My girlfriend lives with me. She moves in officially next month.
When you merge lives together there is an immediate catastrophic reaction. Clean meets messy and everything I knew to be defined was suddenly under review. Based completely on how my closet space has been abducted, I am lead to believe men were not the drivers of the great American land rush.
It took a good four months or so to get my girlfriends shoes to stop hooking up in the night and reproducing like Gremlins. It took me nearly ten months to realize the best way to end any shoe clutter problem in your home and reclaim what was (albeit briefly) yours in the first place. I adopted a puppy.
The key is not a dog but a puppy that will for about five months at least eat anything unless it bites her back. Shoes don't fight back. Four weeks into owning my dog and there are no shoes on the floor and nor is there the traditional work day shrapnel strewn about the house.
I will take the barking and the initial housebreaking. Let's face it, we have to housebreak our spouses too. As of right now the dog has regulated not just the messes but also the clinically obese cat I inherited with my love. It's no trip to the Serengeti but I sure love watching that cat get forced out onto a balcony for hours of privacy.