Monday, April 4, 2011

51 April Challenge: Project "Purge" {Shoes}

Yesterday I announced this months challenge!  Say farewell to 30 things in 30 days.  Gone.  See Ya Later.  Bye Bye.  Outta Here!

I am so excited about this project, you have no idea, and I got started on it this weekend!

Here is a current outline of the challenge schedule:


We are in Week 1 which means, Entry and Living Area.  I combined the two since often times they are combined in our homes.

And I REALLY wanted to start with the entry area, because it's really the first place you see when you enter the home.  And what do you usually find in the entry?  Why SHOES of course!

I know we all NEED shoes, but who doesn't just LOVE shoes?  I mean really, such an incredible way to make a fashion statement, am I right or am I right?  Dog's are a man's best friend, shoes are a girls!  And shoes are also a huge investment.  And to ensure they look great from day to day, keeping them organized is EXTREMELY important!

Let's paint a picture shall we?  Imagine... your sporting a rockin' hot outfit and getting ready to head out on the town.  You know exactly which shoes you want to complete your outfit, however.... whomp whomp, you can't find them!  Urg, now your late.  And once you do find them, they were under a pile of school books, sippy cups or piles of clothes that need to be washed, meaning, they are bent and deformed and looking a little shabby.  More whomp sound effects welcome.  Not a happy story.  But it's definitely one that can be avoided!

These days, there are oodles of ways to store shoes via innovative shoe storage solutions...  like a shoe wheel:


Or an over the door shoe rack, like we had seen in readers, Elisabeth's, entry:


There are also shoe pockets:



Shoe cubbies:


Shoe boxes {which work great with a picture of the shoe attached to the front}:



And shoe shelves:


I've actually blogged a couple times now about how I have been fond of the Closetmaid Stackable Shoe Shelves thus far:


In fact, up until recently, our shoes have been residing here, in our "shoe" closet in the kitchen:


However, as many of you observant friends have noticed on my home tour page, I came up with a new solution for our shoes.  Here's why:

1.  We tried to use our coat hooks by our back door all winter long, for our jackets and snow gear, so that we could keep this closet for shoes  {there really was good logic to this originally...}

2.  Once winter had come to an end, so had my patience with the shoe closet/jacket situation.  Shoes were being carried through the house from both the entry and the garage to the centrally located "Shoe Closet"... meaning dirt was coming through the house frequently...

3.  Because the closet was out of site, out of mind, it was easier for individuals to leave shoes piled up by the front door and by the garage door under the jackets on the hooks.

That's when I found this beautiful piece of shoe organizing storage furniture:


It spoke to me and I knew that it absolutely was the storage solution I had been waiting for, for the entire 10 years we have lived in our home.  Sure, it's a little on the pricey side for this gal, however, it hasn't been regretted one day since it came home with us. 

Here is a picture of the problem wall, in which shoes would get lined up... you can see clearly in this photo that we have absolutely ZERO entry, and because of the location of the stairs, ZERO closet...


I had all sorts of ideas swirling, however, nothing was narrow enough to be installed on the wall, as to not completely block the traffic into the living room.  Until the shoe cabinet was found...



As you can see, because it's only just over 11 inches deep, it's the perfect way to add storage to our non-existent entry {yes, those are Lego's in the background...}


The part that sold me was that it was meant to be able to store a minimum of 12 pairs of shoes.  And knowing that my little guys still have some little feet, I knew it would be able to store more!




Organizing our shoes is important so they are easy to access when running out the door, easy to put away when coming in the door, and kept in good shape at the same time!  In fact, keeping them here is protecting them from being stacked and tossed around and tripped on by the front door!  Such a win!

And the cabinet is affixed to the wall, so when the doors open, it won't topple. 


I put the kid's shoes towards the bottom of the cabinet since they are easier to reach there.  And that's another win about this shoe storage system, it's easy for the kids to put away their own shoes!

Of course, as I mentioned, shoes are a gal's bff!  So although the kid's and hub's complete shoe selection is here {with the exception of a basket of flip flops stored nearby}, I have another stash hidden back in our clothes closet.

I removed my clothes to give you a close look...


Again, nicely organized on shoe stands, easy to find exactly what I am looking for!  I typically keep my slip-on-and-go shoes by the front door, and my dressier options in my bedroom closet.  And to ensure my boots stay in tip top shape, I just roll up an old magazine and stick it inside!



And that's how the Jones family organizes their shoes!  And because our space is limited, so are the amount of shoes one gal is allowed to keep... I am getting rid of 11 pairs of shoes for this month's challenge!


So, let's summarize...

