Shoes are clunky, of different sizes and shapes, and hard to manage, especially when we have lots of them. However, we paid good money for each pair of flats, heels, work shoes, sneakers, snowshoes, boots, Oxfords, and beach flops, so we should also take good care of them. Let’s see today how to store shoes correctly so we can preserve and wear them for more extended periods.
1. Clean the Shoes before Storing
Dirt, dust, moisture, stains, etc. are highly detrimental for your shoes and can shorten their lifespan, ruining their looks, very quickly. Before putting them to the storage, you should clean all your leather and suede shoes with a special cleaner and use polish and other treatments to make them look brand new. Even if you leave a pair of sneakers at the door to wear tomorrow, you should also keep them clean.
2. Sort the Shoes by Purpose and Season
It is summer now, so your winter boots and other seasonal shoes should hibernate in a safe place until the return of colder days. Moreover, you should store your shoes by purpose and function. So here are some ideas:
- Dress shoes and Carry Bradshaw heels should stick together; since you probably don’t wear them to work or to walk the dog, set them aside in a class of their own;
- Group all the shoes you frequently wear to work;
- Group the summer footwear that you know you will wear more regularly during the warm season: flats, sandals, beach flops, etc.;
- If you have sneakers, running shoes, and shoes dedicated to walks and casual outings to the farmers’ market, group them as well;
- Shoes you go out to dinner with (but are not the Sex and the City type) should also be in a class of their own.
Now that you have groups of shoes set apart for each event, it is time to store them. This categorization trick is helpful as it saves you a lot of time looking for the right shoes for each activity. Next time you go out, you will know exactly what and where to look.
3. The Shoe Distancing Rule
Before we get to the actual storage, remember that no matter where you put your footwear, you should “build” the storing on a distancing principle.
- Start with the winter footwear and the shoes you wear once or twice a year. They should be far away from you, deep in the closet or high up on the shelf;
- Next, store the shoes that you wear more frequently but not daily – dinner and date shoes may come here;
- Store your shoes in such “layers,” with the footwear that you take outside daily to be right in front of you and the easiest to reach (work shoes, sneakers, casual sandals, etc.);
4. Protect the Shoes you are going to Put Away for Months
Some types of shoes need your help to retain their shape, especially if you are going to put them away for a few months. Balled paper stuffed in them is one of the best methods. Avoid printed newspapers, as the inks and chemicals might ruin your dressy shoes. Toilet paper rolls also help preserve the shape of particular shoes and boots.
Tall boots that risk flopping over and getting a permanent crease after a few months of storage should benefit from support. They should go on specialty boot stands that keep them in an upright position. However, if you don’t have any – but you enjoy enough vertical storage space in your dressing – insert cardboard rolls, Pringles boxes, or dry wine bottles to preserve their shape and, therefore, looks and quality.
Now it is time to discuss a few shoe storage tips, tricks, ideas, and a few do’s and don’ts to help you store your footwear.
How to Store Your Shoes: Organization Solutions
Keeping your shoes piled on narrow shelves or in the back of your dressing is not a good idea. Here are some things you should never do:
- Wrap your shoes in plastic for preservation;
- Protect your boots with mothballs;
- Stack pairs of shoes on top of others.
Here are some things you can and should do to protect your footwear and store it so you can easily reach it, depending on the season and your particular needs:
1. Store Your Shoes in Bags
Get a handful of shoe bags – the drawstring variety works the best – and store each pair in its container. Shoe bags occupy less space than shoeboxes and help you figure out which shoes are in each bag quickly. More importantly, shoe bags with drawstrings make an excellent storage solution as you can hang them on a door. This way, they do not clutter the closet, and they stay safely preserved off the floor.
Shoe bags also come in handy when you store casual footwear you take out frequently but also shoes you do not plan to wear until the fall.
2. Store Your Shoes in Clear Boxes with Lids
It is a drag to want to wear a specific pair of heels and open all the cardboard shoe boxes to pick the right one. Clear shoe boxes with lids make a fantastic alternative. The containers allow you to see what you look for while keeping dust, moisture, and other particles away from your footwear. Try finding transparent stackable shoe bins, so you can enjoy the versatility of creating storage to meet your needs.
3. Consider the Mighty Shoe Rack
Shoe racks represent a vertical storage solution and a great alternative to keep your less-than-frequent footwear in one place. If you already stored your precious heels up in the closet and your winter boots in clear shoe bins, it is time to keep your work shoes, sneakers, and casual sandals close.
4. Invest in an Over-the-Door Shoe Organizer
Hanging your footwear in shoe bags on the inside of closet doors can sometimes be a lifesaver. However, if you have plenty of lightweight shoes like flats, sandals, slip-on, and more, you can consider investing in a vertical shoe organizer you can tie over the closet rod or fit on the side of a closet or coat hanger on the hallway. Find a slim model with compartments large enough to host a pair of lightweight day-to-day flops.
5. The Shoe Mat by the Door
Keep this mat only for one pair of shoes per family member. The shoe mat nearby the house door should “store” only the footwear most likely to go outside every day. Of course, the coat rack usually comes with a small shoe closet. Use it only for day-to-day footwear, and for those pairs, you use a few times during the day.
Do you have other shoe storage solutions you use that work best for you? Can you share your tips on how to store shoes correctly? Use the comment section below to tell us how you preserve your footwear!