The other weekend, while I had water boiling but no husband to kill chickens, I decided to tackle the back side of the front door. That is, the little space that is behind the door when the door is open. It had become very scary back there.
The width of the area is about 3 feet; when the door is open it's completely obscured (too bad I can't host company with the door always open). It's about 5 feet deep, but the back 18" or so is a set of plastic garage-style shelves, which fit - TIGHTLY - in the spot. These hold boxes of seasonal stuff (like a bike helmet, garden hat and gloves, scarves, etc), a carseat, random mess that gets tossed that direction... Once upon a time it held some bins labeled nicely with the names of my offspring. The wall along the right is coats.
But when the floor between you and the bin is knee-deep in boots, shoes, coats, gloves, scarves (someone dug through a box), sandals, slippers, socks, swimming suits (?), an umbrella stroller, a beach umbrella, dirt, grime, and spiders... well, you abandon the bin in favor of the "toss and walk" method. Which oppresses this mama.
I began my excavation expedition, and before long no one could get into the hallway, up the stairs, in or out the front door... I sorted JUST kid shoes, and my exasperation was palpable. How is it, with only three, THREE, (3!) children who can even walk!, that I had some sixty (SIXTY, 60!)- ish! pairs of shoes represented!?!??! I say "represented" because, well, never mind.
It's a good thing we don't have near neighbors, because I wedged the front door open and pitched many pairs and representative-of-pairs out the front door, not altogether silently. The children ducked, then gathered them into vehicles of disposal without question. At least, without question once they saw my steely jaw.
[Steely jaw? What is that, anyway? I guess I'm the Shoe Terminator.]
I filled most of the stairs, lining up pairs and assigning a "size" to each stair. And Little Artist is still perplexed by her size 12, and her BIG sister's size 2. Then I went and stole some of Hubby's boot boxes, and put a size or three in each.
Here is the box for size 3 and 4. The pair in the top center was Big Sister's first pair of shoes. Baby wore them the other day.
I bothered to take such a silly picture - of each box - because I then printed out a very poor black-and-white copy of them, which I taped to the outside of the appropriate box, marking the size with a Sharpie.
I made one box for slippers, since they are seasonal and we'll just dig into that and figure out what fits who each fall. I did the same with our modest assortment of rubber/winter boots.
I also kept a box of "orphan" shoes (a.k.a. "representatives") on the shelf of things I was certain (or at least hoping) had mates around (and yes, some of them have been reunited!). The "currently in use" shoes got a new home in a 3-drawer sterilite contraption. So far it's working to a point; the point being when anyone bothers to get their shoes in that general direction, they end up in the drawers. But that's only when they aren't dropped in the bathroom or bedroom or living room or porch or chicken coop or...
[Yes, oddly enough, I often find Organique's shoes in there. Right next to the busted eggshells. :] For awhile she enjoyed knocking the cinderblock and board off the feeder, and climbing in to feel the feed with her toes, I guess!]
So now we have most of the shoes put up where moth and rust might destroy, but probably not the progeny. And they were definitely the bigger threat. :)