Friday, August 22, 2014

Shopping For Kids Shoes In Your Home

With five kids living in this house it means that at any moment one of them is bound to say, "mom, my shoes don't fit." Thankfully with hand-me-downs from siblings and bags of used clothes that we receive from friends we have been able to address the situation...most of the time. When I can't find a size that I'm looking for at home, I'll go to option B: swing by the thrift store. If that was unsuccessful then I move on to option C: Tar-jay.  

There was only one major problem with this system. Our hand me down shoes were in complete chaos. They were in bags and nooks and crannies throughout the house. After getting all the way to option C and bringing home full priced shoes for two of our crew I discovered that we already had the exact sizes we needed! The shoes were hidden in a bag out of sight. 

So one afternoon I tackled the problem and now have a solution to shop for kids shoes in our home ...without going crazy

My mission is to stay sane through my thirties!

shopping for kids shoes in your home

I've showed you our storage room before. Storage like this can be a blessing or a curse. It can become a well organized use of space or a catch all for everything that you don't know what to do with. In our case it is a mix.

organizing kids shoes

A while back I organized the toys in our family room. At the time I purchased some extra plastic bins from the Dollar Tree to have on hand for when the inevitable happened...the toy bins broke. Interestingly enough the bins have lasted and I haven't had to dig into the reserve. 

At some point we also decided to cut back on the number of toy bins that were in the family room. We were swimming in toys and I was determined that the kids could be more creative by finding sticks outside to play with. Plus there really is something to that whole rotating toys thing and kids staying interested. 

I've also been trying to remove items from our storage room that really aren't beneficial to hold on to. A little motivation to have a working shoe system (and save money by not buying shoes we already have) and suddenly I was clearing shelves and pulling down the pile of extra bins to create a system that left me breathing a breath of fresh air.

storing kids shoes in your home

I went for the quickest and easiest label making route. An index card, a sharpie, and good ol' scotch tape. Just like I did with storing our kids' clothing, I created labels that can easily be replaced as the kids grow.

using bins to store kids shoes

I also cleared off a shelf just for boots...a must have when living in Minnesota.

using bins to store kids shoes and boots

Now I can visually see exactly what sizes we have.

storing kids shoes

I'm pretty thrilled with the results. It was also great getting to use items that we already had on hand which made this project super thrifty & super handy.

How do you deal with the chaos of kids shoes? 

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  1. Shoes aren't quite as bad as clothes with the same size not really being the same size, but when we missed out on a super cute pair of shoes because it didn't fit like the others in that same size and was too small by the time we go to the size bin, I started having my kids try on all the shoes we had in the next two or three sizes just to be sure. I stock all the shoes with like size in our basement, just like you. It does really help when you need that next size up. Once Upon a Child usually has a decent shoe selection, too.

  2. Wow, that is an impressive system! I love it. I don't need to do that as I have 1 boy and 1 girl but if I did need to do it I would totally copy you! The only thing I do is to not buy my kids very many shoes. They only ever have 2 or 3 pairs of shoes at any one time (mainly because I have learnt that they only wear their favourites over and over anyway).

  3. Shoes have been an on going issue in our home. Great system!! My boys are 20 months apart and very close in size so what I thought was going to be hand me downs, is not working that way. :) I don't buy the boys matching shoes either. They couldn't figure out which shoe belonged to each boy. Love your blog.

    1. I can just picture them now and how confusing matching shoes would be. :-)


  4. I store all the kids clothes by size in bins in our storage unit. I recently went through everything to pair down what I really needed (with 4 boys, buying huge lots mostly from craigslist and/or hand-me-downs from others - I had accumulated more than I needed in certain sizes). Also when baby #5 was born last week (a boy, and most likely our last child) I got rid of all our girl clothes (and oh the amount of girl clothes we had! I had as many girl clothes in just sizes 3-4 t than I did for all our boys' clothes newborn - 5t, lol!)
    We don't save shoes often though. Not sure if my kids grow slower than normal or harder at play or what, but they normally wear out their shoes before they outgrow them, haha.

    1. Congratulations on baby #5! My boys burn through pants like yours do shoes...nothing seems to last very long. I guess it is a good thing they are always growing. Then is feels like there is more than one reason to find a replacement. :-)



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