Cleaning Out Your Shoe Closet

18 04 2012

Well, it’s officially spring and if you’re like some of my friends, you’ve taken it upon yourself to get into a massive Spring Cleaning session. You’re dusting. Getting rid of clothes you haven’t worn since the last time you spring cleaned. You may even be getting rid of old TVs and buying new ones or buying new curtains and painting your walls. Whatever it is – you’re doing a lot more than me. As I admitted the other day, when my life is in shambles and I have too much going on, my apartment tends to reflect it – in every place except for in my shoe closet.

And that’s because despite everything else, I find a way to regularly keep it organized. Don’t get me wrong – I may slip up and have too many black shoes at one time (is there really such a thing?), but I definitely have a distinct method of cleaning out my shoe closet and keeping it organized. You may decide to tweak some of these, but at the very least – it may be a starting off point.

Take (a realistic) Inventory

So despite the fact that I may have at times in my life owned over 200 pairs of shoes (not really now – although my bio still reflects that lol), I like to try and keep them out in the open as much as possible. I know a lot of people put them in bins for storage reasons and I totally get that – but I prefer a walk in and see approach. It helps me to take a realistic look at what I have so I can determine what can be donated, what can be thrown away, and what do I still need. If you’re not able to do that, a friend of mine takes pictures of her shoes and places them on the outside of the shoe boxes or outside of the bins. Either way, it helps to be able to see what you have.

The last time I took a major inventory of my shoe closet was right before I moved into my current apartment. I noticed that I had my shoes from prom still and like 10 pairs of black heels. I mean, really black is great – but that’s just not necessary, especially considering the rest of my wardrobe didn’t reflect this awesome love for black. So I made some hard decisions. My prom shoes may have still been in perfect condition, but I hadn’t worn them since high school and it made no sense for me to still have them. I had pictures with them – it was time to give up the ghost.

And with the black heels, some of those shoes were so beat up, it was a wonder I still had them. I ended up throwing out at least 4 of those heels, donated 3 others and still had 3 that had enough diversity in them to suit me just fine. It was onto the second part of the project.

Make sure there’s Diversity

Just like in the workplace, it’s always best to have different varieties of shoes in your closet. This can be determined by whatever you like to have in your closet, however. I like to have an array of colors, so every 2 months or so – I go into my closet and look to see what colors I don’t have and which ones I have too much of. Sometimes having too many of a color happens by accident, you see a pair of really cute burnt orange flats and you’re like, I have to have those. And then you see a pair of cute burnt orange heels, and you get those as well. And the next thing you know, you have 5 pairs of burnt orange shoes in your closet. FIVE! And yet, you have no nudes.

That’s what happened to me last year. Since then, however, I’ve gotten rid of 2 of those burnt orange shoes and purchased two pairs of nudes and I’ve started checking out my shoes, not just for colors, but styles. Most people have a particular style they prefer (I tend to like closed toe stilettos, doesn’t matter if it’s a round, square, or pointed toe – it’s more about the heel for me… but for other people, it’s more about the toe or they like a bigger or chunkier heel than I do.), but even with your preferences, it’s best to have a few items that go away from the norm. Just recently, I bought two pairs of wedges because I noticed that out of all the shoes I had, I only had 2 wedges in my closet and one of them needed to go to the shoe doctor on U Street. Que horible!

Give yourself guidelines, but don’t over-think it.

They’re my babies, but really – they’re still just shoes. One of the things I’ve tried to do (and there have been years where I’ve been more successful at it than others) recently is to be mindful of the space I have for my shoes. Like I said before, I prefer the walk in and see approach, so I can’t do what I’ve done in the past and come home with seven new pairs of shoes and not get rid of some of the ones still in my closet. I have to be mindful. I don’t want you walking into my place and shoes are falling from the ceiling.

I bought 3 pairs of shoes recently (on sale – so don’t judge me) and guess what that meant for me – I needed to at least get rid of one pair already in my closet. It’s probably going to be the wedges that need to go to the shoe doctor honestly, but either way – something’s gotta go. And yet, at the same time, if I see a pair of shoes that I HAVE to have, like what happened in Paris, I can’t think about what shoes I’m going to have to give up to have those in my closet while I’m buying them. They’re supposed to make you feel good. You’re supposed to be happy while you’re spending your hard earned money on them. So yes, keep it organized, but don’t ever make it feel like a chore. That’s just so so wrong on every level.




2 responses

14 05 2012
Get WEDGED up! « Choices, Voices, and Sole

[…] other day, I wrote about how I recently purchased two pairs of wedges even though it’s not typically a style I gravitate to – something about how they tend […]

23 05 2012
What’s Your Shoe Fantasy? « Choices, Voices, and Sole

[…] going on a massive shopping spree (Just throw it in the bag!) or coming home to find an awesome shoe closet made just for you. Maybe it’s something even resembling Carrie in Sex and the City when Mr. […]

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