Shoes at the entrance is not an area where I set the best example. I don’t have a lot of shoes, but what I have I wear and regularly, so mine tend to accumulate at the entrance. And I’d say the same for my husband, so this is an area of focus for me. The struggle is real! (If you prefer video, scroll to the bottom of this post.)
I know there are people who have large shoe collections. And are dreading that I’m even talking about shoes. Looking at items as a collection makes them one thing. And the panic sets in because it feels like we have to toss our whole collection – all or nothing! That is not what we’re looking at today. If we look at our collection as individual items, we realize they are not one thing, they are several individual things. When examining our shoes through this lens, the decisions become easier.
Ask yourself questions like:
- Have I ever worn this pair of shoes?
- What outfit do I wear them with? (Do I ever wear that outfit?)
- When was the last time I wore them?
- Could someone else be enjoying them?
Have your keep, donate, and garbage areas, boxes or bags, ready.
Determine the number of shoes, per person in your home, that make sense to have at the door. This is individual and each person may need a different number of shoes. This will also change seasonally for each person. All other shoes belong in a bedroom closet or other storage area, even in a storage bench in the entrance way, still easily accessible, but neatly stored, out of sight. Consider each pair of shoes individually.
- What sort of shape are they in?
- Do they need replacing?
- Are they comfortable?
- Do they serve a purpose?
Only keep the shoes that you wear AND love — both. When it comes to shoes, it needs to be “yes” to both – serves a purpose and love them! You can love a pair of shoes, but if you never wear them, they need to go to someone else who will both wear and enjoy them. You may have some shoes that serve a purpose, but you don’t love them, and since those shoes are functional you would keep them. If you don’t love or wear them, all others are either garbage or added to the donation box.
Maintaining this area is important for all members of the family to participate. You can give a child the job of counting each person’s shoes on clean-the-house day. This is an area that it’s important to have a system that everyone who lives in the home is aware of and participates in. Being a high use area, it will quickly be cluttered again if everyone isn’t involved. And ladies, we all know who the enforcer will be 😊. But get the family in the habit of cleaning up their own shoes.
If your considering some sort of shoe storge, wait until AFTER you have decluttered and minimized your shoes. You may be surprised that you don’t need to spend money on extra storage. However, having said that, a simple shoe shelf or wire rack in the entrance closet or trays for wet footwear can be helpful in maintaining the front entrance and keeping it trip-hazard free.
I welcome your ideas, thoughts, and questions in the comments below.
Remember you can share your journey with me and others by using hashtag #MarchMicroMinimizing, and tag me on Facebook or Instagram using handle @suzannegouldenILC.
Here’s me talking about shoes cluttering the entrance way to your home!