My Shoe Organizing Tips:

1.  Sort shoes by individual.  PURGE!  I believe that each kiddo really only need 2-3 pairs of shoes max, one nicer pair and a play pair {then again, I don't have little girls either}.  For adults, it's all about asking those same questions we ask when purging anything else in our lives.  Do I LOVE this pair of shoes?  Are they in usable condition?  When was the last time I wore these shoes?  Are they worth the valuable space they are taking up?  Do they fit?  Are they comfortable?  Do I have a similar pair?  Girls, bear with me, but it's true.  Sure, if you have the space that allows you to place all your pretty pumps on display, live it UP!  But most of us don't have that luxury and we need to be realistic about what stays and what goes.  A lot of the shoes I decided to say farewell too, didn't make the cut because they were duplicates to another pair that I loved more. 

2.  Once you have your shoes paired down and purged, take inventory and begin searching for a shoe organizer.  It's important to select a shoe organizer that allows you to visually see each pair of shoes, allowing for you to quickly "grab n' go".  I also believe in keeping the families shoes in one central location and grouped together, vs. keeping them in multiple locations around the home or in individual closets.  Over the door hangers allow you to maximize vertical space while shoe racks/shelves are great lower levels of closets and near entry doors.

3.  When placing into your organizer, keep your daily grabs or your "top picks" at easy reach, and store away the pairs used less frequently or for special occasions.  Shoe boxes with photos placed on the front or bedroom closets are a good place for the "special" shoes.


Donate or Sell?

  • I say, if you invested in a great pair of shoes that are lightly worn or next to perfect condition, try selling them!  You may make back some of your investment by using Craigslist or Ebay.  In fact, I picked out three pairs of shoes that I plan to list on Ebay this week.  Saving them for a garage sale is also a great way to bring in a little extra moolah
  •  There are many fantastic organizations that take shoes.  Let's face it, many of us are blessed with pretty footwear to keep our toes in tip top shape, however, many are not.  Many individuals are in need of shoes so donating your extras is such an incredible thing!  Here are some sites I found online that take old shoes:
    • http://www.soles4souls.org/
    • http://donateyouroldshoes.org/
    • http://www.recycledrunners.com/
    • http://www.nikereuseashoe.com/
    • http://www.goodwill.org/
  • Remember, when you donate your shoes, you are not only helping a fellow friend in need, you are being "green", and helping the earth.  Soles4souls reported the followings scary statistic, "Last year alone, Americans discarded more than 300 million pairs of shoes. When these shoes break down in our landfills, the toxic glue that holds the shoes together can leak into our water supply and atmosphere."  Not OK peeps.  Tossing shoes really isn't a great idea, there are even places that recycle your shoes to make new shoes, so let's do our part in getting our shoes donated and keep them out of a landfill!
  • I spoke to an employee at my local Goodwill store.  I asked about their process when it comes to taking shoe donations.  I was informed that only the best of the best make the cut to be sold in the stores, however, the rest are always salvaged and sent to those in need.  Music to my ears! 

So who's motivated?  Who's in?  Who's got some additional shoe stories or tips and organizing/purging tricks?

Oh and STAY TUNED!  Really, you aren't going to want to miss the "Shoe-Tastic" giveaway coming up later today!  


Pssst!  Looking for information on caring for your footwear?  Here is a great resource over at Real Simple.

I decided a little challenge would be fun! This month we are spending the next thirty days saying goodbye to thirty things!  Wanna Join in?  Take photos and blog about your awesomeness as you go!  I am hoping to do a giant, "We did it!" celebratory post where we can all link up our purging success stories at the end of the month!

51 comments:

  1. Jen you should totally be that show organizer's spokesperson! I am obsessed with getting one now! haha I can't wait to convince the hubs =)

    LOVE all the great ideas in this post and thanks for the donate or sell portion of it too! super handy!

    xoXOxo
    Jenn @ Peas & Crayons

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  2. wow, love it! now, do boots fit in them? especially during the winter, our boots are always left on the floor by the door. they look hideous!

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  3. Wow Jen, this is such a great challenge, perfect for Spring Cleaning, I'm definitely joining. In fact, I'm mentally cleaning out my shoe catalog now. Now if only you can help me organize my handbag addiction...

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  4. @Anonymous,

    GREAT question! I totally forgot to mention, the divider that allows for two rows of shoes per compartment is removable, which means that most boots {especially for kids, not sure about size 10 mens}, should be able to fit!

    Thanks so much!

    xoxo,
    Jen

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  5. Yeah, this is super useful info, especially on the donate/recycle aspect. Thanks!
    I actually was working on my shoe organization yesterday. . . I store my out -of-season shoes in a big box so this weekend was the switcheroo!

