HOW TO PROPERLY STORE SHOES

Ever think twice about what was going on with your True Fashionista shoes once you took them off for the day, doing that acrobatic kick/toss move where the shoe at once leaves your foot and lands somewhere within the confines of the closet or in the pile by the front door? Followed by its mate, close the door and head to the couch. They’re just the things on your feet, not a big deal, right? 

Actually, yes they are.

Throwing shoes on the floor will cause them to eventually lose shape, report the experts at Lifestorage.com. Also, factors like humidity, gravity and heat can do a number on those Jimmy Choos. After a while, the folds and creases that naturally form in worn shoes will become permanent disfigurements. 

Fact is, as materials age, they become stiff. Vintage shoes with curled leather insoles and crumpled toe boxes are usually the result of having spent too long in storage without shaping or filling. 

Have no fear, you have options! Before storing shoes, clean them thoroughly and apply leather conditioner to leather soles and uppers. For short-term storage, they only need the minor support of a shoe tree or reshaping by hand as you set them on a shelf. That’s right, on a shelf, not in a pile on the floor. (Insert eye roll emoji here.) Longer term storage, say for a week or so, requires the use of wooden shoe trees. Insert, place, and voilà! Peace of mind! Make sure you use the proper size tree (here is one for women) so as not to stretch the shoe. LifeStorage also reminds us that before inserting wooden or plastic shoe frames, make sure to allow shoes to rest for at least a day after wearing so any residual moisture can evaporate. Otherwise, the insert could trap dampness within the shoe and lead to deterioration.

Absorbent, acid-free tissue paper maintains proper moisture level; stuff a nice batch of it inside your shoes for long-term storage success. Use just enough material to smooth the toe box and heel, but not enough to stretch it. Then wrap the filled shoes with a length of muslin or additional acid-free paper before placing the shoes in their storage containers. 

SHOE BOXES

Yes, you read right. After you’ve inserted your frame and/or tissue paper and wrapped them properly, put your shoes in their shoe box home for max long-term storage protection. Boxes give shoes the highest level of protection from dust, sunlight and temperature extremes that can sap leather shoes of their flexibility. Boxing vintage shoes and boots after stuffing and wrapping them preserves delicate leather, cork and other organic materials. Plastic boxes are an alternative, but be sure shoes are completely clean and dry before storing to prevent mildew growth.

OK, but what about the shoes you wear all the time? LifeStorage recommends shoe racks and cabinets with an open front to allow air to circulate around your footwear while keeping the dust out. Place the shoe rack in a convenient place near the entryway, so family members have virtually no excuse for not to put their shoes away. 

SNEAKER STORAGE

We couldn’t talk about shoe organizing without mentioning everyone’s favorite comfortwear, the sneaker. Based on the KonMari method, HyperBae has amassed a plan for storing your 100 pairs of sneakers, should you be THAT True Fashionista sneakerhead. They recommend sorting by type, followed by brand and occasion. Visibility is key. Marie Kondo, Queen of Tidying Up, suggests that being able to see everything you own will help you make better shopping decisions and make getting dressed easier overall. Shoes that you choose not to keep should either be donated or thrown out depending on condition. The KonMari Method includes thanking these items for their service and thoughtfully discarding them. 

Remember, it’s not about the size of your sneaker collection, rather it’s more about the memories attached to a select few. Place your favorite, most often worn sneakers in a special section together to help build outfit ideas. 

Finally, and here it comes…if any of your shoes no longer spark joy, clear ‘em out! Consider donating them, or better yet, head over to True Fashionista Resale to consign either in store or online. Those once awesome shoes to you will no doubt make another girl happy in no time, while earning you some cash!

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