This busy family keeps school, sports, and dance gear in plain sight so everything is accessible in their home’s hardworking spaces. 

By Sarah Wolf
January 09, 2019

This family home was designed with easy-to-see streamlined storage so it’s a snap to find figure skates, lacrosse sticks, and snow boots. And the storage is even easier to use, meaning kids will actually put things where they belong.

Thoughtful touches abound. The office is stocked with supplies, making last-minute runs to the store a thing of the past. The laundry room windows, counter, and flatscreen TV make sorting, pressing, and folding clothes a pleasure—or close to it. And the mudroom corrals backpacks, coats, and even the dog’s bed in a central spot, blocking the mess from migrating into the rest of the house. 

Schoolwork Central

A U-shape desk anchors the study area and is built with base cabinets and butcher-block counters. Upper cabinets hide crafts and office supplies, with cubbies underneath for bulk paper and envelopes. To decorate the space, an easy window swag created with twine and clothespins showcases kids’ artwork.

Related: Top 7 Storage Items to Order Today

Each workstation features enough desk space to fit a laptop and an open notebook at the same time. This area includes a corkboard to display artwork and invitations. Each child has a dedicated workstation with her own chair, desktop, and drawer for papers and projects. Shared supplies such as paper, binder clips, and staplers are stashed in a bank of wall cabinets.

Hardworking Laundry Room

A stacked washer and dryer, tall shelves, and hanging rods make full use of one laundry room wall. Towels are stored in this space to cut down on the girls reaching for a fresh towel after each shower. Looking for more room to work? A long stretch of countertop in the laundry room helps keep the mess of laundry day contained.

Windows welcome plenty of natural light into the laundry room. The bins are great for sorting laundry, with dirty laundry in large bins on the bottom and clean and folded laundry in the upper bins. All slide out like drawers for easy access.

This laundry room setup is great for catching up on your favorite shows while doing your weekly ironing. An ironing board stays tucked away in the laundry room cabinetry until needed.

Closet Case

A short hallway leads from the laundry to the mudroom. Even this small space is stocked with storage. Two closets stash off-season clothing (swim gear or winter coats and boots) behind closed doors.

Mighty Mudroom

In the hardworking mudroom, two rows of double hooks line one wall, catching backpacks, umbrellas, and jackets as the kids come inside. There’s also a bench for putting on or taking off shoes, a tray for wet or muddy boots, and a plush dog bed.

To ensure a wall of open shelves will hold all of the family's gear, they measured large items and sized cubbies to fit. Each daughter has a monogrammed tote on the floor for supplies so all three can grab and go each morning.

Easy-to-lose small items—gloves, hats, and dog toys—are piled in baskets stationed in some of the cubbies. The matching baskets feature chalkboard storage labels for a whimsical look. Bonus—they can be changed later if needed.

Source: Secrets of Getting Organized Spring 2018

Comments (21)

