My kids usually come through our side door and take their shoes off. When reading The House That Cleans Itself, I was inspired to find a real life solution for dealing with the kids' shoes. I had tried a narrow shoe organizer in this space (it's a very small area) and it didn't work. The shoes weren't put away and the organizer took up too much precious space. This inexpensive solution of hanging a shoe organizer on the wall, while not working completely (the kids don't put their shoes in it when they walk in), does make picking up shoes a very quick affair without sacrificing space. I installed the key hanging/cork board long ago and it helps keep the keys in one place. Unless my husband takes my keys and leaves them on the curio. Or in his jacket. Or his pants. Or if I forget and leave them clipped to my purse. Anyway, you get the idea.
My Simplify101 class inspired me to consider what to do with kids' papers. While I don't have nearly the paperwork that families with kids in traditional schools have, I do have papers. In fact, I was ready to tear my hair out when my second son kept complaining that I hadn't given him his memory verses from church. I HAD given them to him, twice in fact, but he kept misplacing them. The problem is that while each child has a school box for books in the basement, they don't have a good place for papers. Furthermore, I had no place to put important papers that needed to go out the door with family members. I would often leave registration forms for my husband to take with him on the kitchen counter, hoping they wouldn't be moved in the meantime. Invariably I would get a phone call, "Where is the ____ form?"
I know. The wallpaper desperately needs updating, but that's a project for another day. The solution to my problem was to buy a magazine rack from Amazon. I got out my trusty label maker and made a slot for everyone, including a combined one for mom and dad. While I am not so foolish as to think anyone will put important papers in their slot on the way in, I do think it can remind them to take them on the way out. Right now, the kids' reading club records for church are in their slots and my son's registration forms for an upcoming mission trip are there, too. When I find these important papers, I know right where to put them and if I'm gone, I am betting the kids will figure out where to look. These magazine racks come in all different sizes and configurations. Would one of them work for you?