While I'm trying to remodel my own closet to be more inviting and beautiful I'll let you in on the tips I find and write up a guide for each area as I go. My best advice right now is to take it one section at a time so that when you're done it looks absolutely perfect, like the dream closets of Instragram or a fancy boutique catered to only you. Put on some upbeat music, open the windows and blinds and put on comfy clothes/shoes. This is going to take a while.
Extra tip: If you are short on time/will power try doing only a couple of steps now and leaving the rest for tomorrow or next week. Depending on your current state, this can be a very difficult and tiresome process.
Today we're going to tackle shoes! No matter how many or how little you have, let's make the best of it!
Tidying up the shoes
- First, you knew this was coming, take out all the shoes from wherever is your shoe keeping area (neat area on closet floor, top shelf, over-the-door shoe storage,...) and take out everything else (non-shoes) out too.
- Take advantage of this to give the place a good cleaning with a damp rag or a vacuum cleaner and get rid of shoes that hurt you, don't fit anymore, are damaged beyond repair or that you plain don't wear anymore
- Decide if you want to keep your current shoe storing system or try to change to a new one. Before changing, do some re-search. I'll leave some suggestions below
- My personal favorite is the shelves on the upper right corner but it's up to you what works best with your lifestyle. If you are changing to a new system, assemble it and put it in place before continuing. When purchasing a new storage solution take into account how it's color and style will play with the rest of the closet, to create a more uniform and neat look. Also pay attention that all your shoes should fit in there without cramming them in and preferably leaving some space for new purchases.
- According to how many shoes you have, separate them in as many or a little categories as you like (heels, flats, sneakers, boots, ...) and think how will you arrange them once you're done.
- Separate the leather and fabric shoes from the rest. Wash the fabric shoes in your machine or preferably by hand with a nail brush and mild soap. Make sure they are thoroughly dry before storing (maybe wait a couple of days). It's more practical to do this with only a couple pairs of shoes at a time
- Take the leather made shoes and give them a good shine. Leave them to dry a couple hours in a well ventilated place before storing. Regular shines help prolong the life of your shoes and makes them look brand new for years.
- Inspect all your shoes for damage and put aside those that need to be taken to the cobblers. Then take them! This is also one of those things better done a couple pairs at a time.
- If your shoes smell, put some baby powder or baking soda inside and a wad of crumpled newspaper. This can also replace shoe trees if the paper is packed tightly. Put rolled up magazines inside tall boots to help keep their shape
- Put the shoes back where they belong according to your plan from before. Try facing all of them forward, backwards and then one of each pair forward and the other backwards. See what is most practical to you and uses best the space you have. Just try to make sure the categories stick together and they all face the same way for a beautiful final look.
- If you have the space try hanging a good smelling satchet near the shoes for extra goodness everytime you go in to fetch a pair
Keeping up the good work
From now on you'll have a more inviting shoe closet that'll help make sure you wear all your shoes and that they all look their best. Never struggle to find a pair again or need to plan a new outfit because the shoes you wanted to wear are scuffed! But remember this will take some minimal effort to maintain:
- When you take off your shoes, try to leave them airing out for about a day in the sun. This prevents smells and excess moisture. Then stuff them with newspaper or shoe trees before putting them back
- Allow 24 hours between wearings to better preserve all your shoes
- And the most simple and often most forgotten, put them back neatly in their designated space and don't just "throw them in there" ever again or you'll have to start from square one!
- About once a year or when the seasons change, do this all over again. If you did a good job with maintenance, it should take you half an hour tops to weed out the unworn shoes, care for the others and put them back
This weekend, let's tidy up our shoes and share the before and after experiences in the comments!
If you have any questions, still need a hand with something I didn't mention here or would like to see another subject featured here, send me an e-mail!