Take Charge of Your Shoe Clutter: 10 questions to help you decide
Updated: Apr 26, 2019
Shoes shoes shoes. Do you love shoes? Shoes, boots, high heels, flats, smart, casual, sandals, wellies, snowboots, slippers, exercise trainers, casual trainers, beach flipflops, smart flipflops. Any others you can think of?
Can you resist buying more, even when you don't really need them? How would you respond to this headline "10 types of shoes that you absolutely MUST have this season"? And how about "The 7 types of shoes that every working woman should have in her wardrobe"? Would you click on those links?
Have you got some that you've never worn? Maybe you bought them, they weren't quite right somehow and you never got around to returning them? Maybe you don't wear them but can't part with them because they cost a lot of money? Do you have too many shoes for the amount of storage space you have? If you answered yes, it's time for a good sort out.
What would your space look like if it was clutter free? What would it feel like? I've recently helped a nonagenarian declutter her shoes. She loved the process, and afterwards told me that each time she opens her wardrobe she loves the space that’s been created. It made her feel good.
Questions to help you decide what's to go and what's to stay
1. Do you wear them?
We all have our favourites don't we? Our go-to shoes. The ones we automatically put on (almost) everyday. You might have others that you do wear but not very often. Perhaps just for special occasions. Your gorgeous silver sparkly sequinned 5in. platforms comes to mind. Or given the week of snow we've just had...your snowboots or wellies. But do you have ones that you haven't worn for over a year? Or ones that you know you never wear?
2. Do you love them or are they really useful?
Hand on heart, do you? If not why keep them? I love all my shoes except for one pair...my walking shoes. They're not beautiful but they are functional. I bought them before walking The South Downs Way. Over 100 miles of walking and I didn't get one blister. They're a keeper for that reason alone. The guy in the shop was right, they were a perfect fit.
3. Are they in good repair or have they seen better days?
You know what I'm talking about! Dodgy heels, worn out soles, scuffed (but not in a lovely lived-in sense, more like a well past it kind of way), holes, soles coming away, inner soles coming away, broken zips, broken straps, bows or buttons coming off. Can your local cobbler help you out or is it time to let go? But one thing's for sure, if they're stinky whiffy, you know what to do with them.
4. Is either your left or right shoe missing?
If you’ve hunted down all the places your shoe could be, and you still can’t find the missing one, time to declutter no matter how much you love them.
5 Do they fit you?
Yes they’re beautiful but do they still fit. Did they ever fit properly? Are they too big or too small? Too narrow or too wide? Our feet do change shape and sometimes size over the years. If they don't fit, it's unlikely that you're ever going to wear them.
6. Are they comfortable? Or are they torturous to wear?
Are they just 'taxi-to-table' shoes as my sister says? Do they squash your toes? Do they rub your heels? Is the beauty worth the pain? You might even be over wearing heels. Or the reverse and decided to up the glamour stakes.
7. Are they in fashion?
I'm not thinking of 'fashion fashion' but more like your style. Do they match your style and image?
8. Do you have multiple pairs of the same shoe?
Or maybe several that are very very similar. Do you really need to keep all of them?
9. Are they to do with hobbies you used to do?
Things you’ve outgrown. Things you've stopped doing. Things you're not going to ever do again. Here are a few examples to give you an idea: riding boots, running shoes, ballet pumps, tap shoes, squash shoes, ballroom dancing shoes, riding boots, roller skates.
10. And last but not least...
Realistically are you ever going to wear them again?
Footnote (pun intended!)
Wear shoes less. Kick off your shoes more. Allow your feet to move as nature intended free of encumbrance. It’s good for you.
Get in touch for help with clearing your clutter:
Trained with Karen Kingston, author of Clear Your Clutter With Feng Shui
Member of APDO (Association of Professional Declutterers and Organisers)