With spring weather (slowly) rolling in, it’s time to start thinking about mixing up our wardrobes. I don’t know about you, but I’m so over layering. Most of us don’t think about this but it is really important to assess your shoe wardrobe seasonally so that your shoes last as long as you want or need them to. Here’s a guide to help you keep your shoes in great shape and to reduce clutter in your closet.
1. Collect and evaluate your winter boots and shoes. Gather all of your shoes together and give them a thorough scanning. How are the soles of the shoes? The interiors? Are materials frayed or in need of repair? Do you have more than you wish you had? Did any cause you a winter full of blisters or sore feet?
2. Clean and repair the shoes worth keeping. After evaluating your collection, decide which shoes should stay and which should go. The shoes you choose to keep need to be cleaned and repaired (if necessary) so that they are ready to be worn when the weather cools back down in the fall. Don’t wait to do this until you’re ready to wear them. You’ll regret it when the time comes. A gentle cleaner is fine for spot cleaning fabrics on shoes. An old toothbrush dipped in soapy water also can get into nooks and crannies of rubber soles on shoes. And, I recommend taking leather boots and shoes to Old Town Shoe and Luggage Repair on King Street for repairs and deep cleaning.
3. Store the shoes you’ll enjoy wearing next fall and winter. Place them in clear plastic boxes (or their original boxes) to keep them protected. Place a lavender sachet into each box to keep odors to a minimum. Also, I suggest using shoe trees to help them keep their shape. You’d be surprised how much damage eight or so months of storage can do to a pair of shoes or boots.
4. Donate or recycle the shoes you have chosen to part with at the end of the season. Only donate barely worn shoes to charity though; all others should be recycled.
5. Bring your summer shoes out of storage (perhaps even a few weeks early just for sanity’s sake) and prepare your closet for warmer weather!