Last week I shared a few of my tips for back to school organization; one of those tips was corralling all the kids shoes in wooden crates. This is one of those "duh" projects, it's so easy to do and simplifies the whole "putting shoes where they belong" job for the kids.
The trick to organizing for, and with, kids is to get their input on the organizing goals and what will make it easy to meet those goals. This was where I made my first mistake with my original shoe organizing plan; I just picked out what I thought would work, and told them to use it. I bought a basic shoe organizer and asked them to put their shoes away in the cubbies when they took them off.
Here is what the inside of the closet looked like before. There is the shoe organizer that was supposed to keep everything neat and tidy.
Here is what the outside of the closet looked like before. Looky there, a whole bunch of shoes piled next to the closet door (they pretty much never opened the closet door, not that you could with all the shoes laying there).
So, using what I know about my kids, I knew they needed something super easy that just allowed them to toss their shoes into the closet. I lucked out and actually had everything I needed to make this organizing project a reality.
Here is the supply list:
-Unfinished wooden crate
-Stain in your choice of color (I used this one)
-Old rag to wipe stain with
-Acrylic paint in your choice of color(s)
We have a few of these wooden crates around our house they we occasionally pick up from Michaels with a 40% coupon. Here they are, set up on flowerpots outside to make staining easier (be sure to put a dropcloth down to catch drips).
Here is the (blurry) after shot. I used Minwax stain in Special Walnut, it is my favorite color to use, a little dark, but brings out the wood grain beautifully. I painted one side at a time, top to bottom, and then immediately wiped it down with a rag, from top to bottom. I let it sit for a day to thoroughly dry before I added the final details.
Once the stain had a chance to dry, I used a level to make a straight line across the end of the crates and then I traced each boy's initials onto the crates with a pencil, I just eyeballed the letter placement, using the handle as my guide for the center. Then, I just used a thin paint brush to fill in the stenciled letters with acrylic paint.
Once the paint was dry I moved the crates into their new spots in the entry closet, and the boys filled them with their shoes.
Here is the after view of the closet. Holy Cow! It looks like a whole new space! I am happy to report that this has been in place for a while now, and it is still going to strong. The boys like that all they have to do is toss their shoes into the crates, and I like that I can walk in the door without tripping over shoes, and I can open the closet door if I need to.
Do you have any of these crates around your home? How are you using them?
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