It’s Hip to Be Square-Protecting Mudroom Cubbies (and organizing events)

Where do you store your shoes? My family has a tiny little mudroom area that’s less than three feet wide at the end of our kitchen. We had this built immediately after we moved here, replacing a giant floor-to-ceiling pantry cabinet that made our kitchen feel so small. Even though our cubby area is tiny, it’s a workhorse, but ten years later the white cubbies were showing their age.

mudroom shoe cubby liners

This is where we come in and out 800 times a day. It’s Grand Central Station, for sure, and is only a tiny little part of our kitchen. During the winter it’s loaded with coats and scarves, but I put those away in our clever hall closet during the summer.

mudroom shoe cubby liners

Building this hook-and-cubby station into our tiny little space wasn’t expensive, and it was so worth it. From a young age, the girls learned where their shoes went. It’s been a key part of keeping our clutter down in the rest of our home. Does this give you hope that you can work a lot of organization into a tiny space?

Before repainting the cubbies, I had to figure out how to protect them, so they wouldn’t get so grubby in the future. One of my suppliers makes custom-trimmed plastic mats for all sorts of applications, which I’ve ordered for clients to protect tabletops and closet surfaces. These liners were perfect for this project.

First, the painting…always my happy place. Under the paint can, you can see the pre-cut liners, custom cut to my dimensions. If you’ve seen custom car mats from WeatherTech, these liners are the same idea, but for your furniture and shelves.

mudroom shoe cubby liners

Below is a picture with the left cubbies already painted. You can easily prime and paint MDF, which is what these cubbies are made of. In fact, it’s important to keep them painted so the wood doesn’t swell and buckle from moisture, as ours has already done a little. This is another reason to install a liner.

mudroom shoe cubby liners

Let painted furniture dry as long as you can. Latex paint dries to the touch within a day, but it can take up to two weeks for it to cure. If you’ve ever had to pry books or a vase off a painted shelf, then you know what can happen if you don’t let paint cure.

mudroom shoe cubby liners

The liners are sized perfectly to fit inside. This will keep my paint job looking great for much longer.

mudroom shoe cubby liners

I finished this project a year ago, and the cubbies and liners both still look great, which is good news because there has been no shortage of projects to do at home this year. Thanks #2020.

mudroom shoe cubby liners


If this is the perfect solution for your project, you can order your own liners from ExactMats here (affiliate link). Plastic is having a moment right now, and they also make custom face shields in adult and youth sizes, as well as other plastic safety barriers which you might need for back-to-school and back-to-work. If you do order, please mention that you heard about them from HeartWork Organizing. Small businesses like theirs always like to know where you learned about their valuable products and great service.

When ExactMats heard that I loved them so much, they reached out and offered 15% off to all of my clients using this link and the code: HEARTWORK15 through Oct 28, 2020. How great is that?


Not sure if you need these or how to measure for your needs? Book a virtual appointment with me and we’ll make sure you have all the info to order your own.

Fall Organizing Events

As promised, there are several new events planned for the fall, both (safely!) in person and online.

Saturday, September 19: Mt Airy Lavender Farm is hosting an open-air SORT and Succeed workshop. Real people! Lavender treats! Small group! Safe social distancing! I can’t wait to see you! Register here. I love this sweet picture that the host took for the event. Even if you can’t attend, check out Mt Airy Lavender Farm’s selection of locally-grown lavender products. They’ve become some of my favorite gifts to send to my favorite people.

SORT and Succeed at Mt Airy Lavender Farm


Can’t make it to the in-person event? Get your autographed book here.

Tuesday, 9/22- Easttown Library is hosting the “Use Every Inch: Organize to Maximize Your Home’s Space and Value” event virtually, so you can join from anywhere. This is focusing on using those hidden and forgotten spaces in our homes, which is what we all need right now! Register here. 

September is #SaveYourPhotos month, so get in on the hottest pandemic project: photo organizing. Register here for over 40 mini-classes on photo organizing topics. If that sounds like too much work, don’t worry, I’ve got bite-sized tips for you over on my Instagram each day in September. Post your questions about your photos and memorabilia there and I’ll be glad to answer them.

Watch my latest TV show, Organizing Elephants on MLTV-Main Line Network anytime. Nicolette Emmino, a #WFH mom with a 6-year-old, a bunny, and an African tortoise, was wondering whether to take over her son’s playroom into her home office. Hear what she went through to make her home office work for her.

I can’t wait to see you again in person or online. Here in the USA, this is a holiday weekend. I’m not entirely sure what that means anymore, but I hope you enjoy some R&R at least!

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It's Hip to Be Square-Protecting Mudroom Cubbies