We had a bit of a shoe storage problem on our hands. When we head out or come in, we enter through the garage. And although our main entry is rather spacious, this one is not. Heading out the door has become an interesting game of twister – minus the large colourful circles.

Since it is a high traffic – yet small space – storage is key. Everyone needs a place to drop their jackets and shoes, and here is Chace’s spot. You can also see a shelf where we all dump our keys, loose change, lego men etc.

The view as you come into the house from the garage…

And the same space if you look at it from the rec room. That door heads into the garage, stairs to the main floor are on the left, and a bathroom is to the right.

Chef Kev stores his shoes on some large storage shelving inside the garage (right by the door), and I store my shoes in the yellow dresser that I made over, which is in the bathroom right off the small entry.

But back to this. Apparently children grow, and with that, so do their feet. Which means bigger shoes. And that translates into the system I had no longer cutting it. See the overflowing shoe basket?

And the gloves, hats and sun glasses? Oh yeah. Those too. Sigh.

But the best part? This shelf. Not only was it overflowing, BUT it was chipped in multiple places (take a look at the corner). Not quite the look I was going for.

So it all came out. And I was left with a blank slate.

But what to do on a wall that was only 28.5″ wide? Traditional solutions like this and this where much too long for this space. So, enter RETUR – a recycling bin that functions in much the same way as the pricier shoe storage options.

Now, the RETUR doesn’t look as pretty as some of the other options, but as I mentioned, this is not our main entrance  – just our basement one. Here, function really was the most important thing needed and these bins fit that bill. Plus, I love the recessed top that doubles as a shelf for us to drop our keys, change, lego men etc.

The first thing I did was find my centre point of the wall. Since the length of the wall is 28.5″, I made a mark at 14.25″. Then I lined up the corner of one of the bins, made sure it was level, and penciled in where I was going to need to place my screws by drawing in the little circle cut outs.

Luckily one screw for each bin hit a stud, but for those that did not, I hammered in some plugs. I pre-drilled the holes for these of course.

Once I had my first bin hung, I double checked that it was level.

Then I attached the one beside it in the same way and connected the two with a small screw that came supplied.

Then I attached the bottom bins using the row above them as my level.

You may have noticed in one of the earlier photos, there is a electrical outlet on this wall. I simply put the bin in front of it. Since we put furniture in front of plugs all the time I did not see any reason why this would not work. We don’t use this plug and so far it’s working out okay. Since you can plug plastic directly into a plug (childproofing plugs) I could not see a problem placing a plastic bin on the wall in front of one.

Then I loaded up the bins! I loved this part! A whole bin for hats and gloves!? Bliss.

A tad more efficient than this ‘before’ don’t you agree?

Here is a head-on shot.

And now this is how it looks when you come in to the house.

And here is how it looks from the rec. room.

And here is a close up of the top of the bins which now take the place of the cracked, shallow shelf.

While I was revamping this little entry, I took a moment to raise Chace’s jacket hooks. As we determined earlier, children have a habit of growing. Larger jackets = jackets now hitting the floor when hung.

Here is how they looked before.

I moved them up a few inches to just under the canvas that Chace painted at a friend’s birthday party (so cute!). I used the bottom of the canvas as a guide.

And here they are raised and reloaded!

It feels good making this small space a bit more functional! We still play twister, but at least we aren’t tripping on shoes anymore!

What sort of systems do you have in place to wrangle in shoes and hats? Are you using anything designed for another use? As long as we don’t throw our shoes out with recycling then we are all good 😉