So clutter may not exactly be the right word for it, but I can't be the only one who is constantly finding their children's coats, mittens, and backpacks all over the place, am I? It certainly feels like clutter when your living room is strewn with outerwear.
We live in a small house. We don't have a coat closet. I've kind of wanted to get a coat rack, but I haven't seen an affordable one that I like, and I'm not really sure where we'd put it. I have some over-the-door hooks that I tried to put on our front door, but the door won't shut with the hooks on it. I tried to set up a little "command center" type area in our dining room (more on that in another post), and put some nails in the wall to hang backpacks from, but our walls suck, and the nails didn't want to stay in.
I wanted a solution that was better than "throw everything on the chair", but it needed to be something I could easily (and cheaply!) implement. Thankfully, I found a solution that, while perhaps not my permanent choice for storing bags and coats, certainly works for now!
Years ago, my grandma gave me two wicker chests that she no longer needed. When we started preparing the boys' room, I used one as a toy chest. However, between the boys and the cats, however, the lid ended up being completely destroyed. I didn't want to just get rid of it, because the actual box part was totally usable. I noticed that the lid and hinges were just screwed on, so I unscrewed them, removed the lid, and was left with a wicker box that seemed perfect for open storage!
There wasn't room for it in the dining room (where the front door is), so I placed it in the living room where the Christmas tree had been. When we get home, the boys put their backpacks, coats, mittens, and hats in the box. That way, when morning comes and we're trying to get out the door, everything is in one convenient place, and we aren't searching for a lost mitten, or a backpack that ended up buried under seventy other things. I put the diaper bag and my sweater there too (I try to always bring a sweater to work, because my classroom temperature is erratic).
So far, it's been working out really well for us. Not only has it helped our morning routine run a lot smoother, but it also helps eliminate some of the visual clutter that gives me anxiety (now I just need to work on conquering the rest of it!).
, by Alex Green