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How to declutter shoes

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Are your shoes taking up too much space in your closet? Do you have more pairs of shoes than you know what to do with? If so, you may want to learn how to declutter shoes to free up valuable space. 

decluttered shoes stored in cubbies.

While it’s true that fashionable shoes can elevate and complete any outfit, collecting too many shoes can cause clutter and stress. A good way to put your shoe collection in order is by doing a little decluttering from time to time, but it’s often difficult to know where to start.

If you do not know how to declutter shoes, fear not! The process is easier than you might think if you know what to do and what to avoid 

The key is to make sure each pair of shoes has its proper place within your closet. It’s a fairly straightforward rule — if it doesn’t belong there, get rid of it. It’s all about finding a way to make the process of decluttering shoes as simple, efficient, and guilt-free as possible.

With the right mix of mindset and methods, you can declutter shoes in a way that really works for you. Best of all, taking the time to declutter and reorganize your shoes can make all the difference in your day — and boost your mood too!

Reasons to declutter shoes

There are so many good reasons to declutter your shoes, and perhaps the biggest one is that they’re easier to manage. When everything is neat and orderly, you’re less likely to spend time looking for things that would have been easier to find had they been organized in the first place. 

cluttered shoes.

Here are other reasons why decluttering shoes is important:

  • Decluttering can help you save money. Over time, we tend to buy more than we need, and often times things get shoved into our closets and drawers as a way of getting them out of sight. Like everything else in the closet, if you don’t use a shoes after some time, chances are you might never need them again.
  • Decluttering helps free up space. When you look at your shoes, you may see a lot of different shoes that are great for different occasions. You may also see a variety of styles and designs. But shoes can be a big space-hog in your closet, on your shelves, and in storage areas. After decluttering, you may realize how big your space really is!
  • Decluttering makes your home healthier. A cluttered space tends to attract dust and allergens, which can decrease the overall air quality in your home and may cause health problems. Decluttering your home keeps it cleaner, so you can breathe easier.

Types of shoes to declutter

When you’re getting rid of shoes, it can be hard to decide how many pairs to keep. Certainly, not all shoes need to be dealt with at once, but they should all get a fair chance. It would also be helpful to bring in someone else that has a neutral point of view – they can often help you see things differently.

Below are some types of shoes to declutter, plus guidelines to use when decluttering them:

Athletic Shoes

Anyone who regularly works out or plays a sport knows that it’s important to have the right footwear for these activities. To keep your feet healthy and free of blisters, make sure you have at least one pair of shoes for each athletic activity you do. Keeping one spare pair can be a good idea, especially if you wear them frequently.

cluttered athletic shoes.

Casual Shoes

You’ll want to choose shoes that go with a variety of outfits, and you can probably get away with owning only one or two pairs of casual shoes. Those are the types of shoes you’re likely to keep and buy again in the future, because they’re comfortable and go well with many different outfits.

Shoes for School or Work

Sometimes you have to wear a certain type of shoe to work or school. If you are required to wear those shoes, make sure you keep them clean and in good condition.

If your work shoes aren’t required to be a specific type, then they can probably be the same shoes designated for casual wear or dress wear. With this, you have more space and get the most out of your shoes!

Formal Wear Shoes

It is important to own a pair of dress shoes that are made for more formal occasions, like going out on a nice date or attending church services. Most people own standard colors like black, navy, and brown because they go well with a lot of outfits.

Shoes for the Weather

Which shoes you need for different seasons and different climates will depend on where you live and what types of activities you typically participate in. Examples are some warm boots or a pair of sandals. The more prepared you are for the weather, the easier it will be for you to get thing done!

Spare Pairs For Unforeseen Circumstances

Always keep an extra pair of shoes around for those emergencies days and unexpected messes. Shoes can get dirty and worn out, so it’s a good idea to keep a spare pair or two.

When decluttering shoes, be sure to designate a pair that can be used for running errands or other situations in which your nicer shoes could get dirty.

