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Shoes, shoes, shoes: how to control the clutter?

It's hard enough for just one person to control the clutter of the shoe, but add to that a kid or two and a partner, then there could be heaps of shoes, sandals, flip-flops, and slippers strewn everywhere.  Time after time, we *think* we've found the perfect solution to tame the shoes, but it always ends up in one big indiscernable heap, even after good, consistent purging and maintaining the stock to just the bare minimum number of shoes.  As a no-shoe household, we always end up with this heap in our entryway, and people constantly trip over the heap o' shoes.  We'd like to know: do you have the same issue?  How have you managed to control the clutter of the shoes?  Help us in our quest to organize in this new year!


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Oh I, too, struggle with this! The muddy shoes, the shoes that got poop on them, the too-cold for these shoes, they are all multiplying, I swear! I hope someone has a good idea because we got bench/organizers from Ikea but it seems our shoe collection grew enough to outgrow our solution. For now we have the two benches, and a bucket for the kids shoes. And a big pile inbetween all those. Perhaps we should have a contest for the biggest shoe mess? Send in photos? :-D

I know this is going to be hard for some to hear, but my solution now is LESS shoes. I have definitely been one to buy more than what we really needed, shoe-wise, but circumstances being what they have the past couple years, I have cut way back on the number of shoes I buy for myself and my kids. I have found that we really just don't need that many shoes and I'm glad not to have to futz with so many any more. Currently, I cycle thru one pair of hard-working Danskos that go with most of my cold-weather wardrobe, a pair of cheap slip-ons for trips to the mailbox, etc., and a delicious pair of Haflinger wool slippers for indoors--I take them when I'm visiting friends. The kids have similar set ups.

For storage, we use two shoe caddies that my mom sewed for us. My husband and I share one, that hangs inside our bedroom closet door. My kids share another than hangs on the back of their bedroom door--they keep their hats and mittens there, too. On good days, when we come inside, we put our shoes in our shoe caddies. Honestly, the kids are better about this than me.

We all have mudboots, that are kept in a basket outside our back door.

We are also a no-shoe household and we have a shoe rack near our front door. It has four shelves, so each of us has a designated shelf and our rule is, if there are too many shoes to fit on your shelf, then the extras need to go in your bedroom closet. The result is that we each end up with that season's main pair(s) of shoes stored near the door, and off-season/special occasion shoes are stored in closets. We also have a basket of slippers near the shoe rack.

That's a great idea, D. We do something similar (if there are too many, put the excess in your bedroom closet) but having a designated shelf for each and making their own shoes their own upkeep seems like it would reinforce the idea a lot more...

we also have a shelf system but i recently purchased an upright (think umbrella like) shoe rack from storables (on sale!) that i put on the stairwell to our basement. it holds those extra shoes for the (5!) of us and i like the vertical and rotating features. helped to cut some of the entryway shoe clutter! and yes, less shoes works too!

We go by the one pair out in the entryway per person. Ever since I lived in Hawaii I adopted that sign of respect and homemaking where taking off your shoes is custom.

We are shoeless inside too, but in the winter we have the same too many pairs problem. As our entry bleeds into our livingroom, part of our livingroom is a shoe pile. I'm not sure I can live with the one pair for the season idea. In the summer we have a basket outside (which at least leaves the problem outside) but in the winter I hate to put on cold shoes!

I think, as somone else said, we don't have that many shoes, but for the shoes we do a hanging shoe rack off the closet door in our bedroom and a plastic tub in the hall closet for our son's shoes.

IKEA has some fabulous inexpensive unpainted shoe racks. one pair of shoes neatly lined up at the front door...any additional shoes need to be put away by their owner. it takes some reminding but the simple act of lining up ones shoes provides a bit of respect for the home as well as themselves.

oy. i *hate* this problem. we all have hanging shoe racks on the backs of the bedroom/ closet doors, but we also have a big, metal tub by the front door that collects most of the shoes in circulation. it's a raging disaster when the tub gets too full though and even though no one else seems to notice, i swear it smells like gym socks in that corner of the living room.

So timely - just yesterday we were telling our 1 year old for the 500th time, shoes are not toys! as she catapulted herself toward the pile in the entryway (which bleeds into the living room). We want to minimize the "no's" in her play-space, so we've been talking about getting a cabinet for the shoes. But I'm sure she'd just open it and explore. So I like the idea of just having fewer shoes around. For now.

Less shoes helps us a LOT. My kids have one nice pair, one all-purpose tennis shoe type and a pair of rain / mud boots. When they come inside, shoes go on the mat by the door and slippers go on. If you are ready to leave and the shoes you want to wear are NOT by the door (meaning the last ones you wore) you take those back to your closet and get the right ones. It's easy to keep the kid shoes to a minimum because they outgrow them so fast, but I have scaled WAY back, too. I have 2 pairs of Danskos - brown and black and a pair of nicer black boots. That's it. Oh, and snow boots in the garage. Come summer, a pair of Dansko sandals (dressier or casual), and a pair or maybe two of flip flops. Basta cosi.

if you have an iphone, the myShoebox app is fantastic b/c you never have to worry about buying shoes you don't need b/c you know exactly what you have on your phone!
it also has a great donate feature so that if you do choose to buy a new pair, you can pick one (or two) to donate to keep clutter down :)

We have the same system as D, plus an over-the-door shoe-pocket thing for the extras. The over the door shoe thing is awesome because usually you're using space that would otherwise be totally unused, and you also don't have to look at it. I got a transparent one for another closet and use it to store non-shoe odds and ends.

I have this thing about personal items in community spaces. Drives me mad.
So we put our shoes in our closets when we take them off. Lucky for me, of the three walkers in our house, two are territorial (my 3 year old and me) and one is graciously compliant(my husband)

As we are preparing to move to a new house, I've decided to make the new house a "no shoes" zone from reading the various posts about it on here. I think it will be a good idea, but if only the dog wore shoes too! I will look into one of the storage space benches from IKEA. Thanks for sharing your shoe stories! :)

Our kids shoes go in the bottom drawer of their dresser, boots in the closet. It helps that their room is right next to the front door (old, small bungalow). But it's still a process of waiting until that pile gets big next to the door before we put them away. I've decided this is not a top priority of mine. Some day they'll put their shoes away on their own. I'm just impressed that they take them off at the door to begin with!

Even before 12 years in Japan, our home was no-shoe. First, it was shelf wood balanced on bricks. Now, we have graduated to a shoe rack from Bi-Mart, @$30.00 (goes on sale a couple of times a year), with 4 shelves. Extra shoes go in the hall closet. No-shoe homes are cleaner and easier to clean. Visitors get used to it quickly, and keeping slippers for visitors is nice, esp. in winter. Go no-shoe!

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