Mudroom Closet Organization - Before and After

Sunday, August 17, 2014

You know how we have that extra little room off of our kitchen? (We call it the breakfast room even though no one ever eats breakfast in there.) It has an old found-at-the-side-of-the-road table that Cooper and I use for painting, colouring, and crafting.
Picture - Circa 2011
Most of the time, however, the room functions more like a mudroom. You see, a few years ago Alex cut a hole in one of the breakfast room walls so that he could install a door that would lead out onto our future deck.
Picture - Circa 2011
Well now that the deck is built, and we use the door about a million times a day, we were in desperate need of some storage and organization. 
Beside the door on the left, we have a mirror with hooks and a bench with some cubbies, but three little baskets were no longer working for all of our shoes, hats, sunscreen, bug spray, etc., etc., etc.
I also had no place to store all of our new outdoor cushions and accessories from the elements.
It became very clear that I would need to clean out the dreaded breakfast room closet, which for the last little while had become the catchall place for junk that we just didn't know what to do with. Now before I show the pictures (and you start looking for the "unfollow" button on this blog) let me just say that once upon a time this closet was organized. I'm still not sure how the mess got so out of control. It was mostly Alex's fault.
Are you ready? What horrors lie behind door #2 you ask?


Just for fun....... included in the pile of junk was...........
- a laminator
- Alex's stereo that was brought upstairs because of the basement reno
- a bowl full of clothespins
- a facial steamer
- a hose holder that I bought 4 years ago and never installed outside
- a Christmas wreath
- an old nintendo
- gauze
- a plastic bag full of random cables
- two dog cones
- a stack of Country Living magazines dating back to 2006
Gulp. How embarrassing!
Here's how I tackled the awful mess. First, I emptied out the entire closet - all of it's contents were spread out over the breakfast room for a good two weeks.

The closet was the only one left in the house that hadn't been painted since we moved in, so I decided to paint the inside a nice, clean white (it was cream coloured and quite scuffed up).
First, I gave every surface a good scrub with TSP. Once rinsed, I filled in a few nail holes with wood filler. Once everything was dry I primed over the really dark scuff marks, the wood filler, and the attic hatch that Alex made one year (apparently our little back roof had no insulation).
Once the primer was dry I gave the entire closet two coats of paint - Simply White by Benjamin Moore which we already had on hand. Once the closet was painted I started weeding through the junk figuring out what to keep, what to relocate, what to give away, and what to throw out. (Yes, the entire stack of old magazines went into the recycle bin. Sniff, sniff.)
I decided to reuse the white shelf that was already in the closet. I used the shelving unit to store our outdoor throw cushions, some outdoor accessories, and my deck-survival-bucket (more on that tomorrow)(or the next day).
On the top two shelves I stored our chair cushions as well as two galvanized bins for more concealed storage (more on those tomorrow, too).
Since Coopaloops can open the closet doors I made sure that I kept the bins and their contents out of his reach. I also stashed the cream cushions up on the highest shelf because they are really easy to put up and pull down.
To the left of the shelving unit I tucked in our large loveseat cushion.
On the right hand side of the shelves I tucked a large, metal lantern that would get rusty in about a day if I left it outside.
I was able to squeeze all four yellow chair pillows on one shelf. Alex was teasing me and said that I need a whole closet just for cushions. I guess he was kind of right, hee hee.

The galvanized tray is for when we eat outside. It's really handy for bringing out condiments, napkins, etc.
Every time I walk by the closet now I smile inside. I no longer have to live in secret shame. It's a great feeling.
Here are some side by side pictures to get a better idea of how much better this closet looks!

I learned a big lesson during this little project.

Dear Self: Don't be a hoarder.


White Shelf - Wal-Mart
Cream Cushions - Pier One Imports
Blue Pillows - Homesense
Yellow Pillows - DIY Project, Fabric from Fabricland
Tray - Homesense
Driftwood Ball - Homesense
Bucket with Rope Handles - Homesense
Metal 'Tool' Bins - Marshall's
Lantern - Homesense


  1. Lovely! Whenever I organize something like that, I find myself walking by and staring at it all day long! I have two of those exact lanterns too...except I noticed them still on their shelf in the garage last week-forgot to put them out all summer! Oops!

    1. Get those lanterns outside, girl! There's still a few glorious weeks of summer left.


      And thanks. :)

  2. Looks great... organizing makes me smile.

  3. Looks wonderful, great job :)
    I always feel all giddy and accomplished after organizing and decluttering hee hee! I have a closet that's pretty bad right now -cough- totally hubby's fault though ;)
    Love those galvanized containers, I've been thinking about using some to store extra toys on the top shelf of my sons closet.
    Oh p.s. I have those same tin hearts on the twine you have pictures hanging next to the closet! They're so cute but I keep moving them all over the house trying to find the perfect spot lol.

    1. Great idea to use some galvanized tubs in your son's room. Even with dings and dents they still look super cute. :)

      Thanks so much for commenting!

  4. Looks lovely. Do you find yourself 'accidentally' leaving the closet door open just so you can admire your work? :)

    1. Actually, when I see the closet door open now I have a mini panic attack because I used to always be afraid that someone would see inside it if it was left open.

      Then, when I realize that it's organized now, I breathe a huge sigh of relief, and yes leave it open!!!


  5. Seriously so pretty. I love the tin pails.

  6. This organization project is seriously perfection in action. Beautifully done! (Stopping by from Sunny Simple Life)

  7. You did a great job! Cleaning and organizing my home is my way of relaxing. When I am not at work I spent my time doing these things. I am so glad that I have found your article! You inspired me to clean and organize my closet ! Best regards!


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