3 Tips for Spring Cleaning the Mudroom

This post is sponsored by Shark. We are proud owners of a Shark Navigator and love the lightweight, quality results it produces. Shark gave us the Steam and Spray Mop to handle our hardwood floors, and we've been impressed. Though I was compensated for this post, these opinions are definitely mine.

 

What's the messiest part of your house? Not the dirtiest but the messiest. I likely have a few rooms in the running, but the one that stands out for its clutter and chaos is not even a room in our house.

The mudroom. It's essentially a walkway with storage.

In a space that once functioned as our laundry room, our mudroom/pantry/cleaning closet is the first catch-all from our casual entry from the garage. And, deary me, it usually looks something like this.

 

If your house is like ours, you have a super limited amount of space to get a lot accomplished and stored. We have all the tools we need - the hooks, the drawers, the slide-out shelves in the pantry - but we need a clean slate and a shift in our routines.

 

If you're under the impression that your mudroom needs to hold every coat and shoe and important school document, (in the words of Frozen's Elsa) let it go. One thing we've had to learn as a family, and I've had to remember, too, is that we only need to have our most used items easily accessible.

We don't live in a many storied or many winged home so the simple act of walking up or down the stairs is a GOOD thing. Non-essentials like the once-a-week dance bag or the show-n-share item, stay in everyone's bedroom until the day they're needed. One coat is sufficient for the hook, and the coat closet in the hallway makes a great storage area for everything else.

Be strong and limit yourself to the daily essentials.

 

To reset our organization clocks, we set to cleaning. The rug which catches all the dust and dirt we bring in on our shoes gets a good vacuum. The surrounding hardwood floors get a sanitizing mop.

*Helpful tidbit for getting your kids involved in this process? Purchase lightweight and easy-to-use tools. Our 9-year old can (and wants to) clean our hardwood floors with our Shark highly portable mop. The fact that it's purple definitely weighs in my favor as well.

We wipe down surfaces with an easy mixture of Dawn dish detergent and water.

We empty out our shoe drawers. First clean is with the small spout on the vacuum, then a wipe out with the Dawn mixture. Then the drawer liner and an open scented candle (to help odor eat) become the bottom layer in each drawer. Every family member gets a section of the drawer and most used shoes are put on the top of the piles.

 

Ah, yes! The real challenge.

Our house rules go something like this: when you come in, take off your coat and shoes. Hang up your bags and your coat on your hook. Put your shoes away in the drawer (unless they're wet). Pull out school folders and homework supplies and put them out on the kitchen table, AKA the homework table.

I never realized that I should think about these kind of processes until I realized that we all needed some basic routines, like great teachers present to their students, in order to make this tight space work well for all of us.

In my head, this bench/mudroom space looks like this:

But this only happens if it's just me at home, and that's not as fun anyways. {Please excuse the blatant self-promotion}

This is what it looks like when everyone is home after school, and it's my favorite way to see the space. I love being able to see my children's small coats and colorful hand-picked backpacks. I love seeing the life of our family! It's the perfect pop of color.

How do you keep your mudroom space clean and functional? Are you ready for a spring clean?

Have a bright weekend, friends. Remember that spring really IS going to get here.

xoxo, MJ

PS. If you're following @ParsCaeli on Instagram, you know that we're taking on the #40bagsin40days challenge, and it's been amazing to see just how much we have to give away and trash. If you're looking to dig deep into spring cleaning, follow along to see how you might be able to lighten your excess.

PPS. My girls, Emily and Ellen, are showing you more ways to get into the spring cleaning mode with their posts tomorrow. Don't miss them!

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