I'm almost embarrased to admit how much solving an organizational problem pleases me. But I bet you understand. My house is anything but a super clean, super tidy place. I completely believe that a good mess is essential to the process of creativity and play. But I also believe that everything having a place to belong is an important part of that, and that a certain level of clean, empty space allows for all the peace and freedom in which to create and play (messily), and live in harmony (as much as we can). It sounds grandios, but I believe it deeply.
All that to say, when I can find a 'place' for things, I feel like this family machine runs just a bit smoother. We've struggled with organizing all of our winter gear since moving in here. There is no 'mud room' and hardly a closet to be found in this two hundred year old house. Last year during the construction of Gram's room, we did gain one closet which was one huge step forward (just off to the left in the first photo below). Our coats live there, and shoes stay out in the barn. And now, as of this weekend...we have a place for all the (many) hats, mittens, gloves, scarves and cowls that it takes to keep a family of seven warm through the winter season!
I searched and searched online for a solution that wouldn't cramp this end of the room too much - preferably something that would be flush against the wall. And I found this. I followed the plans exactly, did my best to love the jig saw (it was easier this second time), and put it all together in no time at all. Again, it got a milk paint treatment, though with one coat less than the firewood box - I wanted it a little bit lighter and perhaps more rustic looking. I'm especially glad that the size of the boxes helped us to pare things down just a bit, to keep things simpler. Everyone has enough room for two mittens/gloves, three hats, and a scarf or cowl - nothing more. You'll notice just six spaces on the shelf - for a house of eight. Modifying the design to include another box would have meant that no one could reach the top shelves. Plus, Gram keeps her things in her room. But me? Um, I've got a bit of a scarf problem. My things are currently filling that packbasket, which is entirely ridiculous, I know (I'll figure out a plan for that soon). For now...a deep sigh of relief that we have a place for all of our wintry things, and everyone knows where to find them. And just in time too - there's a chill in the air that's arrived these past few days, and it's time for the woolens!