Whether you have a handful of shoes or an entire room of them, it’s important to have an organized system for your favorite footwear.
I mean, imagine how much trouble could have been avoided if Cinderella had kept her shoes in order? She wouldn’t have spent so much time running around with only one glass slipper! Oh wait, that wasn’t her issue, was it?
Regardless, if you want to make it easier for you, or your Prince Charming, to find your shoes then keeping them organized is key. But of course, that’s not always easy. There are so many things to consider when trying to find the perfect arrangement for your heels, wedges, sandals, and boots!
After three and a half years of helping others organize their shoes, I’ve learned a few things that can make it easier for you to get out of the house each day on the right foot (pun intended!).
Nicki Mayfield’s Guide to Organizing Shoes
Determine the best place to store your shoes. While most people think that a closet is an obvious choice for shoe storage, it’s not always the best idea. Some people prefer to keep their shoes next to the main door they use so when they come in or go out they are easy to dump or grab-n-go. Others don’t have a closet and need to be creative and store them elsewhere, such as an over-the-door-shoe organizer or under their bed in a container.
Or you could be like one of my clients, Ms. O’Connor, who dedicated an entire room for her vast collection.
I peek around the doorframe. The room is triple the size of my bedroom and lined with custom-made slanted shoe shelving similar to those I’ve seen in glossy fashion magazines or the high-end boutiques I’ve passed by in the city.
“What’s this room used for?”
“It’s to be Ms. O’Connor’s new shoe room.”
My eyes widen. “You’re kidding right? This whole room is just for shoes?” I wait for a smile to break out across Lucinda’s face, but the forlorn look she’s worn since I arrived remains intact.
“It’s not a joke, Miss Mayfield. This room is solely dedicated for Ms. O’Connor’s vast number of shoes.”
“Uh, okay.” I have no clue how anyone could have so much footwear or why they would need a separate room just to store them, but what do I know about high society living?
–Excerpt from Perfectly Arranged novel
Declutter your collection. Whether you have two pairs or twenty, it’s important to only keep those shoes you use on a regular basis or can’t live without. And based on where you plan to store your shoes (as mentioned above), you may not have space to really keep all of them. Editing may be necessary.
Not sure how to determine which shoes need to go and which can stay? Here’s a list of questions to ask yourself as you sort through them (and remember to be honest as you answer!!):
Asked all these questions and still not sure? Here’s the final test: if your shoes have a thin film of dust on them you’ll probably haven’t worn them in a while and probably won’t so it’s safe to let them go (as the other princess, Elsa, would say).
Decide how you want to store and arrange them. Just as no one shoe fits all, there’s no one way to store or organize shoes either. It’s completely up to you!
“What? She’s supposed to be here with me.”
Lucinda sighs. “Not today. Now, if you’ll excuse me—”
She takes a step to leave, but I pull on her arm. “When will she be back?”
“This afternoon. I really must be going now.” She removes my hand from her sleeve.
“How am I supposed to organize the shoes? By color? By type? By season?” I rake my hand through my hair as I realize the terrible position I’ve been put in. While I’m certain of my ability to bring order to any mess, I like to customize the organizing system to my client’s preferences. How am I supposed to guess Ms. O’Connor’s? Or is this why Heather asked about Marie Kondo? Ugh, how am I to know?
“The shoes will be delivered shortly. Just make sure you do your absolute best for her, otherwise . . .” Her voice trails off as she slinks away.
I close my eyes and imagine Ms. O’Connor having an outburst similar to what I’ve seen on Hell’s Kitchen. That wouldn’t be good.
– Excerpt from Perfectly Arranged novel
Deciding on how to store your shoes can be based on a variety of factors:
- Do you want them stored where you can see them or can they be placed in boxes or simply thrown in a basket each day?
- How do you want to arrange them? By color, by season, by use, or by type?
- How does the space you have work best? Shelves, cubbies, boxes, over-the-door shoe organizers, caddies?
Answering these simple questions can ensure that your shoe storage will work for you and be a system that you can easily manage.
Once you’ve implemented these three steps, there’s only one more thing left to do.
Put on some music and dance as you put your shoes back in their new home! Organizing doesn’t have to be dull. I always listen to music when I work and even have special playlists to help make the job more fun (hey, if Snow White’s dwarfs can whistle why they work, why can’t I dance?). Check out some of the songs I love to dance to as I bring order to any shoe job I’m working on.
So there you have it … my best tips for organizing your shoes. Believe me, after organizing Ms. O’Connor’s shoes your closet should be a breeze!
Stay tuned for more organizing tips in my Organizing Guide Series (you can check out packing for a trip and purging paper piles) and don’t forget to catch my full story in Perfectly Arranged, releasing October 26, 2021!