The gears in my brain have been grinding for awhile now about our front closet. The addition of the hanging rack last year definitely helped with the jacket and backpack situation because our front closet is on the small side, and also, heaven forbid that someone have to open the closet door to find what they are looking for. But, for that same reason, shoes remain an issue in our house on a regular basis.
Someday I will live in a home where everyone keeps their shoes in their own closet- but for now I live in a world where no one(including myself!) can be bothered to go ALL OF THE WAY upstairs to put on shoes, and if I dared to ask such a thing, we would probably never leave the house. Despite not requiring anyone to actually put away their shoes, my request to "Go put on your shoes," is regularly met with the answer, "I don't know where they are," even as the shoes in question are being tripped over. Clearly, we have a shoe problem!
Last time that I tried to fix this problem, I used baskets and a small shoe organizer. It worked ok for awhile, but here were the problems that I eventually ran into:
1) At least one of the desired shoes was somehow always at the bottom of the basket, so finding a matching pair made a huge mess.
2) My husband's shoes (and my boots) were too big to really fit on the shoe organizer or in the baskets.
3) We have too many shoes.
Ok, really and truly, I have too many shoes- because in addition to the 5-7 pairs of shoes that I keep on the main level of our house....I also have this in my closet:
So...after browsing through several different shoe organizer options online, I decided that I'm too cheap to buy another shoe organizer, when my problem could be easily solved for free...and here's how:
Step #1) Purge some shoes (honestly I never wear the majority of the shoes in my own closet because the ones I like the best always end up downstairs in the front hallway!)
Step #2) Swap the placement of the shoe organizers so that the big one is in the downstairs closet.
As I was dragging the large cubby organizer down the stairs, I was having major dejavu...I KNEW that I had tried this before, and it just didn't fit.
But, through the sheer force of my determination, this time I was able to find exactly the right angle to slide it in- and squeeze it through the opening of the closet doorway (it is slightly wider than the doorway, but fits into the actual closet PERFECTLY if you can just get it in there). I have no idea how or why I wasn't able to make it work last time, because it worked great this time!
Now each family member has 1 or 2 rows in which to store his or her shoes...and if your shoes don't fit in the row, then you have too many shoes in the front closet. The only thing left to do is wait and see if my husband will eventually catch on that each family member has a designated row- because I routinely find his shoes elsewhere :)
I've also added some baskets to the bench in the entry- to serve as "in" or "out" baskets to catch things like mail, keys, school papers, sunglasses, and cold weather accessories that were finding themselves on that bench on a regular basis anyway.
It doesn't exactly solve the problem of "stuff" accumulating near the doorway, but it does tidy it up a little bit, and I try to make an effort to sort through the baskets on a regular basis to keep them from overflowing.
What do you think? Is it an improvement? Is your entryway ready for fall and winter?