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The Secrets of How to Store Shoes: Make Them Last Longer & Grow Your Footware Collection

When It Comes to Shoes Collection, How Many Pairs of Shoes Does the Average Woman Have?

This is the most frequently asked question a closet designer gets. Unfortunately, our closet designers take an oath and are sworn to secrecy, so we can never reveal one woman's private shoe count to another. Twenty pairs, however, is average for the general population. That being said, there is no reason you need to be average. Many closet customers have shoe counts in the hundreds. No matter how many shoes you have, the bottom line is that you probably want them to last as long as possible. Having built a lot of shoes storage over the years, we can give you some great tips on footware storage and strategies that will help you get the most out of your own shoe collection.



Quality: More than anything else you put on, shoes have the ability to shift the look of an entire outfit. It's an area to pay close attention to. So — buy the best quality you can possibly afford.
Close up of Jimmy Choo shoesSee Project   >>


Shoe Trees and Rotation: Extend the life of your shoes dramatically by putting them in shoe trees after a days wearing. The cedar will absorb the moisture (and smell) that remains from the day. Rotate by not wearing the same pair of shoes everyday.
shoes with shoe trees


Color: Watch for color balance. Shoes should always be as dark or darker than your hemline. Black and taupe can get you through almost any situation.
legs with shoes to match hemline


Limit White: White shoes make your feet look larger and draw attention down to your feet. With the exceptions of nurses and athletic footware, skip the white and spend the money elsewhere. The same principle applies to hosiery and socks. Plus these days, you can get athletic shoes in every color of the rainbow.
athletic shoes in a variety of colors


Keep Them Clean: If you make a habit of wiping down and cleaning your shoes before putting them away, they will last longer. You don't need to do a full buff and polish (but if you can that's geat). However, try to at least wipe the dust and dirt off at the end of the day. You will be rewarded for your extra effort with shoes that last longer.
clean your shoes


No Plastic Boxes: Plastic seals in sweat, so storing your shoes in plastic boxes is not recommended for long term storage. As a temporary fix it's fine, as long as you don't intend to keep your shoes in the closed plastic bins. With plastic shoe bins so cheap these days, have you ever wondered why shoe companies continue to sell their product in cardboard boxes? It's because leather needs to breathe. If you're worried about dust, we've got two suggestions:

  1. Put glass doors on the shoe shelf area (This can be pricey, but it creates a drop dead, gorgeous closet that all shoe lovers will envy)
    large shoe cabinet with glass doorsSee Project   >>

  2. Really think about the shoes you have and are buying. If you wear them so infrequently that they go in plastic boxes — do you really need them?
    shoes in plastic shoe boxes for temporary storage


Quality Closet Real Estate is All About Location Location Location: If you think of your closet as "command central" — then the items you wear the most should be the easiest to access. When it comes to storing shoes on shelves, place the ones you wear the most on the middle shelves. Lesser worn items go on the top and bottom. You will have less bending and stretching, plus they're easier to see and grab when you're ready to go or in a hurry.
close up of shoes on shelves with favorites in the middleSee Project   >>


Optimize With Heel & Toe Shifting: A great way to maximize space is to place your shoes so that one is facing forward, the other backward (so you'll see the heel on one shoe and the toe on the other). Try re-arranging your own shoes in this manner and you'll see — you're going to fit more in!
store your shoes in alternating directions

Following these shoe storage tips will ensure that all your footware lasts longer, allowing you to build your shoes collection with favorites and those one of a kind occasional pieces for special occasions.

And if you need some help getting your closet space designed — please give us a call — it will be our pleasure to help in any way that we can! Remember, everything is easier when you're organized.

Closet Works is Chicagolands' largest and most experienced provider of custom storage solutions. Since 1987, we have been helping homeowners by creating custom craft rooms, art studios, closets, pantries, office/guest rooms, wall units and more that help create a better, less stressful lifestyle. All of our organization systems are made locally at our factory in Elmhurst IL. USA. Great ideas to "Organize Your Life" and examples of our organized bedrooms, closrts and other custom organization systems can be found throughout our website. For more information on Closet Works call toll-free at 800-4-CLOSET (800-425-6738).