How to declutter shoes

Shoe clutter can be a real issue, but it doesn’t have to be! Follow these easy steps to declutter shoes and free up space in your closet: 

assorted pairs of shoes on the floor.

1. Take all your shoes out of the storage

The first step to organizing your shoes is to gather, sort, and purge them. This will make discarding the pairs you no longer wear much easier, leaving you with a smaller amount of items to organize. 

2. Get rid of anything that’s worn out or that you don’t need

If your shoes are too large or too small for your feet, uncomfortable to wear, hopelessly scuffed or torn, or stained and stinky, you’ll probably want to remove them from your collection.

3. Dispose of unwanted shoes properly

If you have a pair of rarely worn shoes, consider donating them to a charity or aid organization. They may be able to give them to someone who can put them to good use. You can also give them to friends, relatives, or put them up for sale.

4. Consider adopting the “one-year rule”

Remove any shoes you haven’t worn in over a year (and it doesn’t matter the season either). Some people may prefer to use 3 or 6 months as their marker for determining a closet clean-out. Either way, use what feels right for you and go from there.

5. Eliminate the excess

Once you’ve chosen the pairs of shoes you don’t wear, it’s time to think about how many of each type you want to keep. If you have a lot of similar pairs, it might be time to get rid of some.

Keeping an extra pair of each shoe in every style makes it easier to switch up your look. But don’t use this as an excuse to hoard shoes that you no longer wear!

6. Keep in mind the amount of space you have

To declutter your shoe collection, first decide how much room you’ve got in your home for shoe storage. Then, keep paring down your collection until you can fit all the remaining shoes into that space.

It takes a lot of patience and determination to keep decluttering until you’re left with your very best possessions. But, you’ll feel great when it’s done!

7. Organize shoes in pairs or groups according to type

Now that your shoe collection is decluttered, you can find a place to store them. Keep them out of the way, but also near enough to be easily accessible for putting on and taking off.

Storage Ideas for Decluttering Shoes

Once you’ve decluttered most of your shoes, you may need to purchase some storage containers for them. Let us give you some storage ideas!

  • Use shoe racks. Maximise your storage space and keep your shoes in good condition using shoe racks.
  • Try shoe boxes made of clear plastic. Unlike cardboard boxes, clear shoe boxes allow you to see what’s inside without opening them.
  • Use under-the-bed organizers to maximize your closet space. This will help you tuck away seasonal shoes or pairs that aren’t worn as frequently.
  • Save space with a hanging shoe organizer. Hanging shoe rack systems don’t take up floor space, making them a smart way to store shoes in a small closet.
  • Add a piece of furniture (like bench) with storage. It is the perfect choice for anyone who wants a place to sit and a place to store shoes all in one piece of furniture. 
different pairs of shoes on floor.

FAQs on how to declutter shoes

If you don’t see your question on how to declutter shoes answered below, don’t be afraid to let us know in the comments!

How do I organize my shoe clutter?

You can use this article as a guide to help you organize your shoe clutter. To summarize: Take all your shoes out of the storage unit. Throw away or give away any that are worn out or you no longer need. Sort your shoes by type: athletic, casual, corporate, dress, etc. Store them together by type so that they’re easier to find when you want them.

When should I get rid of shoes?

Throw out uncomfortable shoes, anything that’s overly worn, that you don’t need, or that doesn’t fit. These include shoes that are too large or small for your feet, uncomfortable to wear, hopelessly scuffed or torn, or stained and stinky. Also, consider adopting the “one-year rule”: if you haven’t worn the shoe in a year, get rid of it. 

How many pairs of shoes should I have?

It is generally recommended that you have one pair of shoes per activity (i.e. one pair of athletic shoes, one pair of casual shoes, and so on). After that, you need only as many pairs as you wish to own, though the space available in your closet often limits how many you can fit.

Other Articles You May Be Interested In

Now that you know how to declutter shoes, you may want to tackle other clutter. Take a look at these articles to organize other areas of your home!

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