How to Organize Too Many Pairs of Shoes
Options—You've Got Them
If you love shoes, you might have just too many to keep organized. Sure, you needed to buy 3 new pairs of sandals, 4 new pairs of flats, 2 pairs of high heels, and 5 pairs of flip flops for the spring. You can't keep wearing all those boots you've got in your closet during warm weather. That totally makes sense! But now, where do you put them all? Well, I am here to help you get organized.
Your First Assignment
The first thing you need to do, my fellow shoe addicts, is to take them all out and look at them. Yes, this is your moment of truth. Take the shoes from under the bed, in the closet, behind the couch, in the hallway, and put them in one spot. Take a long hard look at your addiction.
Do you need all these shoes? Are there any two that are similar? Can you give some to a friend, a charity, or perhaps sell them at a yard sale or online? I suggest making a "donate" pile and a "sale" pile. Only create a "sale" pile if you are genuinely going to do it. Don't just say you are going to put them on Craigslist, but they only end up back under your bed instead.
The next pile you are going to want to make is a "trash" pile. Yes, some of those old favorites that the dog chewed on the pair that has been stinking up your closet for months and needs to be thrown out. Of course, it is fine to save a pair specifically for yard work or something like that, but toss out the rest of the old, stinky ones. Your friends and family will thank you for it.
If you made a lot of recent purchases and now find you simply do not need them all, you can also make a "return" pile. Sure, the sales associates might get annoyed with you, but if you bought new brown sandals last week forgetting about the brown sandals you bought on clearance last September, it might be best to return the pair you just got. Now you are saving money and space at the same time!
Let's Get Organized
Now that you've got all your shoes you are keeping in full view, it is time to assess how best to organize them. In some situations, one can easily organize 20 pairs or less by keeping them in shoeboxes and putting them in a closet. Often, you can line them along shelves so you can easily find them.
Shoes are much less likely to get dusty in boxes. Also, clearly labeled boxes are a great way to stay organized. However, this technique has some drawbacks. First of all, shoe boxes take up a lot of space. Second, if you have more than 20 shoes, this is probably going to be unreasonable. You will need more space and an easy way to access your collection. If you have plenty, it is time to throw out the boxes now and move on to some other ways to organize those shoes.
Over-the-Door Shoe Organizer
If you would like to keep some in your closet, but want the ones that you wear all the time more accessible, an over the door shoe organizer will be your best bet. These organizers often hold about a dozen pairs.
What is great about this type of organizer is it is relatively inexpensive. It is also convenient because it does not take up any space in your closet or under your bed.
It does have some drawbacks though. First, depending on what door you hang this on, the door may never close correctly again. Second, you can't use this for heavy shoes. If most of your shoes are athletic shoes and boots, I would not recommend this. If, however, you are a big fan of flip flops and ballet flats, this could very well be a great organizer for you.
Under-the-Bed Shoe Organizer
If you are not a fan of having your door weighted down or taking a whiff of the shoes each time you open that door, you might want to try stashing your shoes under the bed instead. I would recommend getting an organizer rather than letting them get lost under there.
Keeping your shoes under the bed is a good strategy if you don't have an excessive amount. It is also a nice "out of sight, out of mind" way to organize. I highly recommend this if you are storing away some shoes for the season as well. It will keep them dust-free and in a safe spot until your are ready to wear them again.
Hanging Shoe Organizer
If your major addiction is shoe shopping, but not buying clothes, then you may have enough room in your closet to hang your shoes. You can buy a hanging organizer for your closet. They come in many shapes, sizes, and colors, and they are relatively inexpensive.
Unfortunately, I find these organizers to be a bit limiting. Once again, if you do not own heavy shoes, this is going to be fine. But if you do, this organizer might just weigh down things too much and pull down the pole or shelving units in your closets. Beware! Also, if you have a lot of clothes, this is probably not going to work out too well for you. Yes, you may be able to get one long, thin organizer in your closet, but you probably won't be able to squeeze much more than that in there.
The Shoe Rack
It has finally come down to this. No ordinary or small organizer will do any longer. The shoe rack just has to happen. These are shelving units made specifically to hold shoes—or you can easily convert another kind of rack. Either way, the shoe rack is for the true shoe lover with a vast collection.
In some cases, you can get racks that just have metal poles. Those are a bit restricting since some shoes do not fit properly. But there are other options that fit a wide range of styles.
What is great about these racks is they are sturdier than the other options and fit well into a closet. What is not so great is usually the price or the issue of finding a closet for them. However, you and your addiction have gotten you to this place in your life. Now you must find the perfect closet or bedroom location to accomodate.
Time to Get Organized
If all else fails, you are probably going to have to use a combination of all of these methods for complete shoe organization. I know that is what it has come down to in my own life. Have no fear! Once you toss out boxes, throw away old shoes, and put together your donation pile, you will find your collection is not so outrageous after all. You might even opt to buy more shoes! OK, you should not do that, but still, you can get organized.
Using some or all of the products listed here is your best bet in making your closets more organized and your shoes easier to find. You might even discover a pair you once loved, but had forgotten along the way. Good luck to you!