If you’ve been following along with The Clutter-Buster Boot Camp, get ready for your next assignment! You may have noticed that I’ve started the Boot Camp off slowly…t-shirts…underwear…sweats…all things I hoped would be pretty painless for you to purge. I wanted you to get into the groove of letting things go, and appreciate how nice things looked when they are streamlined. But now I’m turning it up a notch. That’s right…it’s time to tackle our shoes.
When we first moved into our house, as I was setting up our bedroom closet and deciding where our shoes should go, I mapped out where mine made the most sense and then estimating (since they were still packed away) how many pairs of shoes Mike had, where they should go. I figured he probably had about 15 pairs of shoes. When I told him this he laughed. “Fifteen pairs? You think I have fifteen pairs of shoes?” “Oh, umm, twenty?” Turns out my husband owns nine pairs of shoes. Nine. I have thirty-seven. Which let’s be honest, is probably not a lot for a woman. I’m talking from flip flops to heels. Thirty-seven pairs. Oh boy.
Anyway, The Clutter-Buster Boot Camp has given me the perfect excuse to revisit my 74 sole-ful friends. So I pulled ALL of them out of our closet…
Mike’s shoes…the one missing is in use.
I like to keep my shoes in clear plastic shoeboxes. This way they are easy to see, easy to stack, and easy to store. Plus you can label the boxes, which makes me happier than I should probably admit. (Some people even put pictures of their shoes on the front of each box, but me and my shoes aren’t that fancy-shmancy.) Boxes work great on shelves or stacked neatly on the floor.
We have shelves in our closet, so I put the ones I wear the most often on the bottom shelves, and the ones I wear the least often (i.e. heels) up on the higher shelves. I also shuffle them around by season. Now that it’s cool out, my flip-flops and opened-toed-strappy-numbers can go on a harder to reach high shelf and my boots can move down. (If shoe boxes don’t seem a good fit for your closet, hanging shoe bags or floor shoe organizers (like this one or this one) are a great option.)
Mike doesn’t keep his shoes in boxes, but rather on shoe shelves in our closet.
Note: If you don’t yet have a way to organize your shoes don’t go running out and buying one until you’ve done your purge. You need to know how many pairs you need to store before you decide the best and most efficient way to store them.
Now, if you’re ready for a good ol’ shoe purge, here are some questions to ask yourself when trying to decide what to keep and what should go:
1. Are they comfortable? If the answer is no, they go. No question. Life is too short to wear uncomfortable shoes. I don’t care how cute they are.
2. When was the last time you wore them? If you can’t remember, they go. You can be especially brutal with summer shoes as we are just leaving the warmer weather and it should be very fresh in your mind whether or not you wore certain pairs this past season.
3. Do you really need seven versions of basically the same shoe? A lot of women have many pairs of shoes that look suspiciously similar. Look I get it, I do the same thing, but how many pairs of basic black heels do you really need?
4. Why are you keeping shoes with worn out soles and holes in them? If the idea of running into someone you haven’t seen in years while wearing these shoes makes you shutter, they go.
5. Do they still fit? If you’ve had a baby, you know everything changes, including your feet. Make sure your shoes still fit before they go in the keep pile.
Once you’ve gone through your shoes asking yourself these questions, you will probably be surprised how many you can easily let go. (The ones in decent shape can get packed up for donation.) Reassess the ones you are keeping and decide on a method of storage. Boxes? A hanging shoe holder? Once you’ve found your method, which may require purchasing something, put all your shoes away.
My little purge allowed me to let go of five pairs of shoes. I was able to switch out shoes in clear boxes that I was letting go of for shoes that didn’t have a box yet or were still in the cardboard box they came in. Mike went through his as well, which obviously did not take as long. He didn’t let any go, which I was ok with. I mean, nine pairs of shoes people. Nine pairs of shoes.