Monday, March 22, 2010


Instead of weeping and moaning about the health care vote last night (but believe me, I am weeping and moaning) I thought I would ask for some advice.

We've managed to get our laundry under control (I can't find the link--we moved all the kids dressers into the laundry room thereby simplifying everything) and our chore system means that the house is basically always reasonably picked up. However, I have no good, rational and decent way to deal with shoes.

I've tried keeping them lined up neatly in rows in various parts of the house, I've tried keeping them all in a huge basket, and now I'm making the kids constantly carry them up to their rooms every time I see a pair lying around. There always seems to be one critical shoe missing, and often I can't find my own shoes because Gladys has worn them to some remote part of the house.

So, surely some of you have something to suggest.
My only stipulation is that I can't spend any money. I can't go out and buy a fancy shoe rack or shoe bin or shoe storage unit or new room of my house for shoes (like the unbelievably blessed woman who has a whole barn for all her children's shoes). Whatever solution, it is will have to be completely free, although I'm willing to put in work to make it happen.

Please, I beg you, someone offer me some hope.


TwoSquareMeals said...

When we purged our boys' toys before Christmas, I had an extra book shelf (the cheap pressboard kind) with two shelves. I designated it the "shoe shelf" and put it by the door. Whenever the kids come in, I make them take off their shoes and put them on the shelf. Now they remind me to do it, too! Those kinds of shelves are easy to find at garage sales or on the side of the road at garbage day. It's going to get beat up and dirty with shoes on it, anyway, so you don't need a new one. I have a basket on top for mittens and hats and sunglasses and keys and other things we need when we go out.

Amanda said...

Dressers in the laundry room now that is an amazing idea!!

Anne Kennedy said...

I Very Much like the idea of a Shoe Shelf. Hmmm. I will ponder that all day. thanks.

Re Dressers in the Laundry Room, its been one of the best things we've ever done, besides have actual children. Life is so much simpler.

Danica said...

I've always wondered how you actually have five children. Now I know that keeping 5 children organized is the much bigger endeavor. I offer no hope however since I can't even keep my 2 small children shoes organized. Though I do have a dog who likes to reorganize them on an hourly basis. Perhaps you could just have them go barefoot. It is almost summer... in 3 more months or so.

Former Atheist said...

When you figure it out, please let me know! We have a shoe shelf which organizes only the least frequently worn shoes. We have a dog who loves shoes and distributes them in even more places than a 3 year old can. I routinely tell the boys to check under Dad's desk in the study and in the dog's crate.

The Copes said...

The shoe bin thing works for me -- so long as I have a blanket on top. Out of sight, out of mind...

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

To finetune your shoe shelf--only one pair of shoes per person allowed. The rest have to go in their rooms. Really dirty shoes--for soccer and cross country--go out in the garage.

And when someone asks where their shoes are, I tell them that I forgot where I put their shoes after I finished wearing them!

Anonymous said...

We're still with the shoe baskets...although I had to add another one. I also have them purge the basket once a week (for the moment) and take back all but 1 pair of shoes. Somewhat keeps it under control.
Good Luck!
Laura from FL