07 July 2010



We’ve spent time living in Hawaii and in Asian countries and have adopted the practice of leaving our shoes at the door.  Now that we have kids, it is useful for many reasons.  For instance, it keeps the shoes from being strewn all over the house.  We are never searching for shoes when we should be heading out the door.  It also saves our carpets and floors.  We have various other spills and stains to contend with; we don’t need to add mud (or something worse) to that list. 

But with five of us in the house, our front door looks like we’re having a town hall meeting in our living room.  What to do, what to do?  Here is what I tried, or at least considered trying:

  1. Storing all but 1-2 pairs of shoes elsewhere
  2. Lining the shoes up by person/size
  3. Letting the shoes run free in a huge pile
  4. Giving up

BUT, I finally found a solution that works for us.  Each person has a shoe bin.  Each person is responsible for their shoe bin (except the baby).  If the shoe bin is too full, some shoes must be moved to the closet.  If a pair of shoes is found anywhere other than on someone’s feet or in their bin, it’s a quarter fine – oh no!  The trick is the size of the bin.  Obviously, it has to be big enough to hold shoes, but it can’t be too deep that it just makes a huge pile that you can’t quickly sort through.  I found it best to use bigger bins for mommy and daddy, medium for the boys, and a small box for baby’s shoes.

We’ve been using this system for a couple months, and so far here are the benefits:
  1. No hunting for shoes in a jumbled pile
  2. Less sweeping
  3. Neat entryway

All of this equals one calmer mommy.  Hey, it works for me.

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