At 5 children (and counting, God-willing! 🙂 ), I feel like Baritone and I have crossed the threshold into the “large family” category. I think we are on the small end of the “large family” spectrum, but still, we are starting to experience those large-family head-scratchers like, “How do you keep socks for 5 children contained, yet easy to access?” Until you have a large family, these sorts of things aren’t head-scratchers! If you have one or two or even three children, keeping these sorts of things organized is kind of a no-brainer. But believe me, when slippers, sandals, church shoes, sneakers, boots and socks x 5 children are scattered all over the house, and can’t be found when it’s time to go somewhere, this sort of thing definitely becomes a head-scratcher! 🙂
I have tried various solutions, and what we are currently trying with some success is to use one of these cube organizers, conveniently placed in our front entryway closet.
On top of the cubby we store the kids’ backpacks (added bonus! They can be found instantly and they aren’t all over the house either! 🙂 ). One of the cubes is for sneakers, another for slippers & sandals, another for church shoes, and in the fourth we keep a pull out fabric bin where all_the_5_of_the_kids_socks_go.
We try to keep socks to just black and white, in whatever sizes the kids need. This makes finding a match less stressful (for them and us), and it keeps fighting to a minimum (“But I wanted to wear the red reindeer socks!”). It doesn’t always mean the kids come out of the bin holding two socks of the same size, but that’s less of a problem than, “Mom, I could only find a red sock with candy canes on it and a blue sock with clouds on it…is it okay if I wear these to Mass?” 😛
This solution is better than others I have tried thus far. To be honest though, shoes and socks are still found in the kids’ bedrooms, the living room, under the dining room table (or eeek…ON the table!)…but that can be managed by training the kids to put their shoes away – which is a work-in-progress – but that would be true for any sort of storage solution. Our children are still fairly young as well, so establishing the routine and sticking with it will help them learn as they grow older.
One other thing baritone and I do, is try to keep the number of pairs of shoes the kids have to a minimum – whatever is necessary, but not a lot extra. They don’t each need four styles of sandals, three pairs of church shoes, etc. Our children have church shoes, sneakers, sandals, slippers, and we have some boots, although winters here are fairly mild compared to some places…some years we don’t even get any snow (much to my and the kid’s dismay). 🙂 When they outgrow (or outwear, as often happens) a pair, we replace it. Keeping the number of pairs of shoes to a minimum also helps morning routines and helps to keep the shoe chaos contained: fewer pairs means fewer shoes for the kids to manage (put away, choose from, etc), and fewer shoes for mom to trip on in the middle of the night when getting up to nurse the baby. 🙂
Do you have a large family? How do you organize shoes & socks for your family?
About the featured image…it is not of our house, but sometimes it feels like it could be! 🙂