When your busy family collects the inevitable, ugly jumble of shoes in your entryway, and dripping boots bring the inevitable floor puddles, you can end up with a family pond that ruins both moods and fresh socks on a daily basis. It is time to solve the eyesore, and straighten up the entryway for good!
End the mess right at the door!
This entryway shoe and boot solution can keep busy passageways dry and easy to keep clean. Finding pairs of shoes in a hurry, and keeping expensive footwear looking nice, will also relieve the stress of busy departures.
It is the best way to keep your home as a safe haven.
Whether you live in a snowy climate, where dripping boots leave an ever-present puddle to be navigated, or whether you live at the beach, where sand constantly migrates in, our lives are regularly inconvenienced by the doorway mess. Where water is regularly present, mold is both unhealthy and increasingly difficult to remove. Unhygienic shoe messes migrate around the house, adding to cleaning chores and sources of illness. Families with pets, small children, or family members with compromised immune systems all need a solution that increases easy-to-clean and sanitary convenience.
Here are my best solutions to the life-long inconvenience and hazards that come along with the shoe jumble.
After struggling through life on the stormy coast, through subarctic winters, and life with busy and outdoorsy boys, this is the best solution I have found:
1. A place to drip
2. A place for nice shoes
3. A place for work boots
The rug I found to match my decor, and I found several sizes of boot trays at local hardware stores. (Some have higher sides, similar to a kitty litter box, and others had grids for draining and were made of sturdier plastic that could withstand rugged handling.) The shelf was made of stained and sealed plywood, supported by concrete patio bricks that I spray-painted with 2 or 3 coats of satin paint. I found bricks of different patterns and chose one that would be tall enough for the shoes to fit underneath. Dry shoes can go onto the top shelf, while dirtier boots can go underneath. This solution has lasted for almost 2 years, and really saves my sanity as the entryway is in the middle of the house. No more nasty, cold puddles of water as you walk through, and no more tripping on boots if you walk through without paying attention!
4. A solid bench
One of the best ways to confine the mess to the doorway is to keep the bench clear! No clutter is allowed on the bench, so people can sit to don their shoes or take care of things when they come and go. Setting a package down while dealing with gloves and keys is fine, but the bench serves an important function and must be kept available.
5. Shelves for entryway collections
The home we have now is not blessed with a formal entry, so I found a sturdy cabinet with doors and shelves. Each person can have a shelf space for boots, a sweater, purse, pocket contents, flashlights, gloves, dry umbrellas, a pair of slippers, or whatever else accumulates near the door. Each person has to keep their nice shoes and any jackets confined to their shelf, or keep them in their own clothes closet. Even the puppy gets a shelf by the door for her leash and a flashlight! If it does not fit on a person’s shelf, it has to be in their room, but each can choose how to use their shelf in the cabinet by the front door.
6. A quality doormat
The doormat by the front door is an important piece of the whole solution, as well. Over the years, we have tried a variety of doormats. We tried using a commercial one, a straw one, decorative ones, microfiber washable ones, and even more disposable ones. The mat that works best for us shakes out easily, allows a quick sweep of dust and gravel, and is not too heavy. We don’t get the fancy ones any more, because the old fashioned kind seem to work best.
7. Easy-to-sanitize flooring
If you can quickly sweep without having to move things, and you can pass a mop or Swiffer quickly over the surface, you will be more likely to stay on top of dirt and grime. Carpeting or multiple surfaces add to the chore of keeping it clean, whether it is a motorhome or a mansion.
8. Shoes off sign
The sign by the door welcomes “Stocking Feet Only”. Guests will see this gentle reminder, and family will also be sure to see it. Housework is more streamlined when floors are easy to keep up with.
Keeping the house free of the entryway jumble of boots and footwear has really assisted in both busy arrivals with lots of packages, and last-minute struggles to get out of the door on time. This tried-and-true solution will work for almost everyone! When we lived in a tiny log cabin, we had hooks on the wall with boots left underneath, and a built-in step to sit on while removing shoes. In our small home with an Arctic entry, we similarly confined the outside wear to the entryway. In a bigger house with a spiral staircase, we had to keep the entry mess to the bottom of the stairs to keep the stairs clear and the upstairs tidy. Now, in a smaller down-sized home, the entry stays tidy despite the busy comings and goings of 5 to 7 people. I am convinced that this solution, though slightly modified for each family’s needs, will help everyone who struggles with an unruly entryway to eliminate that mess forever.