My favorite mom quote goes as follows – “Without systems there is chaos. Without systems there is chaos“. One of you deserves credit for it, left sweetly in the comment section two years ago, and I chant it ALL THE TIME. This applies to every single part of our lives, and as someone who unfortunately isn’t innately gifted in the organization realm, and yet abhors visual mess, I HAVE to create systems, or else the house is so chaotic and messy and it actually affects my mental health (thus the choice to live more minimally with less stuff).
Labels are my boss. Baskets make me feel safe. So when we were brainstorming about how to talk about organization in the New Year, I ranted about all my pain points at the mountain house – the “no mudroom entry,” the exploding vanity, the lack of linen closet, the hall utility closet that housed both the vacuum and the board games. All solvable, WITH A SYSTEM that includes starting with the right product. And even though we knew we were moving to Portland it still seemed like a good time to come up with some better solutions – both for guests that stay, my family when we return in winter/summer, and of course for the blog.
So we partnered with Target to highlight their new and always loved organizational products to ease our chaos and make our homes and brains calmer after the holidays. Systems, it’s all about systems 🙂
The “No Mudroom” Entry
We packed in a lot of solutions up here, for ideas for all your pain points. Not everyone can enter and exit through a designated mudroom, especially apartment dwellers, and us. But walking into chaos, stepping over shoes and the visual pile of coats drives me NUTS. Now the elements that you MUST have here are simple –
Wire Basket | Wood Bowl | Sunglasses | Black Wallet | Leopard Card Case | Knit Gloves | Shoe Rack (coming soon) | Toddler Magnus Chukka Boots | Ronin Lace-Up Chukka Boots | Blaine Slip-On Leopard Sneakers | Slip-On Enzo Brown Leather Sneakers | Kingston Leather Sneakers | Luna Sneakers | Opal Zipper Slip-On Chelsea Boots | Molly Sneakers
- A Drop Zone (could be the bench or the tray on the shoe rack) – This is for mail, keys (if you don’t have hooks), and bags. Get yourself a tray, bowl, or basket (and a hook if you want to never have to look for your keys again).
- Shoe Storage – This could be a shoe shelf like this (which is nice because it can be wheeled away if you have guests over), a trunk, or a basket. While I prefer something more enclosed, getting my kids to “drop” is a challenge enough so ‘arranging’ is a monumental feat. Plus a shelf keeps them from getting scuffed up and you have less searching to the bottom of the basket time. Someday, crossing fingers, we’ll graduate to this.
Don’t have a coat closet? ME NEITHER! So you need either hooks on your wall, a coat rack, or a freestanding piece of furniture. The first two are better for small spaces (plus wet coats can’t dry off in an armoire).
3. A Place to Hang Coats/Scarves, and Hats – Could be standing or to save space use a wall-mounted hook system like this. Use the anchors provided (I’ve skimped on those before), try to do a weekly depopulation based on the weather, and put away coats in hopefully a coat closet nearby, leaving just what you need here.
4. Designated Baskets for Daily Needs – Under the bench: 1. “House shoes/slippers” (easy to change into when you come home, 2. “Dog accessories” (leashes, bags, treats), and 3. “Hats and gloves”. I love these baskets with the wood on top, but opting for something more closed will make it look cleaner (just make sure you know what is in them so you don’t have to do the “search and bury”).
Left Bin: Slippers | Lionel Moccasin Slippers | Topher Moccasin Slippers | Middle Bin: Monkey Fist Rope with Handle | Sherpa Dog and Cat Vest | Dog Leash | Dog Poop Bag Carrier | Tennis Balls Dog Toy | Right Bin: Rib Glove | Chunky Rib Beanie | Pink Plaid Scarf | Cream Plaid Scarf | Solid Blanket Scarf | Knit Gloves | Cable Pom Beanie | Color Block Beanie
Shout out to that bench – please note the good joinery under the seat!! So good.
The “No Entry” Entry
Entry Bench (coming soon) | Wire Basket | Wallet | Sunglasses | Jacket | Cream Scarf | Hat | Dog Leash | Dog Poop Bag Carrier | Faux Trailing Plant | Rattan Plant Holder | Woven Basket | Beanie | Knit Gloves | Rib Gloves | Gray Scarf | Rug
For those of us with even less space or perhaps at the back, side, or kitchen door we have a one-piece unit for all of those same needs – it’s pretty genius. At the top you have hooks for coats/hats and scarves, then a bench to sit on for shoes and a surface for a drop zone, with shoe storage underneath. ONE AND DONE.
It’s a small space solution that packs a ton of function into one piece. All you need is a 4′ blank wall near your door and you can live a better life in a small space. Pretty sure someone should write a book with that title.
So no, you don’t need “an entry” to have an entry. You just need a good, solid system and Target has truly made it even easier.