Thursday, January 12, 2012

125 My Boot Storage "Ah Ha" Moment

One of the very best reasons to live in the tundra, is to acquire tundra gear.  You know, hats, mittens, snow pants, bulky jackets and boots.  It's awesome.  Sensing my sarcasm?

Anyone who has to deal with the cold weather gear, knows what I am talking about.  And storing it all in a pretty way isn't the easiest thing to do.  Sure, we use our coat closet for the coats and snow pants.  But our coat closet is in our kitchen.  And because it's placed above our stairs to the lower level, it's only a half closet with zero room for boots.

So boots would be placed in piles by our front entry... {sorry, these first couple of pictures were actually taken in the summer months so the mess that our winter gear created is not present, I am sure your imaginations are spot on}

When we put up our tree, we moved the white table out for awhile.  Once the tree came down and we brought the table back in, I had a moment.  One of those fabulous "Ah Ha!" moments.  The kind where you can't focus on anything else until you test out your idea.

We had an old leather storage bench in our guest bedroom that we used to stash away linens {you can see that here}.

I knew that the leather bench would fit under the white table perfectly, since it lived there once before long ago.  But what I was really hoping was that our large boot tray that was living in the garage {it was too big for our entry once our shoe cabinet came in}, would actually conveniently fit inside the bench.  Yes, yes it did!

So I spent $2 at Home Depot on some River Stone...

Popped that fantastic tray inside the bench:

Dumped in the rocks {the rocks keep the boots up off of the tray so the snow can melt down}:

And placed our boots inside!  {My kids were at school while this was taking place, with their winter boots on, so I used mine with a couple other pairs, just to share the example}.

The tray itself actually perfectly holds my boots along with my three boy's winter boots {for a total of four pairs}.  My hubs giant boots live on a shelf in the garage, since he really only uses them for shoveling.

Then, the best part, shutting the lid, keeping those boots concealed and sliding it under the table!

Who you have know that the bench was full of boots?  Me either!  That's the best part!

The kid's don't mind this either as it's better than previous options.  We used to keep the green tray in the garage and tried keeping the boots out there too but that meant the kids taking them through the whole house and then the boots would freeze overnight, so that didn't last long.   Sometimes being tidy and organized comes with the discipline of putting things away.  I like the fact that the clutter is now concealed since our area is so small and it's also open to our living room/dining room/kitchen.

Update: Some readers have questioned the wet combined with lack of air issue.  Although the bench is not airtight, I am still planning on popping a box of baking soda inside and cracking the lid overnight. 

Wanna see how absolutely TINY our entryway is?

No coat closet.  Barely any entry.  It's been a challenge to troubleshoot through the small space, but now that we have the shoe cabinet and concealed boot storage, I am content!

The basket on the wall is currently being used for hats and mittens:

It's not the prettiest display, but in the warmer months, we will use it to keep track of other things, like our library books or magazines, so it always has a purpose.  It was just too easy to keep hats and mittens there in for the colder months.  And because it's not lined, it's easy to find what we are looking for, and allows better air flow for drying.

How about a before and after of the switcharoo?

It seems like every year when I pack up the holiday decor, I am given a fresh perspective on a space.  I love that.  And I was so excited when my brain pieced together a boot tray with a storage bench.  And that it actually worked!!

Have you recently had a design or storage epiphany that left you grinning big?  What about winter gear storage.  It's a pretty common question I receive, so what ways are you keeping all of that bulky business organized and concealed?