Our laundry room has gone through many different stages based on the needs of our family.  We recently removed a utility sink and cabinet to build out a mini mudroom, and it has made a huge difference in getting our kids out the door in the morning, and storing coats and hats and shoes, etc.

Looking way back to when we purchased this house, we had a base cabinet and that was it.  We added a utility sink, painted the cabinets, hung up a few laundry baskets, and added a hook board for coats, bags, etc., which added a lot of function for us at the time.  

But, as our kids have gotten a little bit older, those hooks just weren't cutting it for all four of us.  And we started feeling the need to have a spot for their shoes, a place for them to get all their winter gear on, and generally just not feel so cramped.  And at the same time, we realized that we just don't really need this sink.  We have a bathroom sink a few steps away and a big single basin sink in the kitchen, just a few steps from that.

So we ripped out the cabinet and backsplash one night, and my husband closed up the plumbing, just in case we want to add a sink back in the future.   

My husband was out of town and I asked my Dad to come over and help me build out the bench.  We started out with a frame of 2x2s and 2x4s on the ground, with a birch plywood top, and then another frame screwed into all the available studs, along with 2x2 vertical supports below, for the bench.

After everything was built out, I stained the plywood bench seat and painted the cubby section with Behr Royal Orchard.

Then I used the same green paint on some thin, inexpensive subfloor boards that I had the wonderful folks at Home Depot rip into 8" strips for me.

This space is about 30" wide, and I nailed up these beautiful green planks, using nickels as spacers.  I don't have a nail gun, so I just used a hammer and finishing nails, and then used a nail setter to drive them below the surface so I could fill the holes.

 To give it a polished look, I added quarter round around the sides and top, followed by patching all my holes with wood putty, and giving everything another coat of the green paint. 

This is one of the hardest working spaces in the house now.  I decided to use these Command hooks for now, because right now our kids coats are short, but they will get longer, and I don't want to drill new holes every year.  And I want them to be able to reach their things right now. 

Independence. That is what I am teaching.

But have you seen these new Command hooks?  They are so good. I have them in a few places in the house now.  

Each of our kids has two hooks.  One is for their coat, jacket, or sweater they are currently using, and the other is for these great Pillowfort hanging baskets from Target.  They have a cute little leather hook, and inside each has their hat, gloves, sunglasses, etc.

And these bins from Target have been fantastic.  They are plastic which means I can dump out and wash out the sand, grass, etc. that gets left behind by my kids' shoes.  And one for each kiddo means they each know exactly where their shoes go, and even the 2-year old can do it, so there are no missing shoes. 

Up top above the hooks, I have one big laundry basket.  I was worried about losing my two laundry baskets, but this big one has more than made up for it.  I like that the holes are smaller, so you can't see into the basket much, and it's hanging on the same hooks that the old baskets hung on.  

We still have our original hook board, but now it's just for the grown up stuff.  

 And you can see how I built this hook board for our sunglasses and keys here.

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