When we moved to California from Michigan, it was a great chance to get rid of all of the "stuff" we had accumulated in the 9 years we had been married. Since we had a basement with storage, we had more stuff than we realized! But the longer I live here, I realized that I could have done a way better job of clearing out the clutter. Since California homes generally do not have basements, closet space is REALLY important, as it is the only place to keep things! Day after day I pass our coat closet and the door literally never gets opened. It was FULL of winter coats (no joke, about 20 coats for the 4 of us!) Tons of scarves, gloves, and other things we just don't need anymore.

I also encountered something else unique about California homes - there generally do not have a mud room. Growing up in Kansas and then Michigan, a mud room is great for shoes, backpacks, coats + jackets and just anything you need to leave at the door. So what I realized is I had an unused closet, AND a door clutter problem. And thanks to Pinterest and a little burst of energy and bravery yesterday, I took Jude with me to Lowe's and for $83 we came up with a great solution - turn the hallway closet INTO A MUDROOM!

Step 1 was emptying the closet. Luckily it was already properly painted so we didn't have to do much besides take out all of the coats. We will pick our favorites, keep them in our individual closets, and donate the rest.

Here's what it looked like to begin:

Next I measured the back wall. I knew I needed a board to be able to drill into for some hooks, since they wouldn't hold much weight going straight into drywall. I set out with this list:

51" board (they will cut it to size at the store for free!)

Wood glue


Sounds pretty simple, and it was! The board was only $9 and they cut it for me. The wood glue really didn't hold the board, but it was good to have a secondary way of attaching it to the wall. I do have an impressive collection of power tools - and I DO know how to use them - thanks to my dad! If you don't have a drill you're missing out! lol!

With Jude's help, we measured the correct height for the board, and glued it up! To hold it in place, we screwed the hooks on, and made sure not to hang anything on it for 24 hours until I was sure it was steady to hold weight. Don't forget to use a level!

Now, our unused coat closet is now a functioning mud room for everyone! We each have our individual hooks for backpacks, school buckets, soccer bags and work bags. At the bottom each person has their own basket for shoes. Before, we all shared the same bucket but there was always so much digging while trying to get out the door for school in the morning! This way everything is easy to find.

I know there are things I could have done to make it "cuter" and more Instagrammable (lol - cue to shiplap - I was tempted but it would have required well more than I wanted to spend).

What's something that bothers you about your space?? Don't be afraid to take a risk and get crafty it may just pay off!


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