“Mom, I can’t find my shoes!”
How many times have you heard that one as you were trying to get everyone out the door? You were probably already running late and may have even had everyone else already loaded up in the mini-van (because what else do we moms drive?), while this one lone kid wandered around the house lamenting the missing shoes — not really looking for them, mind you, just lamenting that they weren’t on his or her feet.
I have long daydreamed of a mud room — a place where shoes and jackets and umbrellas and backpacks could live in happy harmony with one another while awaiting their next adventure out into the great, wide world. Alas, however, we have no mud room, so, for a long time, those shoes and their friends found themselves scattered aimlessly about my dining room, the room that you walk into from both the front door and the garage. If it wasn’t bad enough that I was constantly tripping over them, did I mention the part where they were in the room that you walk into upon entering my house? You know, the “first impression” room?
Enter this snazzy little piece of furniture, for which I am forever grateful – the “shoe shelf”:
In addition to being a rather attractive piece of furniture — as far as shoe racks go — this particular shoe rack is especially useful because it has a flat, solid top. This has raised it from the status of mere “shoe rack” to my “out the door” spot. Everything that needs to be grabbed quickly (or simply remembered) on the way out the door goes on top of the shoe rack — my purse, my keys, library books, music class folders and recorders, etc. They all go on the shoe shelf to be easily snagged on the way out the door.
Shoes are, in theory, placed on the shoe shelf as soon as they are removed from one’s feet, if they are of the regularly worn variety (all others go, again in theory, to their place in individual closets). This prevents stubbed toes and broken bones from tripping over shoes left randomly all over the dining room and, of equal importance, ensures that everyone knows exactly where their shoes are when it’s time to leave the house.
And, if they don’t know where their shoes are because the shoes aren’t on the shelf, it provides yet another opportunity for me to say, “If you’d put stuff where it goes, you’d know where it was when you needed it.” Because I don’t get enough other opportunities to say stuff like that.
(Oh, and those shoes sitting beside the shoe shelf? Those are my taking-out-the-dog-and-going-to-get-the-mail-because-that-Fly-Lady-woman-is-crazy-if-she-thinks-I’m-going-to-wear-shoes-in-my-house-all-day-long-I’m-a-Southern-girl-for-crying-out-loud shoes. They get a special exemption from the shoe shelf rule.)