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  6. I love this idea! I am totally on board with getting rid of 30 things in 30 days! I'll do my best to blog it up, sometimes I forget to take the before pictures! This is going to be a blast!!

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  7. Magazines---what a great idea! I'm definitely going to do that with my boots as soon as I finish my next magazine. LOVE your shoes, btw...especially those tan peep toes!

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  8. Love your entryway with the white shoe organizing furniture from Ikea!! I was eyeing that peice in Ikea a while back and would love to get it. In my home I struggle with making the entryway nice looking and functional. Our garage is in the front of the house and the front door is on the side of the house. Inside the house of course the front door is not close to the door leading out to the garage. My family goes through either door with no preference. There's a small angled way that's in the middle of both doors that I currently have the Pottery Barn daily system hanging with keys, mail, etc... Under that system is what I am looking for something to house backpacks, shoes etc...

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  9. I posted here in how I organized my shoes!
    http://jsbeard.blogspot.com/2011/03/tackling-closet-clutter.html

    Jennifer B.

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  10. I heart your blog!!!!!!! I recently printed out some of the family planner sheets and they are so pretty I hate to even ruin them with my hand writing!:) But I will because I love to organize too!

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  11. I have wanted that shoe organizer for awhile now and am totally convinced seeing it here. I love it! And how apripo that I was totally going to clear out my shoe closet today! I have shoes there from my single days that are DEF not appropriate now that I'm in my mommy days.....I don't think 4 inch stilettos are a practical thing to wear to the park with my littles....

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  12. Thank you for the inspiration! Now I'm off to go get rid of some shoes! :)

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  13. I absolutely love the shoe cabinet. I wonder if my husbands size 15 shoes would fit in it though! Definitely might make that a next "big" purchase :)

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  14. By the number of shoes we have amassed at the door you would think we are harboring a village of people instead of the four who live here. I need to hop on it and get an organizer.

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  15. you got rid of the Docs?!?!?!

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  16. I haven't yet Heather, listing them on Ebay this week! :) You want? lol

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  17. I love the shoe organizer - beautiful. But here is a challenge for you...I have over 100 pairs of shoes - just me, not including my kids. I think at this point I just need a "shoe closet" to house them all. I did buy an over-the-door shoe organizer with clear pockets for all my flip flops...and am using the door to the closet that the heater lives in - hey, it was empty, usable space! :)

    Love your blog!

    ~alicia
    proof-of-love.blogspot.com

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  18. Hola Jen!
    Gracias por el post! mañana mismo hago limpieza de zapatos. Lo difícil es hacerlo en una casa de 70 metros cuadrados, pero se intentará!.

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  19. I did my entryway today! I already had 3 shoe hanger thingys in there but condensed it to 2, plus a cubby underneath and I was able to add a wire shelving unit, steam mop and vacuum! I'm still hunting down the perfect dresser to refinish to go opposite the closet and I have a mirror all ready to go up as soon as it's found to open the space up some!
    LOVE the challenge and i'm excited to do my living room next!

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  20. Oh my goshhhh! Love the organizing cabinet thingy. We don't have kids so we don't need it (yet), but I'm definitely saving this post for future reference....

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  21. I have the same problem as Anonymous: boots. We just put away the winter boots, but for the last month we had 4 pairs of winter boots out and 3 pairs of rain boots (hubby doesn't have any). Also, if you have any tips about getting the kids and hub to use your organizational systems, please post! I hate nagging!

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  22. Jen, that shoe organizer is fantasitc!! It might be a purchase of mine when I make my first ever Ikea trip this summer! And the magazines in the boots....genius!! I've been wishing I could find a way to make my boots keep their shape! Thanks for an awesome post!

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  23. IHeart your blog, Jen and am LOVING this challenge! While I am not the most organized person in the world (parenthood is taking it's toll!) I am pretty good at purging clothes & shoes. (Who doesn't love to give & receive hand-me-downs??) My mudroom entry was a mess...but thanks to your inspiration I have purged 9 pairs of shoes and reorganized our storage cabinet. Yay! Gotta start somewhere, right?? MANY THANKS!

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  24. I love that IKEA shoe chest!! We just eliminated the need for entryway furniture by cleaning and organizing our coat closet. Thank you for all of your endless motivation to organize!

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  25. What a brilliant shoe organizer. And so pretty. I am also on a mission to organize my home. Thanks for the inspiration.

