Toward the Terribly Practical: Boot Storage

Happy Autumn Embertide everyone!  Autumn is a most delightful time of year for us!  Windy days, falling leaves, brisk temperatures, surprising treasure-filled walks, gardens tucking in….and rain…and mud.  Well, ok…here in North Alabama, not mud, but red clay.  Fall brings such delights, and that means it’s time to set out the fall boots.
Anyone that has children knows that when it comes to removing outside shoes before coming indoors, children (and husbands…who am I kidding?) usually drop shoes right where they are standing, resulting in a mass of collected shoe material immediately outside the back door.  And, for the most part, that’s what happens here.  I have, with no small effort, demanded, threatened, cajoled, convinced the children (and aforementioned husband) to drop their outside shoes and boots in a laundry basket by the back door.  A little person has, as his weekly job, to order and tidy the boot basket.  But…remember these adorable Christmas puppies?
A-DOR-ABLE!!!  Right?
Yeah.  Well, they’re not little any more.  At 10 months old, they weigh in around 80 lbs each now…and they eat…everything.  Including shoes.  Delicious.  Scrumptious.  Mouth-watering. Savory. Right-at-their-noses-piled-high-as-an-all-you-can-eat-buffet-in-the-shoe-basket………..dramatic sigh…….SHOES!!!!
They’re fantastic pups!  And great watch dogs.  They’re super smart and adore the children, whom the dogs believe to be givers-of-treats and leavers-of-shoes.
Nutmeg is on the left, and Ginger is on the right.  (In case you’re wondering, their Mom was a pure bred Yellow Labrador, and their Dad was a pure bred German Shepherd.  Makes for a great family dog!)
So, the time came to brainstorm outside shoes, fall boots, and precious (yet large-ish) puppies with a voracious appetite for….anything that fits in their mouth.  I asked Rob to build me a boot rack for the wall right outside the back door.  Something like this which I found online:
The boot rack I envisioned would need to:
  • securely hang on the wall
  • support our voluminous collection of outside boots and shoes
  • be out of reach of the large dogs
  • be easily accessible to the small kids
  • be at hand when you walk out the back door
  • and be ridiculously inexpensive!! 
I challenged Rob to complete this project for under $30….because that’s what I had left in my little weekly stash of cash.  He laughed, but in the end, he loves a good challenge!  Here’s what he came up with, and I think you’ll be amazed at the cost.  I’m so pleased with the results!
We used (1) 8 ft. length of 1 x 4 which Rob cut into 3 sections which fit our space.  He mounted the 1 x 4 to the wall using deck screws (you’ll need to mount your 1 x 4 in studs if you don’t want the weight of the boots….or the kids hanging on them…to pull your boot rack down – you’ll want a studfinder if you don’t have one).  (By the way, do you know the amazing versatility of the deck screw?  Leave us a stack of scrap wood and a box of deck screws and we can build almost anything!  But, I digress!)
Rob, with his constrained budget, chose (20) 6 1/4″ heavy duty lag bolts because they were super strong and inexpensive!
The bolts are only threaded on the bottom inch.  Drill a pilot hole in the appropriate size after determining the best spacing for your boots and footwear.
We have a bottom row with bolts that are spaced more closely than the top two rows.  This accommodates shoes and boots.
The larger boots fit right between the lag bolts.
On the bottom section, Rob spaced the lag bolts closer and found that the little kid boots fit better with the upper calf of the boot fitting directly over the bolt.
Like this:
How helpful!  Would you like to know the total cost?
  • 1 – 8 foot section of 1 x 4 — $4.00
  • 20 – 6 1/4 lag bolts at .91 cents each — $18.20
  • Not counting a box of deck screws in our total because those things are like toilet paper here – we’re NEVER without ’em!  But a box of them would run you about $10 bucks.
Hope your autumn days are lovely and your boots are always covered with mud!
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  1. Thank God for mudrooms! That's all I can say. Great idea.

    Dogs are gorgeous…really beautiful and unique and a handful I bet. Bless you…we have two of our own it's like having a couple extra kids around : )

    Enjoy this season…which happens to be my favorite. ~Theresa

  2. Thanks so much for sharing! That is a brilliant idea! One I'm going to lovingly share with my DH too ;o) Fall boots are indeed an issue I trip over each time I walk into the laundry, so this looks perfect!
    Shirley Ann

  3. Reblogged this on Wildflowers and Marbles and commented:

    I have some great new posts in draft that I can’t wait to share with you, but I can see that many of you are looking for particular posts from the old blog with links that don’t take you directly to that post anymore…so I thought I’d bump some of those popular posts that you’re looking for and bring them forward so that they’re easier for you to find. And considering that we’re expecting a significant snow here in our little foothills tomorrow, a post on boot storage seems fitting! Our boots are ready!! We still enjoy and regularly use that crazy boot hanging system..and confession…I’d love to expand it!

    Enjoy and I’ll be back soon with a new post!

  4. Great idea! Do you wash off the boots before hanging them up like that? This would be great for me but I still have the problem of mud caked boots and when they mud drys up the boots are covered in dirt that gets tracked throughout the garage or straight to the car the next day. Thanks for the advise!

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