The Shover got its start about 3 years ago, when I was living with 3 other women in SE Portland. The usual thing happened on a weekly basis- that is to say that mail, junk, legit and otherwise, would inevitably find its way to any surface- though most of the time it was the table. The solution to this endless clutter was happened upon quite suddenly and unexpectedly. I was at Goodwill with one of my roommates shopping for who-knows-what, when we stumbled upon what we eventually, fondly, referred to as The Shover.
The Shover was about a foot and one half tall about a foot deep, and made of solid wood and painted a rich royal blue. It had four square compartments stacked directly on top of one another and was topped with a tin roof and a little tin bird adorning the space directly under the roof. We had found the solution to our mail clutter.
The structure was purchased and brought home and the compartments labeled with the names of each housemate. I am unclear on the circumstances around when the term ‘The Shover” was coined, but it was obvious that there was no way we could not call it this. The Shover’s compartments were also referred to each person’s individual Shover.
Not only did The Shover make household organization fun, it was also the source of endless entertainment;
“Has anyone seen the water bill?”
“Yeah, I put it in your Shover.”
“Do you want to keep this oil change coupon?”
“Yeah! Just stick it in my Shover.”
I have missed the presence of such a simple and effective device in my life since I moved out of this house. I have searched each second hand store for a comparable structure for shoving important (and not so important) documents into, but The Shover is an elusive thing.
And so this is my attempt to recreate The Shover, with fabric instead of wood, and one that hangs on the wall instead of being set upon something.
If I’m being honest with myself, it’s really more of a mail sling. I reinforced the ‘sling’ part with interfacing to give it a little more umph. I haven’t tested the integrity of the slings, but I think it will be able to easily hold 3 magazines, a half dozen letters from friends and family and maybe, every other week, a bill or two. There is a tasteful pocket at the bottom for such things as pens, pencils or loose change.
I made The Shover 2.0 on Columbus Day, and as such, did not receive any mail, but it also makes decent wall-art. I found the thick stick in my backyard, stuck it through the 2.0 and hung it with thin wire.