Thirty-One Thursdays

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Keeping in pattern with my summer blog series’, here is the topic I will address on Thursdays……..

Thirty-One!!!

Have no fear, it will not be a series about sales pitches! I PROMISE! It will instead be a series of blogs about areas in my life and home that I have dramatically transformed with the addition of a few stylish & functional Thirty-One products and a little “Stick To It”! Not every product I highlight is going to necessarily be represented in a current pattern and in some cases it may even include use of a previously retired product but in those cases I will provide alternative options that are currently available. Now obviously I AM going to encourage you to implement these ideas in your life, how & where they apply by using Thirty-One products and I am certainly going to link to my Thirty-One website to encourage that you contact me to place those orders BUT I also encourage that you implement these ideas with optimum effectiveness in your little world. I am fully aware that personal taste, budgetary restraints, and specific lifestyle needs may vary and not always accommodate Thirty-One being your perfect solution, and I never want to force feed my love of my products on others, rather simply share that love and its miraculous function & effect on my home… and I am excited to share the first Miraculous Tranformation thanks to Thirty-One & a little sweat equity…

The Problem:

My family of 6 lives in a little 3 bedroom ranch house that was built in the 1950’s. The  finished main floor is barely 1000 sq. ft. but we have added to that with additional finished space in our basement. We are certainly more blessed than most and grateful daily for what God has blessed us with. Learning to use our space effectively though has been a process and a challenge as our little family of 4 has morphed into a family of 6 during the 10 years we have lived here.

One of our biggest problem area has always been our entry ways. Our house has a front entry that walks right into our little upstairs living room and a back entrance that walks into a small landing space before you go up 2 steps into our gally kitchen or go down a flight of stairs into that partially finished basement I just mentioned. It’s not a terribly small space in general but it is also certainly not large. With a family of 6 and more than one season of life we’ve been through in this house requiring diaper bags & carrying an infant carrier or toddler through the door, it has been too small for my family and incredibly crowded for a number of years now.

The Solution:

For the first half of our time in this house it was even smaller and more closed off than it is currently, with room for no more than a wall coat rack or two and a shoe tray by our back door. About 4-5 years ago we decided to take down a small pantry and widen the stairs up into the kitchen and it was a life changing decision! We still must file in to avoid knocking anyone down the stairs, but we can fit two at a time now and it opened up the availability for me to come up with a creative wall storage solution. The double coat rack always filled up so fast & there was no good solution for backpacks without them being knocked down when people went past the hooks to go downstairs. Not to mention that scarves being hung in the winter and hats & gloves crammed into pockets of the jackets made them become bulky quickly and created an over hung set of hooks.

So I took to Pinterest…

and here’s what I found…

     AWESOME:

…and then I stopped looking! This was the perfect solution and I got right down to work. I started by using my weekly email coupon from Jo-Anne fabrics to acquire three wooden crates across a few weeks (note, it was only three when I initially did this project because it was prior to baby #4, after she arrived I swiftly added the fourth crate pictured below). I decided to do three identical sized crates and I painted each crate in each of my girls “family colors”, aqua, pink & purple (again the yellow crate was added when my youngest was a newborn). I had my husband help me attach hooks on the side of each wooden crate to hang the backpacks, which you will notice are retired Thirty-One styles except for the little one hanging on the yellow crate. That is my diaper bag and my youngest daughter’s “pack pack” it is a Going My Way Backpack in a retired print. My middle daughters have retired back packs that are amazing, in incredible shape and are personalized for them, however they prefer to carry their Cinch Sacs that I purchased and personalized for our trip to Disney at the end of last summer. On the average day both the backpacks & cinch sacs hang on their crates and they still manage to maintain a roomy enough entryway next to a set of hooks on the wall for mine & my husbands jackets & guests.

You will also notice that jackets, umbrella’s and scarves on the hooks for each girl as needed. Once the crates were painted and the hooks were added we hung them on the wall by the back entry. I added Little Carry All Caddy’s for my youngest daughters to hold their gloves and hats during the winter months and their feet are small enough that a few pairs of flip-flops or sandals fit in them during the spring & summer months. I also have a Little Carry All Caddy placed on the very top of my oldest daughter’s to hold the dog brush, leash, poop bags & collapsible water dish in and it sits nicely next to the jar of treats that typically sits atop that crate as well. The last Thirty-One product that I used to transform the space it a Mini Utility Bin, which is currently retired but very similar in style & size to the current Mini Storage Bin. The “cubbies” as we have come to call them in my house, also fit the rain boots allowing them to stay on hand but still out-of-the-way during the necessary months when they aren’t drying from use in a shoe tray. My girls buy lunch a lot so they use their Thermals more during the summer than the school year but the cubbies also allow those to be set inside or on top if the hooks are full.

Though getting my crazy kids in and out the door will likely never be smooth sailing, with these few additions to my family’s Thirty-One collection and the little sweat equity on behalf of the wooden crates, we have made it a less horrible experience and my back entry way is capable of looking presentable! I hope you take inspiration from this idea and come up with solutions to keep your entryway clutter or mud room mess a little more tolerable and maybe even functionally stylish! Let me know if you have any questions about problem areas in your home! Next up I may just share my command center! Until then, go forth and organize your home, even if it’s just a little! It can make a world of difference in your day-to-day function & mood, trust me!

As always, thanks for reading!

~Rebecca

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