The pass-through zone in the New Woodstock, New York, farmhouse was once a laundry room; it was turned into a side entryway about five years ago.
Beth Ann is a first-grade teacher. Like most moms, she has made myriad attempts to bring order to her home’s busiest area: “I would say, ‘These five cubbies are yours—this bin is his.’ But I never got around to labeling anything, so nothing stuck.” Andy, an engineer, says of the sneakers, boots, and cleats, “They were everywhere.”
Katie, 16 (far left); David, 14; and Janie, 12, play an array of sports—and drop their balls, bats, and rackets the minute they step inside the house. Skiing is big for all three kids; in the winter, ski gear ends up piled in the mudroom, when it would be much more at home in the garage.
Found in (and Removed From) the Mudroom
- 1 kite handle (no kite)
- 1 wall-mounted quilt hanger
- 1 bottle of detangling dog shampoo (for a long-since-passed pooch)
- 3 loose bicycle parts (pedal, chain, seat connector)
- 1 bar of mechanic’s soap
- 4 dried-up stain sticks
- 1 pair of snowboarding boots (no Kempf has snowboarded in three years)
- 9 empty bottles of all-purpose cleaner
- 1 ski jacket and 1 pair of snow pants that don’t fit anyone in the family (“I have absolutely no idea whom they belong to,” says Beth Ann)