March 7, 2019
Most of us don’t have homes like this but people where is you imagination? Don’t have built-ins? Go to Goodwill and purchase a few really cheap bookcases. Better yet, listen to what friends are discarding. Store vertically! Paint is cheap. Every paint store has incorrectly mixed paint for $1 or $2 a gallon. Paint can make things look built in, laundry at end of driveway can be painted a cheerful color. Baskets can be picked up at garage sales, $1 stores, etc. Get your imagination flowing!
March 1, 2019
I'm so glad to see I'm not the only one who thinks BHG isn't offering anything for the average American home. Funny thing is, the people who can afford the homes featured in these articles aren't the ones reading them!
March 1, 2019
Check You Tube There are several posters who get it and have tutorials on cost effective designed and storage solutions. However you may have to be creative and a little industrious. There are women making beautiful cabinets out of cardboard boxes. I used most of the info from bhg and most of these kind of sites for ideas only. Remember all media platforms are not created equal. That Tiny House Living Show also has good ideas for limited space solutions
February 9, 2019
I agree the ideas are not for the middle class. They are for the upper class.
February 8, 2019
I agree! I have 900 sq ft of awkward, wasted space. And being by myself, I'll have to die here. Useless to me, since it is the same thing I've seen on here a good many times.
February 8, 2019
Laundry room ha what's that? The house I rent was built in 1904 and the basement door in to small and narrow besides no hook ups down there and the house is only 940 sq ft!
February 7, 2019
This magazine demonstrates perfectly how incredibly out of touch the home design industry is with how middle and working class America lives. First of all, almost 1/3 (about 100 million) of Americans rent and this country has an incredibly high poverty rate compared to other first world nations with 78% of workers living paycheck to paycheck. As a long time serving military family we don't have the luxury of buying a house right now and are forced by necessity to live in a tiny, old, badly maintained townhouse on base. It was so ugly and gross I cried when I first saw the place. I've spent the last 6 years trying my best to make it not just habitable but pretty, so I'm not depressed and embarrassed every time I open my eyes but it has been a constant struggle. Some may scoff, but for most people I think it effects your whole day when your living space is a source of pride and not despair and shame. I would love one day to walk into my house and not feel overwhelmed and depressed by the glaring design flaws and poorly done repairs by our indifferent on base property managers ( yet even during a decade long recovery from a deep recession, all I ever find on these home decorating sites are large and luxurious sized homes filled with expensive, impractical ideas that are virtually worthless for a family not making 80k a year or above. I know the 5th and 6th richest men in America own this site but does bhg always need to go out of it's way to treat the less well off like we are invisible?
February 8, 2019
I agree, well said. We bought a fixer upper. It will always be a fixer upper and we do what we can. We're stuck with many builder mistakes, ill-placed doors, etc. We do what we can when we can. I decided to declutter and was surprised how many things I found that I could reuse, baskets, storage boxes, paint, material to make things, lots of things to organize. I've started to rearrange little things to make the room feel new. Enjoy the little things that you can do to make it home for you, not what others think you should have!
February 8, 2019
Absolutely true. Well written @lordtoocold
February 7, 2019
What Lordtoocold said. I couldn't agree more.
February 7, 2019
I agree with the other comments completely! My house was also built in 1957, and my laundry room is at the end of my carport, which is definitely inconvenient and a huge hassle, but until I win a billion dollar lottery prize, it will just have to stay there. Even though it has a small vent for heat and air, it’s still either freezing or hot as hades in there.
February 7, 2019
I agree with some of the other comments. I'm tired of always seeing new homes with large laundry rooms or built in storage. I buy your magazines on home storage solutions and they are expensive and have the same info as this site. I live in a home built in 1957 and it is 1,330 sq feet. Some of us don't have new homes. WE NEED HELP TOO!
February 7, 2019
Exactly! My “laundry room/mud room” is the garage. I’m about read to give up on these magazine articles as it’s not at all helpful.
February 7, 2019
I agree. I live in a small ranch-style house. My laundry room is in the basement. Bare concrete walls & floors. I share it with Christmas items, chest freezer & furnace & water heater. There is no way I could make my laundry room look like the ones in this or any other notification. Make some ideas for the "middle class" home owners not the 'Upper class".
February 7, 2019
I think we all have our challenges, I don’t have a basement so my laundry room is packed with freezer, water heater too but it can be easily seen from the kitchen. I use articles like this as inspiration not as the end all. Even a dark basement can benefit from good lighting, storage and a coat of paint. If you can’t do built-ins scour the thrift shops and antique shops for sturdy shelves for storage. Honestly those built in cabinets are made of pressed wood and won’t hold up as long as real wood. Totes and baskets can be used for storage on the shelves.
February 7, 2019
I agree with the above writer. I would love to have my laundry on the main level and not have to go to the basement where it shares storage space with Christmas ornaments, the furnace, the water heater and old I.R.S. filings.
February 7, 2019
You guys! Your solution in every organization article I've seen is to have built-in storage! Most of us don't have homes as large as the homes here, or we rent, or it's just not feasible to build massive shelving units in our homes. How about some storage solutions for those of us with normal homes?
I agree with all the comments above. The subject home has square footage that is meant for built-ins and storage. Show us how to equip and modify a home that isn't and we won't complain. My home is 1200 sq ft with a very small laundry and mud room sharing space with the furnace, waterh eater and dog food/water bowls. We are the ones who need the help.
Most Americans have normal homes. But apparently only the top 2% really matter to BHG. I'm so glad someone pointed this out.
I agree w
I agree with all comments and would like to add that built-in’s are expensive. Not everyone has the money for them and not everyone is handy enough for a diy job.