What is your minimum number of shoes to own?

camlanJuly 7, 2013

Shoes. I'm struggling with finding storage for my shoes.

I have very little storage space for shoes, just a small part of the floor of the bedroom closet. I do not want to get a free-standing shoe cabinet or anything like that, as my bedroom is small.

The shoes will need to fit on the floor of the closet, which is also small--there's space for 3 pairs of shoes, although I'm trying to find some sort of shelf that will fit, so I can store a few more pairs. And I have an under-the-bed bin that can hold about 4-5 pairs. (The closet door has hooks for robes and scarves and bags. The over the door multi-pocket shoe holders won't fit. Or, if I got one, I'd have to find storage space for everything that's currently hanging on the closet door. )

But I have about 20 pairs of shoes, not counting two pairs of snow boots that live by the front door. I'm struggling to let go of some of the shoes.

It's things like, I have one good dressy outfit. I have one pair of shoes that goes with this outfit and nothing else. Logically, these shoes should go. But then, the twice a year I get dressed up, I will feel weird, because I'll be wearing black leather work shoes with a lacy brown dress.

So what can I do to determine which shoes can stay and which should go? What's a minimum shoe wardrobe for you?

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Do not give away the shoes that go with your dressy outfit. They have a good and important purpose, and though worn only a couple of times a year, that is enough to justify keeping them.

Why are your snow boots by the front door in July? Do you have a garage? I get that you might need two pairs, that's not the problem, but can you find a summer storage place for them? Then, you can leave your "gardening shoes" or your running shoes, or your errand shoes by the front door and just store the more specialized shoes in your closet. What do you think?

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 12:04PM
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Not sure if you are looking for tips about how to get by with fewer shoes (rather than how to store) but I have changed my shopping such that I only buy black or something that coordinates with black. No navy blue, brown, or other neutral unless it works with black.

Something I heard a long time ago was that the employees of Donna Karan (the designer) have as their "uniform" any combination of black/white and/or taupe. i.e. White blouse, black jacket, taupe shoes or black jacket, black shoes, taupe blouse - I'm sure you see where this goes.

I've thought of trying this and then because these colors are so neutral, I could add red blouse with the taupe or black jacket, ... This means you only need black shoes and maybe taupe - this would really limit the number of shoes you would need.

Seems like it is the color coordinating that really causes one to need more shoes. (But what about fun in having a colorful wardrobe? I don't have the answer to that except the obvious.)

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 7:38PM
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I tossed all of my oddball colored shoes a few weeks ago while I was re-organizing yet again. I had an adorable pair of olive green heels that went with absolutely nothing I own, nor do I have anywhere to wear them. I also tossed some red pumps. I'm not sure where they came from, once again, nothing matched. I slimmed my shoes down to things that I wore often or would need in the future and didn't want to pay for a new pair if required (2 pair of tennis shoes, a black and brown pair of dressy boots, a black pair of closed toe heels, and a super cute pair of wedge sandals that I wear with casual dresses in the event I need to look nice for a meal out without kids). Generally, I wear flip flops all of the time and kept 6 pairs that take up the same amount of space as a pair of tennis shoes. They will break and I will throw them away. When I get down to 2 pair, I stock up again when they go on clearance. I also kept one pair of riding boots, and two pair of snow boots that stay in a cabinet outside of the back door with my rubber boots. I keep my dress shoes in plastic shoe boxes stacked on the floor in the back of the closet and my dress boots in a box in the attic with the other out of season clothing.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 9:07PM
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Oh shoes! How I love them! Especially cute little sandals. But storing them is a problem. I have no idea how many pairs I have, but I recently got rid of about 20 pairs. Either they were ancient and I never wore them, or they killed my feet and I never wore them. If they are comfortable and I love them they have earned their keep.
Boots and gardening shoes live in the garage. Right now winter shoes are in an under the bed box without the lid. I have the lid turned upside down and slid under the foot of my bed, like a tray. I can fit about 10 pairs of sandals on it. I just slide it out, select the ones I want, and slide it back. Since I've been doing this my room stays much neater and I rotate through my shoes better.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2013 at 12:09AM
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I agree w/ cup's basic point that you do not need to store all your shoes in the same place, and that "specialty" shoes can go in their own unique spots.

Your dress shoes that are worn only every now and then can go in a box on a high shelf (label it well), because if you really want them, you'll get out the stepstool.

Out of season boots or shoes can go in a box in some other storage area.

As for a minimum--I used to have about 8 pairs, including dress shoes. And a pair of snowboots, so that makes 9.

pants shoes: 2 black, 1 brown;
skirts/dresses shoes: 1 black, 1 brown;
ultra casual: 1 pair of sneakers
ultra dress: 1 pair of strappy black sandals, 1 pair of black pumps

That worked really well.

But then I discovered Zappos (for trying on tons of shoes at once) and Payless (which now carries wide sizes that *always* fit me!), and I have a whole swazoo. And I have shoe pockets that are supposed to be the upper limit--but there are other shoes in a basket on the floor of the closet. So I'm no help there.

But I switch them around seasonally, so that helps.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2013 at 10:21PM
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Nice post, Talley! I wish I had the type of closet that could accommodate an over-the-door shoe pocket holder thingy... so my shoes are on the floor too.

How's it going, Camlan? About your dressy shoes: could you put each shoe (stuffed with tissue and clean/dry) into a Ziplock bag, then poke/cut a hole in the Ziplock below the zipper, and hang the shoes (one on each side of the dressy outfit) up in the closet? That way, they are right there with the proper outfit, and that is one less pair of shoes off of the floor and out of your way.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 9:11AM
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What about shelves with attractive storage totes or baskets? You could even put other odds and ends in the baskets.

Something like this, not necessarily plastic, but just as an idea.

Contemporary Kids by San Ramon Interior Designers & Decorators Jennifer Bishop Design

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 5:12PM
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20 pairs of shoes is perfectly normal....no need to purge any. I'd get a small clear plastic box with lid ($1 each at dollar store) and put half of them in those. You can stack the boxes behind the living couch if you need to, or they could go in a linen closet or a bathroom closet if they won't fit in the top of your bedroom closet.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2013 at 1:12AM
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