Do you have too many shoes? Maybe….


Liz Jenkins


cowboy bootsCan you ever have too many shoes (or here in Nashville, too many boots)? That depends. As a Professional Organizer I almost feel obligated to encourage paring down and letting go. But, honestly, I love shoes.

So do I have too many shoes? For some people, yes. For some, not nearly enough.

So what it comes down to is this…

  • Do the shoes I own actually get worn? Some shoes are specialty such as those worn for formal events or gardening
    Courtesy of Toms
    Courtesy of Toms

    clogs which may or may not get a lot of use but are good to have when you need them. Some may be specific to work, a sport, or a type of event. Some are your go-to shoes for just about everything. But then there are the ones that look lovely on the shelf or were a ‘great deal’ but never get chosen to wear. Those that are really just taking up space. Might be time to let those go to someone who may really use them.

  • Are they comfortable? This is key for me. If I can’t walk in them, work in them and look forward to wearing them because they feel good, then I won’t wear them. Personally, I love wedges but haven’t yet found a pair that fit my feet well. It doesn’t matter how cute they are because they won’t get worn. *Exciting update: I just found a pair that fit perfectly. This could be bad for my closet situation though…
  • Are they awesome? Just about any shoes can fill a need or a purpose. But are the ones you own ones that give you a thrill to wear? I happen to love my Toms shoes because they are comfortable, cute, and work with my lifestyle. You may love patent leather, ballet flats or neon tennies. Whatever makes you happy is what you should own.
  • Do I have shoes to fill the needs in my life? If you’ve had the situation where you need to attend an event or do an activity and have no shoes to wear because everything you own is of the wrong style, then taking stock of your wardrobe and your life may be in order. Take inventory of your shoes, compare them to your clothing and your lifestyle. Then be mindful about shoes you purchase so that you will have what you need when you need it.
  • Have I purchased in an aspirational manner? Buying for a life you don’t lead (at least not now) is pretty common. I’ve definitely done this myself. And I must be honest with myself that no matter how gorgeous spike heels in snakeskin may be, there is absolutely no way that these will ever get worn based on who I am today.
  • Do I have space for all of the shoes I own, and are they cared for properly? When I work with clients who have shoes piled everywhere, we have to address the issues of usage and comfort, but also where to store them so they are accessible and cared for. Think outside the floor! Piles of shoes means that they will not only likely get damaged but also waste your time when you go to get dressed. You’ll end up wearing the same two pairs because those are the only ones you can find.
  • Are the shoes organized? Organizing shoes is similar to organizing just about anything else. Group like with like (all workout shoes together, heels together, boots together, etc.). Keep your most frequently used shoes the most accessible. Store infrequently used or specialty shoes up high or tucked away. Corralling flip flops in a basket, using over the door shoe organizer for flats, using a bookshelf or armoire for storage, adding a rail around the room for heels…there are so many options.  Store fragile or expensive shoes in storage boxes to keep them safe. Use boot inserts to prevent creases.  Check out my Pinterest Organizing: Shoes board for even more creative ideas!

So, just for fun, take an afternoon and pull out all of your shoes. Match them up, try them on, see what works with your current wardrobe and style. Donate the ones that don’t make the cut, consign the high end failures, and work on creative storage and display for those that do. If you get stuck, give us a call! We help clients not only organize their shoes, but their closets, and often their lives.