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Storing shoes may sound like a trivia thing but it’s something that I had to make a decision about this week so I wanted to tell you how I approached this in a Lifely way. These principles can be applied to anything you are doing. And this is also an example of how I solve problems.
The situation is that I have shoes and they need to be stored in a way that I can easily get to them when I need them. After having to move everything out of my bedroom I am now in the process of putting everything back, so I have a new opportunity to rethink what I am going to keep and how I am going to store it.
Storing shoes has always been awkward for me. There are so many ways to store shoes and I couldn’t figure out which one was right for me.
But now I have some specific requirements:
- The material of the storage container needs to be renewable and nontoxic.
- It needs to be orderly and keep shoes together in pairs
- I need to be able to see my shoes easily
- I need to access my shoes easily
- It needs to be space efficient because not only do I have very little space in my current living circumstances, but I am in the process of building a tiny house so in the future I will also need to be space efficient.
Before we moved everything out of our bedroom I was just lining up my shoes under the bed, but that got messy quickly because there wasn’t a place for each pair. I would end up on my hands and knees pulling out shoes from under the bed until I found both shoes of the pair I wanted.
But under the bed is the correct place for shoes in my case. It utilizes the space there and the shoes are on the floor, where they belong.
Then I took a look at my shoes and chose to keep only the shoes I was actually wearing or thought I would wear. Like I don’t wear my red hiking boots every day, but I DO wear them when it rains. So I need those. But I also have dress shoes that I hardly ever wear, so I didn’t need them in the “active” box, but could store them in the closet or just not have dress shoes.
It turned out that I have seven pairs of shoes [now eight]
- 1 pair of sandals that I wear constantly in the summertime
- 2 pairs of wool shoes that I wear around the house most of the winter [plus a new pair because I love these so much]
- two pairs of Camper leather walking shoes that I wear most of the time in winter when I leave the house
- 1 pair of hiking boots
- 1 pair of horrible synthetic running shoes that I only bought because they were required for an exercise program I was doing and I think I should keep for exercise (but I never wear them so they may be going away)
So I began to look for an under-the-bed storage box for the seven [now eight] pairs of shoes.
As it turned out, the standard under-the-bed storage box for shoes holds six pairs of shoes. I have seven. But for the moment, it’s OK to put six in the box and have my pair of sandals not in the box but under the bed. I discovered that the problem wasn’t one loose pair, but many loose pairs. I can keep most of the shoes in the box and keep the current pair I’m wearing out of the box when I take them off.
While searching for the ideal under-the-bed box it was interesting for me to see all the options for storing shoes. Some are huge racks that store like 50 pairs. Many are made of plastic.
The industrial consumer viewpoint wants us to have lots of shoes, of course, so industry can make more money. They promote changing shoe styles for fashion and make them out of flimsy synthetic materials so they wear out or fall apart quickly and you have to buy a new pair.
I buy shoes for function, not fashion. That doesn’t mean they can’t be fun or attractive, but they need to feel good and I need to be able to walk in them all day because I walk a lot. I make a point to buy natural materials. And my shoes last a long time.
What I ended up with was this beautiful basket from The Container Store, made of water hyacinth over a metal frame.
Totally nontoxic and renewable/biodegradable or recyclable. It's working great and makes me smile.
I love this box.
I love that my most-frequently-worn shoes are right under my bed, in order, and easily accessible.
”A place for everything and everything in it’s place.” My shoes finally have a place. And when it’s time to move to my new tiny house, all I need to do is pick up the box and slide it under my new bed.