This post is part of our Summer Shortcuts series. Meagan and I are taking turns all summer long sharing little “cheats” and ways we give ourselves a break during the summer months. Enjoy! -Sarah
Let’s say, hypothetically, that you had a dollar for every time you said one of the following throughout the day:
- “Please put on your shoes.”
- “Where are your shoes?”
- “Can you please put your shoes away where they belong?”
- “Why don’t you have your shoes on?”
- “Do you need help putting on your shoes?”
- “Where in the name of all that is holy are your ever-loving SHOES?!?!”
How much money would you have at the end of the day? At the end of the week? Should we all book our timeshare in Aruba now with these imaginary, shoe-related dollars?
For me it seems this gets worse in the summertime. Flip-flops and sandals are easy to kick off and always manage to slide under the couch. School’s end means we’re in and out more throughout the day, providing more opportunities to put on and take off shoes. And while we don’t have a strict no-shoes policy at home, most of us end up barefoot within a few minutes of entering the house anyway.
This spring my youngest started walking, thereby adding one more pair of (adorable) shoes to keep track of, and I finally stumbled on a solution that works for us: I keep her shoes in the car.
At first it felt a bit lazy to just leave them there, like I wasn’t cleaning out my car properly at the end of the day, but it saves so much hassle that I’ve come to embrace it. A one-year-old doesn’t need shoes in the house at all (really, none of us do). I carry her from house to car and strap her in her car seat, which means I don’t have to worry about her stepping on something sharp or gross in the garage. And once she’s strapped in, she can’t go anywhere, making it that much easier to buckle her sandals (often I wait until we’re at our destination, since she likes to de-shoe herself en route). And by far the best part of it all is: I always know where her shoes are.
Our garage has seen its fair share of scorpions (EW. I know.), so I don’t let the older kids go barefoot in there, otherwise I think I’d keep everybody’s shoes in the car! But at the very least, I’ve freed myself from having to find the toddler’s shoes, find the toddler, affix shoes to feet, and then try to make sure she doesn’t take them off again when I turn my back for a second.
If you think about it, there are probably other things you could keep in the car – or do in the car – to save time and make life easier this summer. If it isn’t a pair of shoes, maybe it’s sunscreen (also easier to apply when they’re strapped in to car seats) or a hair brush and hair ties for quick ponytails. Getting out the door and into the car with small kids is no easy task, and using the car as a storage and staging area can help cut down on last-minute stress.
Most tips on de-cluttering and staying organized would have you purging the junk from your vehicle as often as possible, but in the interest of a sane, satisfying, and just-a-little-bit-lazy summer, why not try the opposite and see if it works?
Don’t miss any of the Summer Shortcuts posts! Here they are:
- Put Kids To Bed In Their Clean Clothes
- Use A Baking Sheet To Contain Craft Chaos
- Tired of filling out registration forms? Try this time-saving trick.