If you have young children, there’s no doubt you’ll be faced with the battle to keep things neat and tidy, especially in two places where kids are likely to leave things lying around: the mudroom and their bedrooms.
"The mudroom is often overlooked, but it is one of the most important rooms in the house,” says Adam Lo, architectural designer for Stepper Custom Homes. “It’s like a drop-off zone for muddy boots, jackets and sports gear that come in from the garage, and also the perfect storage place for kid’s backpacks, lunchboxes and other stuff.”
But, if you give them options that make it easy to put items away, chances are you might find it easier to keep the mudroom clean.
“One of our most popular features is our built-in locker detail, which provides hooks, tons of storage above and below, and a bench for kids to put on their shoes and get ready for the day,” Lo says.
“It’s much like the lockers they might have in their classroom at school. So it’s something they are used to and gets them thinking about organizing and where things should go when they are young.”
Additional wall hooks are always a good idea for sweaters, umbrellas, jackets and that sort of thing. And built-in storage benches are a great place to store extra shoes and keep everything looking tidy.
If you don’t have a mudroom and just have a closet by the main entry into the home, don’t fret. Low coat hooks are easy to install for kids to hang their coats and a bench with storage will allow them to stow their stuff out of sight. Add a shoe rack and hanging storage with multiple compartments (from IKEA, for example) where they can stash mitts and scarves, and you have all of the ingredients for keeping the entry tidy.
Kids can accumulate a lot of stuff, so it’s important to provide storage to help keep things organized, whether it’s in the mudroom or their bedrooms.
When it comes to kids’ bedrooms, there is “a lot more chance to be creative because it doesn’t have to function for adults as much,” says designer Christa Novlesky. “Built-in closet organizers will always be handy and definitely a good investment. You could even go a step further and remove the closet doors to get easier access.”
Closets can be arranged to have a combination of hanging rods and shelves, and plastic, see-through bins are available at big box retailers so you can store toys inexpensively.
Also, that same hanging storage unit in the entry closet is great for a kid’s closet. With see-through netting and six compartments, it’s great for toys, games or clothes. Wall pockets or pockets that can hang from a door are super for storing toys, craft items or school necessities and projects.
“Furniture that has multi-purposes is a must, and you can find a lot of really cool furniture now for kids’ rooms,” Novlesky says, such as bunk beds with a desk space below for homework, or beds with pullout drawers underneath. These ideas allow you to essentially double the floor space by reducing the need to add other furniture and, thereby, giving more space for your child to play or entertain friends.
Other storage ideas, such as stackable cubes, mesh baskets, clear stackable totes, shelving units with plastic bins, can all help reduce the clutter. If you’re looking at a toy, look for one with a padded top so that it can double as a bench.
“Really maximizing storage space is key,” Lo says. “Some homebuyers will add walk-in closets to make sure there is enough space for toys and then clothes when they get a bit older.
“If there is space, a built-in window seat is a neat way to gain storage and also provide a cool place for older kids to relax,” Lo says.
For more information, contact Stepper Custom Homes at 403-250-1033 or visit www.stepperhomes.com and at www.facebook.com/stepperhomes.
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