Thrifty Thursday--Mudroom Makeover

Do you have the same never-ending battle with coats, shoes and backpacks that we have in our house? We have a nice, big closet just beyond the front door, but the rod is too high for the boys (and they just can't be bothered to take a hanger down and put their coat on it), and there's no good place for backpacks.

I put a bench inside the closet in the laundry "room" (it's really a wide hallway between the house and the garage), and planned to put hooks on the wall for their coats and backpacks, thinking they could sit there to put on/take off shoes, and easily hang up their coats. But, the bench usually has laundry on it, and the shoes go on a rack by the front door, so that little plan didn't work either.

And then there's the collection of hooks I bought. But there was no configuration that would hold all of the coats, backpacks, lunch boxes, hats, gloves, and other paraphernalia (times two) they need.

Finally, inspired by organizational systems I spotted on, it occurred to me that putting pegboard on the long, otherwise useless laundry room wall would be a perfect solution. The laundry room is dingy; I wanted the board to be a fun color that would brighten the room, as well as appeal to the boys (hoping they'd actually use it)!

This was one case where I didn't want to just order online. I didn't want to pay the price of the pretty colored boards, and I didn't want to be limited by the few color choices available. I found galvanized pegboard (Alligator board) at my local Ace Hardware store.

I'd already seen a pretty apple-green primer/spray paint (Krylon Dual Ivy Leaf) that I thought would be the perfect color in the windowless, drab space (with a turquoise countertop). I have commitment issues, so I decided to test the color and the paint on a smaller pegboard (3 x 32) that would be the perfect way to stash brooms, mops, dusters and the ironing board in the unused space behind the door.

The hardware people warned me against trying to paint galvanized, and I saw similar warnings online, but I found a suggestion to take off the sealant coating by using vinegar. I put some on a big sponge, rubbed it over the surface and let it sit for a few minutes. Then I rinsed it off and let it dry. Then I painted the pegboard according to the instructions. The paint has a great nozzle that lets you turn it so the spray flows either vertically or horizontally. Great feature. Two coats covered thoroughly; three coats gave a really nice enamel-type finish.

I mounted the pegboard using self-anchoring screws and then added "tool grip" coated hooks to hold everything. The tool dip adds a fun color to the hooks as well as making them non-slip and non-scratching. (I'll do another post on the dipping process later.)  I loved the end result, so I moved on to the larger board.

It measures 32 x 16, and really is a great solution for kid stuff. It's a lot easier to get them to put their things on pegs than on hangers. The hooks come with plastic "locks" that help them stay in place when you're removing the items--it's really helpful to use them with the kids' coats and backpacks, otherwise the hook comes out every time they take their coat down.  The hooks are at a height they can reach, and they can easily see everything they need. I like that it's flexible and we can rearrange the hooks as needed. They don't use it perfectly, but it is a big improvement over everything landing inside the front door.

The final cost breaks down about like this:
Pegboards,            $60 (for both)
extra hooks,           $12
Plastidip                 $8.99
Krylon Dual paint   $5.99

For under $100 I got a colorful, custom, flexible storage system that fits into otherwise unusable space.
How do you organize your kids' outerwear and school paraphernalia? Do you use pegboard in your organizing?


Allison said...

What a great idea! I loved seeing how you put this together :)

RefreshMom said...

Thanks Allison! I was really happy with how it turned out.

Angela Nazworth said...

Oh this is brilliant! I use over-the-door shoe holders in some of my closets to hold make up and beauty supplies. It works well, but I could never fund a solution for mops, etc. This is great!

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