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Journalism of Courage

Count on these easy tips to organise your shoe closet

Why on earth would a shoe-lover want to hold on to or hoard stuff when it actually causes stress and not pleasure?

If you are fond of buying shoes, know how to manage them better. (Source: File Photo)

If you consider yourself a fashionista, we’re sure shoes are your thing. We always need trendy shoes, don’t we?

What we do struggle with is, what to give away and what to keep, with limited space in our closets. The spacious closet often falls short of space for shoe-heads like Ruchi Sally, Managing Director of Melissa India who can’t resist buying fancy footwear on a regular basis. To make space for your new favourites, here are a few things she recommends to de-clutter and keep her closet more organised.

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Creating separate compartments

Ruchi suggests to keep ‘regular and sportswear pairs’ different from ‘occasional and seasonal wear’. Keeping them in two separate closets helps her be organised and lets her de-clutter easily and regularly. She suggests putting away your winter boots or expensive occasional pairs after cleaning them properly. The pairs that you reach out for regularly, like your everyday footwear, should be kept in another closet that’s easier to access. This practice saves her a lot of time in sizing her collection down to almost half for regular discarding and up-cycling.

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Three golden rules

When she has to decide on what to keep and what to donate or discard, she prefers going with her first inclination or the one-by-one (1/1) thumb rule, which is, if you did not wear it once for one year, it’s time for it to find some other closet or be discarded, depending on the condition of the shoe. She generally does a closet cleanse once in every five months. Being a shoe-head, she prefers trying every pair before giving it away, to inspect if it is still a perfect fit or not, if it’s scuffed and torn.

What works for her is making three piles

a) Shoes that can be kept and your personal favourites.
b) Pairs that need to be donated, up-cycled or resold.
c) The maybe pairs — any pair that doesn’t easily fall in first two piles is a maybe pair for her and she uses the one-by-one rule on it.

The joy of giving

Re-selling, donating or up-cycling is what she adopts while de-cluttering her pre-loved expensive shoes. It’s kind of true that one man’s giveaway is another man’s treasure. You will be surprised by the number of people that love pre-owned accessories. It goes without saying that the condition of any resaleable pre-loved shoe must be wearable. Ruchi turns to her inner circle of friends and family to giveaway or re-sell her pre-loved pairs and says that these days there are many community-centric Facebook and Whatsapp groups where one can post and resell.

The aftermath

She believes it’s a breather to not feel stressed when you look at your closet after the de-cluttering process. Once it’s more organised, you are aware of the pairs you own and it allows you to look after them with care. This helps you to not give in and make another impulse purchase. The next time you visit your favourite store and find another pair that you feel is a ‘must-have’, think about what’s already in your closet and ask if it is really needed. It’s a great feeling to have control of your closet and not letting it control you.


She leaves us with a parting thought that will make you ponder — why on earth would a shoe-lover want to hold on to or hoard stuff when it actually causes stress and not pleasure?

First published on: 25-04-2020 at 19:15 IST
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