Our split-level house has some “flow” problems, and this time I’m not talking toilets. The kids and I always enter through the garage into a very narrow hallway. A few years ago, I built a shoe bench that had just a half inch clearance to close the door. The kids don’t actually put their shoes away, but if they did, the bench is getting too small for their growing feet. Even if coats and shoes were put away, it was still a bottle neck for getting us out of the house each time.
It just wasn’t working.
Dwayne and I have had “build a mudroom in the garage” and “organize the workbenches” on our house project list for years, but over this last year, it started shooting to the top. So after Jim and I caught our breath after finishing Kyla’s room, the sledge hammers came out again.
Oh, in case it wasn’t clear, our garage was in worse shape than the house. This is 90% my fault, but as I don’t take care of the garage until the kids, house, estate, and cabin are in shape, you can see for yourself how often I can get to it.
The garage before:
We had two workbenches, which are just places to put 1) all the new tools we buy for projects, 2) but all the old tools on until we put them where the belong, and 3) piles of things Mama is supposed to fix. We cleared those out and put everything in the middle of the garage.
Then Papa Jim attacked and our new area was framed and wired. Dwayne and Jim decided to make it bigger than I first imagined, but they were 100% correct!
Jim made a “wood shower curtain” to hide the water heater and furnace. Then it needed to be dry walled. Dwayne tiled the new room and Jim put together a new workbench out of the old ones.
I always enjoy the interior design. I painted it my favorite orange, put up brick wall paper over the hiding wall, and made a bench (for $15!) with scrap wood and some cheap planks. I love the old wardrobe I found on craigslist—perfect for storing extra coats with small interior drawers for each kid and myself. I used wood trim to better hide the dirt around white doors. There’s the perfect spot for an upright freezer (as soon as it starts working…Whirlpool). And the cats have their bed and food in here now to, a good compromise between house and garage. I LOVE how this turned out!
The kids still don’t put their shoes or coats away in the REALLY CONVENIENT AND OBVIOUS hooks and baskets I specially designed for them, but at least I have the perfect mudroom… if not the perfect children.