too many shoes. . . what to do

maidinmontanaAugust 16, 2009

I am in the planning stages of organizing this fall. Getting the totes, bins, crates etc I need for getting stuff organized.

I don't know what to do with the shoes. I have a lot and I don't keep the boxes they come in. Most of them are flip flops so they can be stored for the winter.

We have a small walk-in closet and all the top shelves are full ( I keep the jeans up there) as well as purses and hats. We also have a small chest freezer in there (no other place to put it)

I was thinking about getting 3-4 totes with lids for the seldom used shoes/boots and stacking them. Keeping out the ones I wear the most.

Any other ideas? (some will go bye bye after this year but I bought 6-7 more pairs this summer.)

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Since I don't collect shoes, I have only a few. But then my feet are narrow and I order by mail. Maybe instead of buying each time you want a pair, put the money in a jar, saving account and plan something special. Also, if you buy a pair, get rid of a pair. Just a thought

    Bookmark   August 16, 2009 at 6:24PM
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Don't know if it will help you decide what to keep and what to store, or not, but I'll tell you what I do: take out a different pair everyday and wear them awhile. You'll find that if you walk in a pair for several hours you'll know if they're comfortable, etc. and good enough to keep and store.

I've found myself getting rid of several pairs of summer shoes lately using this method.

If they're all found to be "keepers" I think plastic totes with lids is a great way to keep them all stored until next spring and summer.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2009 at 8:43PM
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Have I got a site for you--all you ever wanted to know about shoe storage

    Bookmark   August 16, 2009 at 11:54PM
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I like shoes, but I don't "collect" them like some women. I define a job for the shoe, then carefully choose the exact type of shoe that will work in each situation.

For example: "a casual high heel that I can wear with socks and jeans" or "a walking shoe with lots of arch support for errand days" or "something I can throw on without socks when I need to run outside quickly to see why the dog is barking."

Because I take such a logical approach, I don't need many pairs of shoes. One pair for each function, and perhaps a second waiting in the wings, if I happen to see it on sale.

We recently installed a floor-to-ceiling shoe closet in our mud room. It is 95" high, and has about ten levels for shoes, two pairs on each level. It was an Ikea PAX cabinet. Except for knee high boots, every single pair of shoes that my husband and I own fit in there. I can see all available options before I choose a pair and head out the door.

I composted most of the boxboard shoe boxes, keeping a few for other organizing tasks. I even found a brand new pair of running shoes I didn't remember I had, because it was lost in the jumble of dress shoes, which I used to keep in their original boxes.

OK, so that's me. I don't know if it'll give you any ideas to hear what I do, but it's worth a try.

As for your situation, I highly recommend that you take a careful look at each pair of shoes. For each pair, ask yourself, when was the last time I wore these? When am I likely to wear them again? You might be able to pare down that way.

I think it makes a lot of sense to keep readily available the shoes you wear most often. As for special occasion shoes and other rarely worn shoes, it makes perfect sense to store them away on a high shelf or similar out of the way place. But then, if they're out of reach, you're more likely to reach for your "everyday" shoes. So you need to have them labeled. I like the idea of photos of each pair.

Do you already have one of those over-the-door organizers with pockets, one for each shoe? Or would you not like that storage method? Lidded totes would be great, but be sure to drill holes in the sides for ventilation.

Good luck with your project! :-)


    Bookmark   August 18, 2009 at 9:17AM
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Speaking as another person with a predilection for too many shoes, I wouldn't stack them in big containers, because those on the bottom would not only not get worn much but might get forgotten.

Back before I retired I kept pumps in dresser drawers organized by color, which made it easy to select them. They needed a lot of drawers, but the convenience was well worth it. Now I need fewer (it was hard but I managed to force myself to freecycle most of them), I've switched to shoe bags that hang from the closet rod (got rid of lots of clothes too), where they are less likely to be forgotten.

Casual shoes and sneakers live in open boxes in the floor of the closet, organized by color. Not very protective, but they get hard wear so they can take it. In winter the box now holding the white ones holds casual boots instead. Dressy boots keep their boxes as I haven't found a better way to protect them.

One way to protect your shoes that is free would be wine and liquor boxes. Not beautiful, but if you pick boxes with the right size dividers that they can be quite functional.


    Bookmark   August 18, 2009 at 5:54PM
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When I had a biggish tote to store shoes in, I stored them on their toes or heels. Then I could simply pull one pair out.

Wine boxes would give you dividers so they don't crunch one another, but they might crunch the shoes. But you could probably find a way to add dividers to the totes (heck, use the innards of wine boxes; you can remove every other divider to make the compartments bigger)

    Bookmark   August 20, 2009 at 10:26PM
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