Our Boot Tree – The First Step to Having a More Presentable Entry Way

It was beautiful weather for central Indiana last week, wow! The bees were buzzing and lots needed to get done outside.

One major project I’ve been wanting to tackle is to assess the system that is used for our shoes in our entry way, see my list of 2012 home goals here.

Boot tree solves the outdoor shoe placement problem. It’s not beautiful, but it’s very useful and my gardenia will camouflage it when it is warm enough to move plants outside.

Here’s the back story and a video on my shoe situation:

Our entry way is tough to keep clean with mud and barn shoes.

We take off our shoes when we come inside for a couple of major reasons:

1. We have free ranging chickens who you might imagine leave little “presents” that may accidentally find themselves on an unsuspecting shoe.

Rodeo Rooster back in his heyday 2011

2. The previous owner decided light beige carpet was fine for them; however, 6 people, 4 inside dogs and a muddy winter makes me tend to think [ie KNOW] it isn’t the best flooring choice for us. But, I obviously need to make it last as long as possible before I can figure out any other solution and I want to stay clean without going too crazy…keeping the dirt outside is the first step in the arsenal.

3. Did I mention the chickens? Oh yeah, I did.

We have special shoes to do outside tasks and I wanted those shoes to have a place outside, but I didn’t want them on the ground to be a lovely hiding hole for sleeping toads (I love those little toads and the jobs they do on nightshift eating all those bugs, but I didn’t want to create a toad hotel). *Sorry toads, I really want to make you some toad cottages one day*.

Don’t look at the following picture if you are afraid of toads…or toads in your shoes or anything in your shoes; it’s a bit disturbing, but I like pictures and we had this one so I thought I’d share. Just scroll past it without looking. My daughter found one in her shoe last summer, yes, there were some screams. The toad was fine and slept right through the melee.

My daughter found this resting toad in her outside shoe Aug 2011

I took a video of my husband making the Boot Tree for me. The log was shorter than I imagined it would be, but I like that it can be used as a stool, so it all works out in the end. The children have taken to the new routine of wearing shoes outside and changing into barn shoes there. Eventually, I may have a small chair or bench next to the boot tree.


Pat making the boot tree for our family’s outdoor shoes.

When the children come back from outside chores or playing, they wipe off their boots at the boot wiping spot and don’t walk on the sidewalk before changing their shoes…that way the barn shoes never touch the outside mat for “regular” shoes (I still need to get an outdoor mat, the astroturf one we had gave out a while back).

It may seem like our barn is very unclean, it really isn’t. The goats have clean bedding of straw and the chickens have clean pine shavings in their coop. This year’s wet and warm winter has caused a lot of mud that I really don’t like, and I also know that the occasional “thing” might get stepped in, even though we are more adroit at avoiding those mishaps the longer we have lived on this little homestead.

Well, that’s my project for this week…oh William Morris…I just want things to be beautiful and useful; getting there takes time, but it sure is fun to see progress! Thanks again to Jule’s at Pancakes and French Fries where I am linking this project up and I find so many other motivating stories and projects. I am not alone and that feels nice.