Etienne and I decided to tackle the mud room, which doesn’t really look like one. It IS the room by the front door, but is much bigger than most of that description, even with room for a rowing machine, which wasn’t being used for exercise.

The room has a couple of closets and some shelves between them. First, her husband’s closet. Paul enjoys a variety of outdoor activities, including golf, gardening, and skiing. We put related items in bins on the top shelf, “neatened” the shirts, vests and jackets, and arranged the shoes at the bottom.


Next, we moved to the right. Several shelves held bins, including one that was overflowing, back packs, and a ski bag. Working top-to-bottom, we sorted through the two bins, setting aside some items for the trash, or to go elsewhere in the house. We left the top shelf mostly empty – a rarity! On the second shelf, the ski bag and, below it, an open bin, so the family can easily pull out items often used. Below it, another bin with less-often-used items, with some shoes on top. At the bottom, more shoes.

Moving to the right again, we worked on the other closet. We pulled beach towels from the top shelf and set them aside, as they would be used soon. We placed a sports duffel bag there instead. We “neatened” the jackets hanging there and the shoes below. Easy-peasy!


We discussed the rowing machine across the room. It had become a storage dumping ground. Would anyone use it if it were available? While Etienne wasn’t sure, we made it more inviting. We emptied it, turned it around to face a TV on a butcher block table, and placed a fan nearby.

When we were done, Etienne smiled so brightly! Success!

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Funny, It Doesn’t Look Like a Mud Room