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March 23, 2010

5 Steps to Shoe Storage Success

Posted in: How I de-cluttered, Clutter Control Products, Organizeit Projects, Less is More

vintage-shoesAre your shoes taking over your room? Do you have trouble finding the ones you’re looking for when you’re in a rush to leave the house? Do you have duplicates that you seldom wear taking up valuable real estate in your closet? By following a few simple steps, you can get your shoes organized and learn to keep them that way. It’s just one more step toward a stress-free morning routine - and who couldn’t use that?

Step 1: Gather all of your shoes together. Mine find their way under the bed, into the dining room and out by the front door. If you currently store your shoes in several locations, round them all up into one location for the big purge.

Step 2: Take stock of what you have. My biggest problem is that I am a bargain shopper crossed with an idealist with size 11 feet. This means I tend to shop clearance sales and outlets for my shoes. It also means that I have specific styles in mind that I want for my wardrobe. With hard-to-fit feet, this poses a unique problem in that when I find something “close enough” at a good price, I snap it up with the thought that this may be the best I can find. Then on occasion, I find something better. This leaves me with unnecessary multiples. Lesson: Be choosey and give it time. You’ll find what you need. And even if you don’t, “close enough” seldom gets worn enough to justify buying them.

Step 3: Purge. Get rid of all the “close enough’s” that you just don’t wear and the bargain shoes that are collecting dust. Consider selling to consignment shops or on eBay, or giving them to friends or family who wear the same size. Say good-bye to those shoes you wore at senior prom. You know you’ll never wear them again. If they have fond memories, take a picture of them as a keepsake! Get rid of or repair any shoes that are too worn or scuffed.

Step 4: Decide on one (two at the most) location(s) to store the “keepers”. Then you can decide on the best storage solution for that space. I have a canvas shoe organizer on the back of my bedroom door where I keep slippers, flip-flops, slip-ons and flats. In the bottom of my closet is a set of plastic drawers; the top drawer is for tall boots, second is for short boots, and bottom is for dress heels. Another good idea for your dress shoes are these shoe boxes with little windows that you can stack on a closet shelf. If you have a tall narrow space in your closet for shoe storage, try a carousel shoe rack.

Step 5: Organize your shoes by function, not color. All your work shoes should “live” together, summer sandals, boots, slippers, etc. This way you can easily choose shoes according to where you are going or on the weather that day.

Of course, as always, the ultimate goal is to stay organized. Two great tips for doing this with shoes: 1) One in, one out – when you buy something new, toss something old, and 2) As tempting as it is to just kick of your shoes when you walk in the door, always put shoes back in their “home” when you take them off.

What tips or products do you use to keep your shoes organized?


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