You don’t have to be shoe-obsessed to appreciate a well-organized and curated shoe closet. All you need is to set aside a day to evaluate its contents and classify them. In addition to storage strategies, proper care and maintenance of your shoes are equally important in keeping them tidy and in good condition.
If you’re inclined to keep your shoes in boxes, try a uniformed approach. These standard-sized shoe boxes are stackable and their contents can easily be viewed.
1. By heel height
Keep your stilettos on the higher shelves and your flats, sneakers, and flip-flops at them bottom.
2. By color
This system works just as well for shoes as it does for clothing. Arrange similarly-hued steppers together to make it easy to pick out a pair to match your outfit.
3. By season
Keep boots and cool weather shoes that you use less frequently on the topmost shelf.
Special pairs call for some extra TLC.
1. Feather shoes
DO: Wrap the feathered area with Japanese or craft paper to wick away moisture.
DON’T: Leave them out of the box; the dust alone can cause discoloration.
2. Lace-up flats
DO: Roll the long straps into a coil and tuck them neatly into the shoes.
DON’T: Crumple the straps; this will make them look old and ugly fast.
3. Tall gladiators or boots
DO: Keep the plastic inserts that come with most tall shoes.
DON’T: Store them folded; you wouldn’t want to crease the leather.
CLEAN UP SCHEDULE
Timely care for your precious pairs:
After wear: Wipe the insides and soles of your shoes with baby wipes before properly storing them.
Every week: Air out your shoes. Take them out of the box for an hour and check for mold.
Every quarter: Replace dehumidifiers and condition shoes. Check for pairs that need repair.
Every six months: Assess your picks for the season and switch up closet arrangement as needed.
Annually: Figure out what you haven’t worn the past year and decide what to keep or let go.
Keep pesky moisture away with these handy helpers.
3. Water- and dirt-proof spray
Bonus: Foam shoe inserts like these keep your heels at their best whether stored at home or stashed during travels.
*This originally appeared in Preview October 2015 issue.