A Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning Your Shoe Closet

With spring cleaning season just around the corner, you may have decided it’s finally time to wade through that muddled mess of footwear lying in your closet. After all, there’s no better way to make room for new spring styles than by doing a deep clean and getting organized. To help make the experience a breeze, we’ve rounded up a range of handy tips for tidying up your closet — some of which you may not have heard of before. Read on to discover them all.

Purge

Start by placing all your shoes in front of you and dividing them into three groups: toss, giveaway and keep.

Toss: Any shoes that are damaged beyond repair or too worn out to give away.

Give away: Pairs that are lightly worn. These could be pairs you decide you don’t like anymore or are simply out of style. You can either donate them to charity or try to sell them on resale sites like ebay and Poshmark.

Keep: Styles that you love and know you will continue to wear. When it comes to pairs you’re indecisive about, get rid of those you haven’t worn in the past year.

Organize

Organize by seasonality and frequency of use: Once you’ve decided which pairs to keep, organize further by segregating styles you know you won’t be wearing in the coming months. During spring and summer, winter boots can be stored in bins under your bed where you won’t need to access them. For styles like dressy heels you’ll probably only wear for special occasions, place them in clear, stackable shoe boxes at the top of your closet. Not only will this method keep prized pairs out of the way, but it’s also a great for showcasing them while keeping them protected.

If space isn’t an issue, try a shoe tree: These allow you to store and display multiple pairs — making it look (and feel) as if you live in your own personal shoe store. For added convenience, try a revolving version like this option from Hankey.

Opt for adjustable shoe slots to maximize square footage: As a rule of thumb, it’s always best to go up rather than out to with your shoe storage to maximize space. Shoe slots are great for this; they allow you to stack two shoes on top of one another, significantly decreasing the amount of space each pair takes up in your closet.

Use an over-the-door organizer to free up floor space: Keep footwear off the floor with an over-the-door shoe organizer. They’re perfect for storing sandals, flats and low heel styles. We recommend this option from Simple Houseware, which can fit up to 24 pairs.

Invest in an underbed organizer: Limited closet space can make storage tricky, especially when the size of your shoe collection is comparable to Carrie Bradshaw’s. Thankfully, underbed organizers are a great solution. They feature separate compartments to prevent pairs from getting crushed. Plus, they can accommodate different shoes styles — from ankle and knee high boots to more compact ballet flats and sandals — and come with clear tops for easy visibility when you need to pull them out.

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