Get Your Shit Together: The Mudroom

I’m taking my cleaning and organizing adventure in the same order I walk through the house everyday, which means I’m starting with this room…


To the left…


And there’s the black hole closet that is next to the heaviest chalkboard ever.


I’m using the 20/10 rule (from Unfuck your Habitat) to get me started on this project.) And the challenge was if I could get the whole room done in the first 20/10, I could spend another 20/10 on this room’s “bonus project”. For the sake of efficiency I started with these three things:


The bag is for trash, the box is for anything that needs to be put away in another room (to discourage the ADD that happens when I actually wander into another room to put stuff away), the beer is for… obvious reasons.

Phone timer on and GO…

Here’s how I did after the first 20/10:


Uh. That… doesn’t look like progress. In fact, it almost looks like the opposite of progress.

BUT, if ten years of DIY has taught me anything, it’s that things always get worse before they get better.

After the second 20/10…






I didn’t have enough time leftover to get to my bonus project (painting the inside of the door) but I scrubbed it down real well instead. I’d love to have a more formal rack for the archery equipment on the wall just inside the door, but at least no one will trip over a quiver of arrows this way.

And I still hate the shit out of that pink tile floor– even clean– so I’m definitely getting coming out soon. BUT, I managed to get one space organized, and that’s super motivating for me to work on the next space (I’m looking at you, laundry room) tonight.

Tune in to Facebook (sometime between 9-11 EST) to see the progress…

12 Responses

  1. Temporary fix to your pink floors? Buy a gallon or two of floor paint, dump on floor, roll around, done. Sometimes it’s better to do a temporary fix rather than look at something you hate for another two years.

    I’m speaking from experience as we have a bathroom with bright green linoleum tiles. Picked up stuff to paint it until we rip the entire thing out next year.

  2. Nice! It always feels good to have a tidy (clean might be stretching it in my house!) space amid the chaos. I may have to try the 20/10, since FlyLady 5-min-flings don’t seem to make much of a dent in my house. Of course, I live with 4 pigs (ahem) guys, 3/4 of whom are under 9.

  3. Wow – Your three starting items (trash can, basket & beer) seem like a no brainer but I’ve never thought of having a basket for items that go in another room/space. Great idea. I always find something and say, “Well I just take this over here and put it away. But, oh, this is a mess so I’ll just straighten that up so I can put away said object.” And then next thing I know I’m on the floor surrounded by piles of shit 2 hours later and three rooms are torn apart and all I tried to do initially was clean off the fricken coffee table. LOL.

  4. Thanks for posting this step by step progress! I’ve been thinking about the 20/10 since you posted it and how it may just get me going….now seeing you’ve started I feel challenged.

    The basket for things to other rooms is brilliant!! I too get lost if I take something to another room…I’m thinking that you can’t take the basket into another room before finishing the first room and emptying the ENTIRE basket before doing ANYTHING else probably needs to be a RULE. LOL

  5. Holy crap this is awesome!

    Must be something in the air because last week I scrawled GYST on a piece of paper & kept reading it to myself throughout the day as I wandered away (mentally or physically) from the job at hand. Mind you I was proud of myself for coming up with the idea all on my own to tell myself “get your shit together” when I strayed.

    Then of course this week you post THIS and the link to Unfuck your Habitat and I’m like WTF?!?! I NEED this.

    Thank you for your openness in posting. It’s comforting to know I am not alone & inspiring to see that things can get done.

    Trash can. Basket. Beer. Got it!

  6. Can I vote along with Shane for a floor paint as an interim fix? Did you see some of the floor painting on Little Green Notebook – made a huge difference.

    1. I love the *idea* of painting, but it’s so impractical for me– moving everything out, managing through the dry time, etc– if I go to that effort I’d probably just rip out the tile and live with the subfloor… but I’m also hoping to re-tile sometime this fall.

  7. Oh thank you for all of this!!! I have barely been home for 2 weeks, while simultaneously having my fiancee start moving all his stuff into my house and OMG every surface is filled with stuff! The tile backsplash is only a 1/3 of the way through. It’s just not okay. This 20/10 is going to be my July 4th mantra. Thank you!! Oh, and yes – I vote heartily for painting the floor! It’ll make it way better and help you finish the other projects you actually want to work on first. My two cents.

    Cheers! I’ll make sure to grab my bag and basket before the cider (beer) because well… work comes first. 😛

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