“Put your shows away!”
I used to say this all the time. All.The.Time. One day, I channelled my inner Dr. Phil and asked myself, “How’s that working for ya?” Not great Dr. Phil. Not great.
If you are doing something the same way, over and over and getting the same annoying results…stop doing it that way!
Learn from my shoe-clutter struggles. This is how we now deal with all the shoes that inevitably get kicked off by the front door, under the kitchen table and under the coffee table.
Create drop zones
Pay attention to where all the shoes tend to accumulate. This is where you could place a nice, large basket to catch the shoes. Our shoe drop zone is right by the front door. It’s either a huge basket by the door or a lot of scattered shoes. I prefer the basket.
Maybe your drop zone is in the garage, by the back door or in bathroom. It’s different for every family. You might even have a collection of shoes in your car. Just put a pretty bag or basket in your car to catch those gym shoes.
*Disclaimer: just because there is now a shoe basket does NOT mean your family will use it. Hang in there. We’ll talk about that in a second.
Implement a system.
- Take shoes off.
- Drop shoes in basket.
- At least once a week, everyone should take most of their shoes to their own closets. We tend to leave all our flip flops by the front door. They never make it to the closet. That’s perfectly fine with me.
- Take basket outside at least once a month to dump out dust/dirt. Shoes are dirty. Your basket will get dirty.
Stop yelling and start teaching.
If your family always hears you complain it becomes white noise. They stop hearing you. Instead of yelling or complaining about things laying around (in this case, we are focusing on shoes…one step at a time!) simply redirect and remind. Yes. They will still forget. Just keep reminding. Eventually, they will catch on.
Important: You have to physically show your family where the designated drop zones are. You will also need to say, “Instead of dropping our shoes by the front door we are going to place them in this basket.”
Also important: Try very hard not to pick up after your family. If they are old enough to walk they are old enough to put shoes away. When I see shoes under the coffee table I sometimes have to remind someone to put those shoes away. However, reminding is so much less stressful for all of us than yelling.
If you have a “system” that isn’t working try switching it up. Using drop zones is a system that works for us. Every family is different, so try the drop zone for a month or two to see if it works. The key is being consistent, but I can guarantee that consistently yelling isn’t doing anyone any good.