Let’s Get It Started…

Let’s Get It Started…

One breezeway. Three kids. Two adults. One big dog. Lots of stuff. Small budget.

This is the challenge that I, along with a fellow PGG, was presented with. We were asked to quickly and cost-effectively convert an existing breezeway area into a functional mudroom. In addition to making it a welcoming space, because it serves as a main entry point to the home, we had a few other requirements:

  1. Storage
    • Shoes/boots for five people
    • Coats, hats, gloves, scarves, cold-weather gear for five people
    • Sports equipment for three kids
  2. An area for backpack/package drop off when entering the home
  3. An area for dog-related items: leash, poop bags, toys, etc.

Our budget was $200 and included EVERYTHING, from paint to furniture to carpeting. We removed everything that was in the room, painted the concrete floor (remember it’s a breezeway), and took measurements. Then, it was time to really get to work.

We knew we had to be smart with our spending, so we decided to tackle the biggest challenge first: storage space. We brainstormed a list of wants:

– Storage unit – to hold shoes/boots

– Storage bench – to hold cold weather gear like gloves & hats

– Substantial coat hook/rack

– Indoor/outdoor carpet

– Decorative accessories to make it feel like home

Our first stop was Ikea. Another PGG had gotten an amazing storage unit that hides a ton of shoes, looks like a nice piece of furniture and is only $39! Yes, $39! It fit perfectly within the space we had imagined, so in our cart it went. We continued to wander aimlessly around Ikea for probably 12 more hours and picked up some decorative accessories, like a pillow for the bench we still needed to find, an artificial boxwood & planter, a rug and a few hooks.

We were headed to check out when we happened upon the most perfect bench with storage underneath in the “As Is” clearance section! It was $18! $18 for the exact size we needed including three sections underneath for storage baskets. SCORE! We decided it was actually a hanging shelf, but deemed it big and sturdy enough to serve as a bench.

So, we checked out and were on our way to the next stops:Target and TJ Maxx/Homegoods. We struck out at Target and walked out with nothing, however, at TJ Maxx, we picked up an awesome five hook hanging rack, baskets for under the bench and a few decorative accessories.

We now had everything we needed, except paint. We wanted to paint the bench to bring a pop of color into the room, so we chose a bright turquoise spray paint and lack finishing spray.

All in all, it took us about three days total to find everything, assemble and set up the room. 3 days, $200 and a lot of laughs! I won’t tell you the whole spray paint story, but, let’s just say we were wishing we had an eye wash station nearby!

The room turned out amazing. It looks beautiful and is very functional for the family. As a new year begins, many of us start to think about getting more organized at home. We say, go for it!

Budget and time are usually the biggest deterrents in doing any type of home improvement project, but as you can see, it’s possible to transform any room/area in your house into a more organized and functional space, for not a lot of money!

before mudroom1   mudroom before2

mudroom after 2  mudroom after 1

before after 1  before after 2

Links to Ikea products:

Shoe storage

Similar Bench (Since it was a close-out!)


Because some of our items were bought at TJ Maxx and their inventory constantly changes, we’ve included links to similar items at similar prices. However, please note sometimes these types of items are actually best found at a Homegoods type store:

Coat hook


Canvas signs

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