker-type mud room. I like DIY projects, so I might try to design something and see if my dad can help build it. I think the board with hooks in it would be a great, easy, inexpensive solution. Maybe not pretty, but it would work. Maybe put a shelf above it for hats, lunchboxes, etc and bins below for shoes/boots.

gardenbug's picture
Joined: 03/12/07
Posts: 2025

I found this today:
Two Story Cottage: Meet my Mudroom

The lady seems to only have one child....and thinks her house is messy. Wink

Joined: 05/15/08
Posts: 413

Shoe storage can get out of hand for us, too (only two kids for now, but we live in about 700 sq ft). It goes along with the fact that I hate shoe shopping and we don't where shoes indoors. My solution has been that I only have two pair of shoes at any given time (loafers or boots in the winter and sandals in the summer along with season-appropriate formal shoes). My casual shoes usually get worn out in a season, and I store the formal shoes for longer term use.

The kids also get two pair of shoes at any given time--casual and formal. Although, right now, ds1 only has one pair of shoes, because I couldn't find a second pair of shoes in his size at the thrift store. I can't afford anything better than Walmart if I buy new, and those always seem to fall apart after a couple months. Shoes that survive the season get stored to pass down, and I'm always on the lookout for the next size up at the thrift store. In any case, only having two pair at a time helps limit how much of a mess is even possible.

Of course, it was really easy for my grandmother's family (during the Depression). Everyone got one pair of boots when the weather cooled. They would be worn out by the time summer hit, and everyone went barefoot for the summer. Can't do that now, and I wouldn't want to, but I thought it was worth mentioning.

Smile