Canada's Condominium Magazine

Managing the Boot Mess — Creative Solutions for the Clutter and Dirt Piling Up in Your Entryway

By Sassa Brown

Growing up, I was raised to remove my shoes before I entered the house. The main reason for that rule was because I was raised in a small town in the southern United States. We ran up and down hills, through meadows, and from house to house gathering friends. We searched the woods for fresh berries to pick and rode pickup trucks through mud for fun. One thing is for sure, we were no strangers to dirt and messes.


This tray has slats that allow water and dirt to drain into a large pan underneath.


However, our homes were spic and span. We wiped our shoes on the rug outside before walking through the door, regardless of where we had been. If they were muddy, we took them off, hosed them off in the grass, and laid them out in the sun to dry before bringing them in. Sometimes, though, we still managed to track in dirt without realizing it.

Even if your shoes are clean, you can still end up with a messy entryway from the sheer number of shoes and boots that pile up, especially if you have a large family or a small entryway. Welcome mats and other rugs work well, but the mess can sometimes leave a lingering smell that is difficult to eliminate. The following are creative solutions that will make the boot mess much easier to handle and save your entryway from being overrun by footwear.


Pebbles in a tray make a great “green” boot tray — almost garden-like if you’re a creative person. Like the wooden tray, this one collects dirt and water which drains into the pan through the cracks between the rocks.


Tackling Dirt and Filth

Boot Tray

An excellent idea for keeping dirt from accumulating on your floor is to invest in a tray that you can place on the floor of your entryway. They offer a neat way to organize your shoes, while also catching any dirt and water that may drip from your shoes. One such tray uses a wooden mat to contain the mess.

These boot trays are simple and easy solutions. Wooden slats and trays can be found at a number of stores. River rocks can be found at craft stores, dollar stores, etc. for relatively cheap. Add some plants and other décor, and your boot tray will blend in.


Footwear solutions can — with a little design flair — become decorative — such as this use of “displays. By blending eclectic collections, the boots become “decorative.” Almost.



Storage Solutions for a Burgeoning Collection of Footwear

A Simple Display

A nice display in your entryway can make it feel less like a storage closet and more like part of your home. Place two of these in your entryway, one on either side of the door. The one that first catches the eye when opening the door should be a classy, stylish display with books, plants, vases, photographs, etc. The one behind the door can hold your shoes and boots. It offers the storage solution you need, while blending into its surroundings. As an added bonus, put river rock trays on the display and add a nice fountain and other natural décor to draw attention away from the shoes.


A great solution is a beautifully-decorated bench
with a hidden compartment under the seat for storage.


Benches, Coat Closets, and More

Use a bench, wardrobe, or other storage unit to organize the mess and make a great first impression to incoming guests. Benches add style, as well as a comfortable place to sit while you put on your shoes and remove them without tracking dirt through your home.

Storage units such as wardrobes and closets have an added bonus of keeping everything you need for the daily grind (backpacks, briefcases, purses, and more) all in one place to save space and time. You will no longer have to tear the condo apart searching for missing shoes and lunch pails, and everyone can grab what they need as they head out the door.

Auberge on the Park-Tridel


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