Have you noticed how organized the natural world is? God is all about order. He specifically designed the universe and our little blue planet in six days. The sun rises each morning and sets each evening. There’s a rhythm to the tides. The seasons are preset; spring, summer, fall, and winter. Look closely at a nautilus, a beehive or a pinecone. The human body is amazing, intricately designed with many complex systems all working together. All are testaments to our loving Creator.
Order gives way to peace, calm, and neatness. Chaos, on the other hand, leaves one feeling anxious, unsure, and restless. We have little control over much of the chaos in the world. One area you and I can manage is in how we arrange our homes.
January is a great time to get organized. Examine your home. What are the main traffic areas? What rooms are used most frequently? Start the organization project in these spaces.
The mudroom is the “organization station” in my home. Situated between the garage and the kitchen, this room is where everyone transitions. As a result backpacks, sports equipment, groceries, and most everything else that enters or leaves the house does so through this little room. Here are a few time-tested ideas Scott, the boys, and I have found helpful to keep this heavily used room organized.
We opted for open hooks instead of cubbies so air could circulate, drying out wet clothes faster. The basket holds mittens and other dry winter gear that is used daily. (You’ll often find mittens and ski gloves inverted over the furnace vents on the floor or hanging off hooks!) The small basket contains toys and brushes for the dog. Backpacks are loaded with necessary books and homework assignments, ready for the next day of school. This includes musical instruments and sports equipment. A roller hangs on a hook for quick lint and dog hair removal.
Along with coats and snow gear, a small drawer unit provides personal space for each one’s hats and mittens. The upper shallow drawers are stocked with frequently used items such as tissues, lip balm, sunscreen and hand sanitizer. Umbrellas and light weight jackets are stowed here. The shelves above store less frequently used or seasonal items. Boots and shoes go in the closet or under the bench.
A basket for keys and other must have items along with a jar of doggie treats are on the table. The magnetic board keeps track of coupons for local restaurants, receipts, and a Bible verse to encourage everyone as they leave for the day. A magnetic clip is attached to the door for outgoing mail. The large clock helps to keep us on time.
The whiteboard is our message center. The boys’ class schedules, call-in line for our insurance company, and a list of daily prayers for children are all posted for quick access. Messages can be left here too. It’s nice to have a little note in familiar handwriting rather than just text messages to communicate with family members. The markers are attached to the board with a magnet for easy use.
If you don’t have space for a mudroom, think creatively in how you can use a hallway or small alcove to accommodate hooks, a thin table or a freestanding coatrack to achieve order in an entryway. Baskets are a great way to corral clutter. A message board can be easily secured to a wall. Thick rugs will soak up melted snow and keep floors neater. Small spaces used well are often better than large spaces.
Getting organized provides a calm atmosphere for kids and adults. When children experience the benefits of being organized, they’ll hopefully become more organized themselves. (Not a promise!) Truly with a little organization, life will be less stressful for you and your family.
For God is not a God of disorder but of peace…
1 Corinthians 14:33a
How do you organize your entryway or mudroom? Please share your ideas!
By Becky Danielson, M.Ed.
Wife to Scott, Mom of 2
Co-founder of 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting
(Previously published on www.beckydanielson.com, January 2013.)