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Sunday, February 2, 2014

Managing Mittens in the Mudroom

When we built our house, I was adamant that we have a mudroom.  I did NOT want to deal with the mess of farm dirt being tracked throughout the house so I very strategically planned our mudroom and house entry: a spacious room where the farm clothes could be left, a sink to wash in before entering the house, the bathroom just a step in from the mudroom (for those times when you do need to take a step inside), and the laundry room connected to the bathroom to rid ourselves of the last of the farm dirt on ourselves and our clothes before calling it a day.

There is not much that I would change about this set up.  Still, challenges have abounded in the mud room, and they have grown as our family and farm has grown.

Not only do we have farm boots, farm coats, farm bibs, farm hats, and farm gloves . . . and duplicates of all of those for the different seasons, but we also still have our regular outdoor attire that we prefer not to get far dirt on: town shoes, town coats, snow pants, town hats, and town gloves.

If that wasn't enough, the mudroom also houses tools, equipment, incubators, storage tubs, our home freezer, and soon to be added - storage for the overflow of our home canned goods and a refrigerator to hold more eggs.

Organizing all of this has been quite the task.  Functioning in the mudroom, as we are still in the works of getting it completely set up, has been an even bigger task - especially in the winter when the plethora of hats, gloves, and mittens increases.

After the continuous challenge of finding matching gloves for the kids as well as hats to wear when we were needing to head out the door (and then the gloves, hats, and mittens that constantly littered the floor so that you had to search for your next place to step), I put together an organizing system that I could not do without now.

Last year, in a very desperate moment when my mudroom patience had disappeared, I raided my desk drawer and pulled out some clips, grabbed the nearest used farm twine that I could find (which wasn't that hard to find), knotted the clips on to the twine, pounded some nails into the wall, and hung my glove organizers up.

Since that day, I have replaced my nails with cute white hooks and have replaced the mudroom chaos of hats and gloves with a little more "Mommy calm". 

The kids each have their own little hook under our window now, where they hang their scarf and can clip on their mittens, hats, and work gloves.  When summer comes, the winter gloves will be switched for gardening and summer work gloves, and the hook will be used to hang their favorite outdoor cap. (As you can see, there are two extra hooks that right now are being used for our spotlight and the explorer bags that I made for the kids - both of which get used quiet a bit.)

Each child is responsible for hanging up their own hats and gloves (although the younger two do get some help).  With gentle reminders that leaving gloves on the floor is like telling me I should take care of their messes, they usually do a pretty good job of keeping things together now.

This little system was so simple to throw together, and it is so simple for the kids to use. Not only that, but I have found their hats and gloves dry quicker too.

Like I said, we are still in the process of getting our mudroom set up, but we are slowly getting there. Stay tuned, and I'll show you how I manage the rest of the our mudroom, and feel free to offer any suggestions!

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Tools of My Trade
These are the type of clips that I knotted onto my twine. They are a little tricky for my 5 yr old to do, but he is getting there. You can also find them in different colors to tie on to different colored ribbons, matching your decor.

1 comment:

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Awesome Tights Blog

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