I think it’s good that my toddlers don’t take conventional wisdom for granted.
It keeps them busy and quiet for hours. It proves that they are naturally challenging the world around them and will one day to grow up to be independent thinkers.
We normally store our shoes under the bench in the entry way, as 99% of households in North America do. (99% is a totally made up statistic). Yesterday the twins put forward the hypothesis that this is not actually the best place to store shoes.
Shoes were meticulously moved in random order to six test locations throughout the main level of the house. Test locations were chosen at random by twins after all the shoes were moved to the previous test location. The test locations followed a clockwise rotation around the main floor of our house and were diverse in both horizontal and vertical spatial orientation. A wide variety of types of shoes were tested to ensure that shoe type did not influence storage outcomes.
Test location 1: Next to the bench
Test location 2: The kitchen
Test location 3: Parental Unit #1′s yoga mat
Test location 4: The chess table
Test location 5: The top of the bench
Test location 6: Under the bench
Note: Test location 6 was chosen under strong advisement from Parental Units.
Results & Discussion
Test Location #1: Ineffective as it would impede access to the toilet, a crucial piece of equipment for density testing experiments. Parental Unit #1 yelled.
Test Location #2: Also ineffective as Parental Unit #1 both tripped and yelled, and it would be hard to make a quick escape from the front door if you had to put your shoes on in the kitchen.
Test Location #3: The yoga mat worked out just fine until Parental Unit #1 yelled.
Test Location #4: All the shoes fell off and guess who yelled. Results from this point onward are less reliable as researcher’s energy began to flag.
Test Location #5: This location quickly fills up and diminishes the function of the bench. Plus, Parental Unit #1 & #2 yelled.
Test Location #6 (Control): The shoes didn’t fall, we could make a quick escape from the front door and both parental units seemed pleased.
Hypothesis is null. The front hall is, in fact, the best place to store shoes. You can use the bench, they don’t fall off, they don’t get tripped over and most importantly Parental Units do not yell, even when the shoes are thrown in a haphazard pile.
Suggestions for future research
Although conventional wisdom prevails in this circumstance, this does not mean efficiencies can’t be found in questioning other storage methods. Next, correlating volume of yelling with number of toys shoved in slats of gas fireplace. However, the current research environment does seem to be oppressive in nature and future experiments may have to wait until the climate is less hostile.