You love your shoes like a friend—we know because we feel exactly the same way—but, if you’re anything like us, your shoes aren’t exactly pristine clean and organized in your closet. In addition, since we’ve been spending even more time at home, your shoes have probably been spending all their time in there, which can get a little (ahem) funky to say the least. Thankfully, it’s the season for spring cleaning and we’ve got all the tips you need to make a home for your shoes that’s squeaky clean and super organized.
- Play favorites
We know it’s tough but your shoe closet is never going to look like something Marie Kondo would approve of if you hoard shoes forever. Take a few hours and go through each pair of shoes, thinking when you last wore them, how often you wear them and how much they mean to you. It’s ok to keep some shoes for purely sentimental value (sneakers that you drew on as a teenager, anyone?) but if your closet is bursting at the seams then it’s really time to sell, recycle or donate at least a few pairs.
- Take a survey
Look over the pairs that have made the cut and evaluate what state they’re in. Are they scuffed? Do they need to be waterproofed? Are the heels damaged? Do they need a new sole? Make a separate pile for pairs that you need to take to be repaired or professionally treated so you can get it all done in one trip.
- Clean, clean, clean
Now that you’re really in it, take each pair of shoes and thoroughly wipe them down, spritz them with an odor-eliminating spray and (if you’re feeling really fancy) polish up the pairs that need it. While you’re at it, make sure you clean the actual closet area including the shelves, floor and organizers. You don’t want your shoe friends living in less than pristine conditions, right?
- Take a foot care break
You’ve already got your cleansing wipes and foot freshening spray out, so give your feet a quick once over too! If you want to take the time for a full at-home pedicure, we thoroughly approve. Tip: when using your cleansing wipes, use one side to clean the soles of your feet and the other to wipe down your shoe.
This is where you get to have fun and enjoy the fruits of your purging labor because less shoes fit much better in your closet. You can categorize your shoes by style, color, height or really any combination or other way you choose. You know your shoe selection best (and also which ones you reach for the most) so get creative and remember to put your faves in a prominent place.
There are millions of shoe storage options that work on shelves and on the floor to the hanging rack and behind the door, so pick what works best with your space. If you have some dressy pairs that you only wear for special occasions, we recommend storing them in boxes to keep them in tip top shape. Pro tip: Boots that are knee-high or taller usually aren’t sturdy enough to maintain their shape, meaning damaging creases, kinks and wrinkles. Try use a rolled-up magazine or tissue paper to help maintain their shape while they’re in the closet—plus, they’ll look nicer standing up straight instead of folding over.
Now, throw open the windows for some fresh spring air, sit back and enjoy your hard work. You’ve earned it!
We’d love to see how you organize your shoe closet, share your snaps with us @barefootscientist.