Sometimes organizing an area of the home presents itself in the simplest form though it may have taken quite some time to figure that out. Something out of the ordinary. Such is the case of our organized shoes and winter boot wear in our entryway.
I mentioned in an earlier post a few weeks ago about some areas in our home that needed organizing. I’ve gotten some of these areas under control but some of them still baffle me as to how to organize them. Our entryway though was on the list of areas to organize. It was in a constant state of disarray. Shoes needed a place to call their own. Finding a matching pair of shoes always took a few minutes. Kids jackets and winter coats were thrown over any spot they could find until a parent hang them up (the kids can’t reach the hangers in the closet). When they asked where to put their jackets, I would tell them to put it “there” or “here” until later. This system was not a functional system – it was rather frustrating and not so pretty.
Here is a photo of what the space may have looked like on the daily. I did not take a full photo to save some of the shoe embarrassment in the entry closet. The entryway is sort of split with the front room on the other side so that too was proving itself to be difficult to organize. But it needed to be done.
In our previous home, I used a small basket for the kids to keep their spring/summer shoes in the entryway (which worked well). The shoe closet itself needed much help. I’m not a fan of flimsy shoe stands where the shoes seem to fall over the place. I chose to add a cubical storage system which solved a bit of the problem. I still felt that it took up too much room and the dividers tend to cut down on some of the shoe space. What did not fit in the cubical ended up in bins. When we moved here, I still used the cubical/bin system temporarily while I consistently searched for that ‘perfect’ shoe organizing system. When winter rolled around, I needed something that could also fit our boots and taller shoes. (I kept our Spring/Summer shoes in a bin and removed it from the closet area – we’re not wearing them now anyway).
Many of the shoe stands (shoe systems) out there tend to be smaller side and not made for winter shoes. I’ve seen some DIY stands that seem to work but did not look like they would fit a few boots. I’ve also seen some fabulous customized shoe closets within clothing closets. I knew that was not an option – I just wanted something to keep our everyday shoes in the entryway neat. Something made of wood or that looked like wood (real or fake). Feeling a bit hopeless and not liking our entryway, I almost ordered a shoe stand (affiliate link) that probably would have been fine for smaller shoes but not for taller shoes. It looked like this one in the following image but taller with more stands. See how small the height between the stands are on this one – around 6 inches or so. Not even a foot. How I am supposed to organized boots on a shoe stand with heights so small? Maybe I should have DIY- ed something? (That’s not always possible).
Anyway, I picked up this little one at Target for around $11. I figured I would use it as my tester to determine the exact height of the shelves and how the shoes would fit for smaller shoes. If it did not work out too well after I had already assembled, I could always return it or forgo the $11 and use it to organize something small. It fits the kids shoes well and about 2 -1/2 of my hubby’s bigger shoes on a stand (see how I placed a few of his under the stand). But the rest of our winter big shoes still remained unsolved.
During my search, I decided a simple bookshelf may be my solution. I calculated measurements, I ordered this one from Amazon. It’s not real wood, it’s laminate. It’s a shoe stand substitute so I am OK with it being something less pricey. But it came in some pretty paper to protect the pieces and it only took a few minutes to put it together.
And the problem for our shoes was solved especially for these cold weather type of shoes. The nice part about this is that the bookshelves could be adjusted. Note: Wet shoes will need to be dried on the front door mat first before placing on the stands. This is not all our shoes, but they are the ones we frequently throw on during the winter (everyday wear, some snow shoes to keep the kids feet warm, a couple sneakers, etc). It makes sense to only have them out and keep the other rarely used or seasonal ones in a bin.
Here is the funny part. It’s being so nice and warm here it may already be time to rotate the shoes. Or maybe not?! When we rotate and put away the winter boots, the shelves will have more room for narrower shoes. Although we’ll still need to add the rain boots but those are are only kids and won’t take up much room. We’ll see how that plays out but for now, that’s the simple shoe solution.
If you have a smaller entryway and need some shoe solving solutions, here are a few ways to go about doing so:
- don’t chose anything just because it is labeled “shoe stand” – search around to see what is out there and what might work for your space
- think outside the box if you need to and don’t pressure yourself to have a stand that would not work anyway
- stop looking at what everyone else has in their entryway and find something that will work for your family’s needs
- DIY a customized shoe organizer if you need to (I didn’t but that is an option if you can)
- rotate shoes so they are not out all at once making things more disorganized
- once you find a solution, make it a habit to put the shoes back in place
Our solution is definitely the most swoon worthy organized shoe idea you may have seen. I used a cheap bookshelf and a cheap little organizer – both laminated wood. But I tell you, this has been keeping our shoes in place! Our entryway is no longer a place of sheer disarray. The kids shoes are so easy to find now and they are pretty good at putting them back in the exact spots. BTW: I didn’t necessarily dedicate a spot for each kid’s shoes but I guess they saw how it was first organized and just kinda went with the flow. I’ve even heard them claiming “their” shoe spot when someone else takes “their” spot. Well, at least they are wanting to put things back in place so that’s great.
And the jackets and sweaters? I have a simple solution for those too. I am working on a post to show you how it all work along with the shoes. Again, not the most swoon-worthy but definitely organized and functional and no longer frustrating.
What do you think of this simple idea to keep our shoes organized? Do you struggle with organizing your shoes? Then maybe you might just need a simple bookshelf or two:)