Toni's Tips: Managing & Minimizing Mess in a Family Home

Toni's Tips: Managing & Minimizing Mess in a Family Home

Toni’s Tips: Managing & Minimizing Mess in a Family Home

Spring is finally here!  You know what that means—time to kick-off the season of rain, sports, and recreational activities.  Despite the fun and frolic, the great transition from indoors to outdoors can spell disaster for your tidy, newly-spring-cleaned home.  Family members, guests, and pets alike will track in a whirlwind of dirt, pet hair, pollen, muddy cleats, and more, leaving a maddening mess in its wake.

This daily invasion of outdoor elements is unavoidable, especially when you have kids or furry friends in the house.  However, there is hope!  By purposely designing your home to withstand the day-to-day mess, you can manage a tidier home and minimize your cleaning time.

B.L. Rieke’s resident Interior Designer, Toni Rieke, says there are three major "anti-mess" methods for preventing messes and clutter:

  1. Establish “drop zones” near main entryways.
  2. Install durable, dirt-camouflaging tile in entryways and high traffic areas.
  3. Make the laundry room easily accessible from the most-used entryway.


Each method targets a different kind of a mess, effectively minimizing daily, household messes.

Anti-Mess Method 1: “Drop Zones”

Imagine the family coming home from work and school—and then dumping their bags, phones, keys, papers, loose change, and more on the nearest open space.  Consequently, places like the

The combo of hooks, cubbies, shelves, and cabinet storage make for a tidy drop zone.

kitchen counter and living room couch become convenient hotspots for day-to-day clutter. Establishing designated “drop zones” near busy entryways—such as by the garage door or main front door—will help control the chaos by confining it to specific areas.   To maximize organization and tidiness, drop zone areas can include the following:


- Cubbies for shoes

- Hooks for hats, jackets, etc.

- Shelves for storage

- Counter top space for phones, keys, etc.

- Outlets for charging electronics

- Bench seating for backpacks or putting on shoes



Anti-Mess Method 2: Durable, Dirt-Camouflaging Tile Floors

Travertine tile has many color and textural variations--perfect for concealing dirt, hair, and other grime.

The busy entryways in your home undergo a lot of day-to-day foot traffic.  That means the floors endure a lot of grime and wear-and-tear as family members and pets come and go.  Installing quality tile that has a natural pattern and/or texture will help conceal lint, dirt, hair, mud, dust, and more.  Not to mention that tile has a reputation for being durable and easy to clean, especially when compared to carpet and hardwood.

Another benefit is that there are many tile options to choose from in a variety of price points.  A couple of B.L. Rieke favorites include travertine and slate—both natural stone tiles with enough color and textural variation to easily camouflage dirt, hair, and other messes.

Slate tile is another beautiful and durable option.


Anti-Mess Method 3: Easily-Accessible Laundry Room

Fold-away drying rack for newly-washed clothes.

Perhaps one of the most practical parts of a family home is the often-overlooked laundry room.  This room gets a lot of use, especially whenever the weather outside is wet and muddy.  By making the laundry room convenient and easy to access from the busiest entryway (such as from the garage), you can prevent a lot of dirt from traveling further into the house.  That way, everything—dirty shoes, clothes, coats, and even pets—can be dropped off to be washed before tracking in a mess.  The cleaning supplies will always be close at hand, too!

Toni suggests adding the following features to your laundry room to help you effectively and efficiently manage messes:

- Deep utility sink for washing shoes, pets, and more

- Designated storage for step ladders, brooms, mops, and cleaning supplies

- Handheld Central Vac wall unit (called a “Wallie”) for quick clean-ups

- Storage spots for laundry hampers and baskets

- Wall-mounted fold-away clothes drying racks


A large utility sink serves many useful purposes.

Lots of storage for baskets, hampers, and other supplies.


By using a combination of all three methods (or just one or two to start), you can easily keep the family home in good—and clean—working order with minimal cleaning time.  After all, as the saying goes, “A clean home is a happy home!”

About B.L. Rieke Custom Home Builders

B.L. Rieke has over 25 years of experience building top-quality custom homes for families of different sizes, lifestyles, and budgets.  With over 1,100 homes and hundreds of awards under their belt, the B.L. Rieke team has the skill and the qualifications to build the best of the best homes in Kansas City.  Their success is thanks to their lifelong focus on communication, customer service, and especially the details for each home they build.  Make your dream home a reality by building with B.L. Rieke Custom Home Builders!  For more information or to follow us, please visit or our Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Google.