Spring Favorite Things by Valerie Young, Extraordinary Organizing Queen of Maine

Guest Post
With the arrival of Spring... finally!... in the Northeast, we are ready to kick off the grit and grime of winter and prepare for some outdoor fun! Spring is one of those funny seasons in New England where you never know when it's actually going to start, and up in Maine we even have a separate time right after winter called "Mud Season" as all the snow melts and the April showers do their thing (May flowers!). So even though every particle in my OCD body is wanting to get the house, deck, and gardens sparkly and shiny, I know there's going to be the inevitable tracking in of dirt and mud for at least the next few weeks.

So today I bring you my Spring "Favorite Things" that help to make sure all of my spring cleaning doesn't go to waste! As a Mainer, plenty of my house is outfitted in the classic L.L. Bean gear. And for good reason - their lifetime guarantee, free shipping, and high quality make buying their products a no-brainer option. (I'm not receiving anything for talking up their goods, but if they want to send me some love, all the better!) One thing that is a MUST HAVE for mud season is a water hog mat.

L.L. Bean Water Hog Mat

This sucker gets the majority of the dirt off of boots before it can enter your house. Adorable dog not included, unfortunately. They come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors - we've got one outside on the deck and inside the door as well.

For storing boots and umbrellas, I'm crushing on the Smith & Hawken collection from Target. A copper tray for the boots and a basket for umbrellas, with a cute little chalkboard label to let the kiddos, visitors, and even the Mr. (!) know where to put their wet things.

Finally, as this is meant to be a Spring organization post, I share with you some quick tips for keeping your mud room neat and tidy. Nothing helps someone who is naturally a bit more messy to appear organized better than baskets. They are a working mom's best friend! You can stash things away, yet keep everyday items easily accessible. Plus, they are easy to use for kids to "help" clean up as well. I really love this pocket cubby from Land of Nod, which can hang right on a wall.
Land of Nod Numbered Wall Hanger


Perfect for sunglasses & sunblock, keys, toys, or whatever else goes in the "drop zone"! Wicker and woven baskets are always a nice touch, and you can get liners (or learn how to make one here) in all different colors to match your decor. You can always just hang up some pretty hooks, drape a tote bag there, and stash stuff right inside the bag!

Anthropologie Hooks


As the days get longer and the temperatures rise, you'll want to spend more time outside enjoying things and less time cleaning up dirty footprints or searching for suntan lotion. Take a few minutes to spruce up your mud room, and enjoy the efficiency all year long!

Thanks, Melissa, for having me over to Grace & Josie! XOXO, Valerie

Read more from Valerie, Maine's crafty organizing guru, at http://craftingkitty.blogspot.com/