365 days. 12 months. 52 weeks. You could do ANYTHING in that time, couldn’t you? Renovate a house? Declutter a house? Let’s do June.
Wedges, platforms and stilettos. Ballet slippers, ankle boots and espadrilles. Sneakers, hi-tops and sling-backs. Comfy old slippers, flip-flops and crocs.
Don’t forget long boots, flopping all over the place. Tidy tip – Boot boxes are brilliant. Or chop a pool noodle to the right length and slip a section inside each one to keep them upright. Or just use a rolled up magazine in each boot. Or, if you have the luxury of extra hanging space (who even has that?!) Get boot hanger clips.
What does your shoe collection have in it?
Do you have a niggling suspicion that you might have a few too many? Are there a few that could go? Does that thought strike terror into your heart?!
Weeding shoes is HARD. It’s up there with books and family photos.
Or it might start out easy (broken strap, high heel scratched and peeling) but end up hopeless with a huge mess, or really disappointing results. Maybe you’ve tried the old Three Sorting Boxes System?
Box 1. Donate.
Box 2. Keep.
Box 3. Toss.
Box 2 ends up a mountainous pile, so huge and toppling that you fear for your cats safety. (Where is she anyway?)
Box 3 has that pair of old sneakers that you dropped hair dye on and the flip-flops that have completely lost all their strap integrity.
Box 1 has that pair of ugly old Office Heels that you bought when you were 21 and started your first proper job, and 7 pairs of those free unused white towelling hotel slippers.
Too Many Shoes?
I’ve noticed something, while organising many, many wardrobes, not seeing the light of day for hours…
There are a LOT of dusty, squashed, unloved shoes in wardrobes all over the country.
Lost, forgotten shoes, in bad shape after years of having stuff heaped on top of them, shoved to the back of the wardrobe. (Or stored in cobwebby garages or under the house in that space where you can see and smell actual dirt.)
You know how it goes, you buy a new pair, which you ADORE. You happily unbox them, and carry them into your shoe storage area. Oh, there’s nowhere to put them.
Ok, just move these, and push these and put these on top of those, and stack those and there! Done.
Didn’t have to get rid of a single pair!
But do you really love ALL of them?
And why, you ask, are shoes being stored in these god-forsaken conditions? Because the owner of the shoes has run out of room.
They bought new shoes, that they liked better. But they were completely unable to let the old shoes go. They might come in handy one day right? They cost a lot of money! But… well, no room.
So they’re crushed under several layers of shoes that are newer or, are banished to a box or bag or dusty shelf. Unworn, unloved and dusty.
Until one day they have to deal with them.
How To Declutter Shoes.
Dust is a sign.
Things that have dust on them are not used. For a loooong time. Dust on shoes or the box they’re in means you haven’t needed them. For a long time. Sometimes it’s because you can’t get to the box containing the shoes. But you still managed just fine without them right?
Of course you don’t have to actually declutter a single pair, if you don’t want to. It’s your choice. But you might want to think about taking care of those shoes that might come in handy or cost a lot of money.
You know those decluttering shows where they lay everything out for the homeowner to look at? Organising all your shoes in one go can be an eye opener.
Gather all your shoes together. Every single one, from the cupboard under the stairs, the shelf in the laundry, the other wardrobes in the house, the shed, the attic, your storage unit.
Put all the day-to-day shoes that you currently wear and wore last season together. They’ll probably be the easiest to get to. Include comfy shoes, slippers and flip-flops (only if you have worn them.)
Put the least used and dustiest pairs together in one area. Include those with dusty boxes, even if they’re gorgeous. Be honest with yourself, remember it’s your choice to do this. Don’t panic. Relax. This is just the sorting stage.
Finally from the shoes that are left over, put special shoes and going out shoes that you have worn recently in a separate area. (Even if you’re not going out much at the moment.)
It’s Your Choice.
Think about the storage you have available for your shoes.
Remember that the more shoes you keep the more storage you’ll need. Each pair must have a reason for taking up space in your shoe storage area.
If you need to you can hold each pair in your hand and think to yourself: Do you deserve to take up space in my wardrobe?!
This is the easy bit. Take your most used shoes and put them in the smartest spot for you. Make it the easiest to get to.
Because you’ve been honest with your self, you now have a selection of special and going out shoes, that you have worn. These shoes deserve special care. They deserve to be looked after. You might like to store them in shoe boxes. You can stack them and they keep those shoes clean and easy to find. Give them some space, in your shoe storage area, or maybe in a secondary shoe storage area.
What’s left over? Remember those god-forsaken places some people store shoes, because they’ve run out of room? Look at the pile of shoes that you have left over.
Would you climb into your attic, go into the under-house storage area, or travel to a storage unit if you needed to wear a pair of these shoes? Be honest with yourself.
If the answer is yes? Clean them, get them mended, store them carefully, take care of them. Make space for them. They deserve it. Sound like too much trouble? Then they can go.
If the answer is no? They can go.
Now you can donate them. (If they’re in good, wearable condition.) Go to my Donations webpage, find the headings; Shoes, Clothing and Business Clothing to find places where you can donate your shoes.
Think about how you can take care of them. Where will they live in your home? If your shoe storage is at maximum capacity, will they take over space from another pair of shoes? What will happen to those shoes?
P.S. I’m committed to sharing my decluttering, organising skills and tools with the world, in the hope that it can help others. If this blog resonates with you, please consider forwarding it to anyone who may benefit from it. If this was forwarded to you, subscribe below.
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