How to Declutter Shoes Quickly and Easily

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Do you have a huge pile of shoes in your closet that you are constantly kicking around or stepping over? Or, do you have so many shoes that you don't even know which ones are in the back because you haven't seen them in months or years? Or, maybe you only have a few pairs but you want to get them organized. Whichever category you fall into – we have a simple guide on how to declutter shoes for you! Let's get started!

Why Should I Declutter My Shoes?

Shoes are definitely a staple for humanity. They can easily become an obsession for some. My old roommates actually had a shoe closet in one of the spare bedrooms, because both husband and wife had an extensive collection of shoes. So, I get it.

However, I am not a shoe addict but I do like to have shoes that “pop” with certain outfits. I think if I was still working and having to dress up every day I would have a bigger shoe collection due to the additional work shoes. Regardless, when considering if you should declutter your shoes, let's look at the downsides to too many shoes:

Shoes are Bulky

It can be tricky to store shoes in a neat manner because they are bulky. We have built-in shoe storage in our closet that makes it easier for me to keep them maintained. If you are a collector of shoes, you know that finding the space for all of them is hard. By decluttering shoes, you are eliminating the excess shoes and creating more space for the go-tos that you need to keep.

Shoes Can Be Uncomfortable

Why do we keep uncomfortable shoes? The ones you wear for the Christmas party at work each year, but immediately regret when there isn't enough seating. I know – we want to have “the outfit” for the event – and shoes do complete an outfit.

However, if you are not a heel-wearer every day, go ahead and eliminate the uncomfortable shoes from your collection. There is zero reason to be uncomfortable, in my opinion.

Shoes Get Worn Out

We all have that pair of nasty tennis shoes in the garage that we use when doing yard work. But, why do we have nasty and worn-out shoes in our closets? Shoes do not last forever.

The insoles will wear down, the arches will fall, and the soles will start to wear off. It happens, because we use them to propel our body on a daily basis, but we don't have to keep them like a treasured heirloom. Old shoes need to be tossed. It's that simple!

How to Declutter Your Shoes

Now that we know why we need to declutter shoes – let's get to the decluttering! If you are currently decluttering clothes, it is a great idea to declutter shoes at the same time. Might as well get that closet organized all at once, right?

Step 1 – Take All of the Shoes Out

When decluttering, you will always make a mess before you clean anything up. It's just part of the process. I actually enjoy making a huge pile of stuff and then going through it all – but I am one of those weird neat freaks that you've heard about. When decluttering your shoes you want to start by getting them all together in one big pile.

Make sure to grab ALL of your shoes – not just the ones in your closet. Check the hall closet, the mud room, the garage, and even the back porch. The goal is to go through all of the shoes together, not just the ones that are easily accessible or out in the open. Don't cut corners!

Making a Pile of Shoes is Step One of Decluttering Your Shoes.

Step 2 – Sort Out Your Favorites

You know your go-to shoes. They are the ones that are in good condition and you wear them often. Go ahead and gather those into a pile as you sort. This will allow you to know which shoes need to be easily accessible when you go to put them back.

Step 3 – Toss the Unworn and Uncomfortable

Now it's time to make some decisions. You've separated out your favorite shoes and now we need to look at how to get rid of shoes, and which ones to get rid of. Look for holes, signs of wear and tear, and the ones that ALWAYS hurt your feet.

I get it if you want to keep one pair of dress shoes for those “just in case” moments, but if you have not worn them in 6 months, or if when you wear them you get blisters, go ahead and let them go (“Let Them Go…Let Them Gooo…” – Like Frozen, get it..).

Step 4 – Decide to Trash or Sell/Donate

Out of the unwanted shoes, you need to decide what you can sell or donate, and which shoes are a lost cause and need to be trashed. Separate those, and go ahead and throw the trash shoes out. This will eliminate you from going back through them.

For the shoes that you can sell or donate, put them in an empty box or tote to disperse as needed. Getting them out of your closet now will help you get the shoes you decide to keep put up in an orderly manner.

Step 5 – Put the Keepers Back

Now is the time to put the shoes that you decided to keep back into your storage area. Some decluttering tips to keep in mind:

  • If you decided to keep shoes that you normally keep in another area, go ahead and put those back.
  • Your go-to shoes need to be the easiest to access and the easiest to put away. Make sure you can get to them and put them back on a daily basis.
  • You can save space by using some of the storage solutions below, and by storing them with the left shoe upright and the right shoe on its side (like in the picture below).
  • For seasonal shoes, like boots for winter and sandals for summer, you can alternate these each season. Have a second storage area for the off-season shoes, even a separate shelf or the back of the closet would work, and then rotate them as needed when the weather changes.
How to store your shoes to create space

At this point, you should have a trash bag with the shoes that are worn out, a box or bin with the shoes you plan to sell or donate, and all of your keepers should be put back in a logical way. That's it! You just decluttered your shoes! Woop Woop!

If you are like me and like to celebrate victories, go ahead and order a new pair of shoes. You deserve it. Make sure you already have the storage space ready for them though (let's not get carried away here…)

Shoe Storage Options

Storing shoes can seem daunting, but it's all about finding simple and easy storage solutions that fit your home. Whether you have a small closet, a giant walk-in closet, or a spare room that you use it is possible to create and maintain shoe organization. Let's walk through some of the options:

Shoe Storage Racks

Depending on the layout of your closet, a shoe storage rack might be a good option. You can look at a small, three-tiered shelf that would fit at the bottom of your closet. If you need a narrow option, then this 10-shelf narrow storage shelf might be best. Lastly, if you want to go all out and you have the space, you might want to look at a shoe shelf organizer. Any of these options will help you get the shoe organization you've been craving!

Over-the-Door Storage

If you have lots of “small” shoes, like flip-flops and sandals, an over-the-door storage option may be just what you need to get some extra space for your more bulky shoes. There are simple mesh options that might work.

If you want something sturdier, you may want to look at a polyester or cloth offering. These over-the-door storage options have bigger pockets and can hold heavier shoes. Whichever path you take, you will be able to make some space by utilizing the space behind your closet door.

Shoe Storage Containers

Lastly, If you are a shoe-aholic, you might want to look into shoe storage containers. These containers will keep your shoes neatly stored individually, and help keep them dust free. There are several options. You can look at a stackable system, an under the bed solution, or even basic clear bins. Whichever shoe storage container you choose – make sure that you put your shoes back after you wear them!

Stackable Shoe Storage options from Amazon

Final Thoughts

Shoes can quickly get out of hand if we allow them. By following these tips to get your shoe collection back in order you should be able to breathe a sigh of relief. One of my favorite things about decluttering is the instant gratification that you get for completing the job.

Now, in order to maintain the organization, you need to do 2 things. First, always put your shoes back where they go. Second, repeat this process every 6 months. I like to declutter shoes when the seasons change.

If you want to start decluttering your home today, or if you need a checklist to declutter your home, here at Boot Camp Mom we are ready and able to help. So, clean out those shoes, store them neatly, and never have to wonder “how to declutter shoes,” again!

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