If there’s one thing that I hate, it’s coming home and seeing a mess greet me at the door. It’s like, “Welcome home! Kick off your shoes. Oh, and by the way, remember the mess?” I love shoes, but I never thought a collection of shoes would be such an eyesore… until I had kids.
I tried to keep the number of shoes at the door mat very minimal, reducing them down to only the shoes we wear frequently. Most of our shoes are kept in the closets of our bedrooms. I even have the kids regularly organize the shoes so that they are lined up nice and neat. But, if you have kids then you know that keeping the shoes, or anything for that matter, lined up in an organized fashion and minimal doesn’t last long.
So what’s a mom to do when there’s a need to have a bit more sanity when coming home? I decided it was time to invest in some sort of shoe organizer. I looked at cube organizers, higher quality decorative baskets, and then even thought of expanding on the shoe organizers we have in our closets. None of those options really sat well with me. Then I started looking at shoe benches and felt like that’s exactly what I needed. For one, the shoes would be organized on shelves. Secondly, a shoe bench would add décor to home.
I looked online through Ikea, Walmart, Amazon and a few furniture stores. The prices ranged from $20 to over $200. As a frugal mom, going over $200 would be excessive. I was eyeing a shoe bench that was going for about $120, but then I had to think further…. did I really HAVE TO get something at $120 just to organize shoes? I could get a dresser for that price! Then I looked over the shoe bench that was going for $20, but realized that it was probably too small and flimsy. So, I went up in price range ($40-$50) and found a few that caught my eye. One shoe bench had padding and the other didn’t. I went back and forth trying to decide which one would look best and would be more functional. I’d say both would’ve been equally functional, but the bench without the padding looked more sophisticated (and it had an expresso finish!). I asked my daughter for her opinion and she agreed. So, I told my daughter that I would go with her choice. I wanted her to feel like she’s contributing to the look of our home, and it was apparent that it was gratifying for her.
Thanks to Amazon, the shoe bench came in within two days. My boys love getting packages from UPS and FedEx and when they saw this package at the door, they were eager to open it. When they realized that the bench required assembly, the boys were even more excited. They took the instructions, examined the diagrams and got to work right away (with my guidance, of course). Normally this would’ve been something that I’d piece together on my own, but seeing their eagerness to build this brought so much joy to my heart. I will take advantage of any opportunity that will allow them to have fun, help out and learn at the same time… I can’t say no to that! 🙂
Once the boys finished assembling the shoe bench, I looked it over to make sure everything was secure. Then I looked at them, thanked them and saw so much pride in their faces. They took the shoes and excitedly placed them in the bench right away. When my daughter came into the room to take a look, she was so proud.
They all had a hand in this and I hope to do this collaboratively a lot more with our future projects. My daughter picked out a nice bench that looks great in our living room. It opens up the space and is so pleasing to the eye. My boys love it because they can tell everyone that they built it, and in their opinion, it makes our living room look much cleaner.
One less mess to worry about, plus happy kids, equals a happier mama. 🙂
Here’s the before and after, side by side: