Unexpected Organizing: Out the Door

Welcome back, Friends!  The previous Unexpected Organizing post was mainly about using kitchen organizers to streamline your getting-ready routine. Now I’m going to offer you ideas about using bedroom and office organizers in your mudroom (or just near your door) to help you leave your house!

As a mom of three, I know that getting everyone out the door can clutter a mom’s spirit.  The easier we make it on them, the easier we make it on ourselves.

Our “laundry room” is barely a room. It’s not even a rectangle; it’s more like a trapezoid. Two people can fit in there at the same time, but it’s not pretty. There is no space here for so many of the lovely things on Pinterest! Even a tiny set of shelves would block one of the doors (or the dryer from opening).

But as I prepared for this blog post I realized that wow, I’ve fit a lot of very useful things in this space! You can easily adapt these things to a bigger room or hallway.


I keep our outerwear and shoes right by the door. When the kids were smaller, I used to have low hooks on which they could hang their coats and jackets. Now, they can reach the higher ones just fine—five hooks for the five of us! And as I wrote in Building Your House, shoe baskets work much better for us than shoe shelves.


Oh, how I wanted to clean this up for you. But this is how we live. (Notice that my teen son only has one jacket on his hook in the middle. That’s because he’s morally opposed to outerwear.)

You can’t really see the wall hanging in that picture and I dearly love it, so since I’m showing pics anyway I’ll happily show you:


I love paper crafting! And knitting and crocheting, which brings me to my next photo. I use an over-the-door shoe organizer on the back of the laundry room door to hold our winter hats, mittens, and scarves.


In the summer, I use the same organizer to hold sun screen, bug spray, ball caps, and water bottles (which were in the dishwasher when I took this pic).



I also keep a tub of things that don’t belong in our house—library books we’ve read, items to give or return to friends, a bag of batteries to recycle—on the dryer. If I think of something I’ll want to take with me when I leave later in the day, I put it here, too.



I hang the purse I’m currently using over the doorknob (fancy, huh?), and keep the purses and bags I may want to use on this bag organizer. Honestly, I’m not totally thrilled with it. I’ve thought about installing permanent hooks, but I really like how the hooks on this can be adjusted to fit smaller and bigger bags in different seasons. (Any better ideas, Friends? Let me know.)


Every purse is pre-loaded with mini-essentials: a pack of tissues, hand sanitizer, and (ahem) emergency women’s items. All I have to do is grab my wallet and keys if I want to switch purses in a hurry. The other stuff can wait.


And, here’s the best and possibly most unique thing in my tiny laundry room, my coupon organizational system. Above the washing machine, I have pocket file folders (sealed on three sides) stored in file folder holders like you’d see at work or at your doctor’s office.


They keep my coupons, not by type, but by shopping area. Every coupon I’d use at the mall is in the “Tuttle Mall” folder, including coupons for clothing stores, Yankee Candle, and eateries near the mall. Every coupon I’d use for shopping or eating at the large shopping area just to the south of us on Hilliard-Rome Road is in a folder marked “Hilliard Rome South.” Ditto for the food and stores on “Hilliard Rome North,” “Cemetery Rd,” “Dublin/Sawmill,” and “Easton.”


Basically, no matter which direction I’m heading, I can grab the all of the coupons for that area as I’m running out the door. Then if I remember that I need something at a nearby store or want to grab a bite to eat, I have the coupons right there with me.

I clean them out and toss the expired coupons about once every four months. This also refreshes my memory on any great coupons I want to use soon!

All of these things help me to get out the door with a peaceful heart (or as peaceful a heart as I can muster, since I love to be home).  And my kids never, ever ask me where their shoes, coats, and hats are… they even know where to grab the sunscreen. I hope you can use some of these ideas on your home!

May the Lord watch over your going and coming, now and forevermore (Psalm 121:8).


Take the Challenge:

How can you make your out-the-door routine easier?  Ask yourself,

  • What are we always hunting around for when we leave the house?
  • Can the kids find their shoes, coats, hats, etc., without me?
  • Do I have a temporary landing place for things that really need to leave the house, or do they end up in other piles of stuff?
  • Do coupons help me save money? How could I organize them so I’ll actually use them, and use them well?


But watch out:

When couponing, but sure that having those handy coupons doesn’t temp you into buying more, getting not only “the deal” but more stuff than you actually need.

When you’re temped to buy something, try picturing where you’ll store the item when you get home—will it have a happy, uncluttered place to live? Also, if it’s anything less than a necessity, consider placing it on your Christmas list (after a couple of months you may decide you don’t want that item after all).


Tell me about it:

How do you organize to get out the door? I’d love to add your thoughts and ideas to this post and share them on my social media!


For more ways to streamline your routines, check out my second book, Building Your House.


Please share this post with friends who also just want to get out the door in peace!  Here’s a Pin-friendly image:

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