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  26. Thank you so much for this new challenge! I'm moving from CA to OR in two months and my to-do list is miles long! This focused effort to scale down will help me so much as I don't want to wait until the last minute! Thank you! :)

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  27. Love the idea to put an old magazine in my boots. My boots are always slouched over and I hate it!!! Can't wait to actually get home and find use for all those old magazines now! ;) Thanks again!!

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  28. Oh my gosh I could not possibly love that shoe organizer any more! 100% acessible, but 100% hidden. My shoes could definitely use some purging...you might have just motivated me to take the plunge.

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  29. We are not really shoe people. We typically have what we need. I have flip flops, tennis shoes (2), church shoes, hiking boots...and that's about it. Can you write a post for my husband that will convince him to let me throw away his old sneakers? :) They were so bad, there are holes and the tread is worn through in places, that he finally came and asked me to buy him a new pair. I was shocked. BUT he won't relinquish the old to the trash!!!!! Is it ok for me to just throw them out? Cause I've done that in the past and he still brings it up 5 years later. Everytime he can't find something (we are a very unorganized home at this time) he claims I've probably thrown it away.

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  30. I like your shoe cabinet. I didn't look up the price on IKEA, but thought that I'd post a link to another site that had a plan for building one:

    http://ana-white.com/2011/01/where-did-the-shoes-go.html

    I'm sure tons of people have read her site, but this might be a less costly option for a very similar shoe cabinet. I also noticed she had a shoe cubby plan...

    http://ana-white.com/2010/06/furniture-plans-wall-cubby-shelf.html

    I haven't personally built either of these plans, but I have built other plans of Ana's and can say they are pretty easy to follow or even change to fit different measurements you need. Just another thought for those with building skills and less costly options.

    Off to purge some of my own shoes....Keep up the great work, Jen!

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  31. I am motivated! Thanks for this post, I got a little bit of organizing and purging done!

    http://curliegirlie03.blogspot.com/2011/04/april-project-30-items-in-30-days.html

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  32. Please do tell where you got that amazing shoe rack for the entryway!? It is EXACTLY what I've been looking for for our entry, too!! I'm alittle behind, so tonight I'm starting with the entry and clearing out all the shoes that need to go back to their homes...

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  33. @Casey - Here is the link to the shoe cabinet: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/20169559

    Thanks!

    xoxo,
    Jen

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  34. oh! that shoe organizer is totally on my 'wish list'! i saw it on my last IKEA visit and knew it would be the perfect solution for our entry as well!

    looks great it in your space!

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  35. I'm so jealous of your shoe organizer. Ah, I love IKEA. I just can't afford the shoe organizer right now. =[ And I don't really have the room for it either I guess. Instead we have an ugly shoe tree that my fiance just loves. *blah* A girl can dream...

    Tiffany @ The Nest Effect

    http://www.thenesteffect.com
    http://www.realsimplesavingmethods.com

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  36. Just noticed your magazine trick for boots, it's a great and cheap way to keep your boots from creasing and also recycle old magazines but just an FYI there's a great company called Booty Shapers that sell inflatables that you insert into your boots to keep them standing up! Either way, good stuff!

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  37. On the Ikea piece...it looks like there is a top drawer, does it actually open?

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  38. The drawer DOES open! :) Love it! I will be posting about it soon, so stay tuned!

    xoxo,
    Jen

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  39. thanks for the shoe organization inspiration! just a few quick questions:

    1) i notice you alwyas one (or a few) flowers tucked in a cute simple vase on top of your desks, shoe racks, etc. i love that! are they fresh?

    2) how was the experience selling on ebay? the link you provided didn't work...it sent me to an image of a closet?!

    thanks :)

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  40. i have been looking for that shoe cabinet for YEARS!!! PLEASE tell me where u got it!!

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    Replies
    1. It's from IKEA: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/20169559/

      xoxo!
      Jen

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    2. How did you get this in to NZ? :)

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  41. Thank you for this post! We are moving into a new place and I am desperate for shoe organization ideas. This helped me 100%. Thanks!

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  42. Hi I love your ideas but would a size 12 men's shoe fit in the cabinet?? I love ikea but with the nearest one being 150+ miles away I don't want to make the trip if my husband's shoes won't fit! Thanks in advance!!

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    Replies
    1. My apologies, however, I can't personally answer that. My husbands shoes are not that large. From looking at it, I would guess yes, but I would just give IKEA a call as they may be able to confirm for you before making the drive.

      xo!
      Jen

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  43. That's a really nice rack - it looks like one I've seen called "Touch of class" - I think that one was more of a bench than a taller cabinet. Either way, these types of shoe storage furniture pieces are great - so much cleaner and more organized than having all the shoes laying out and about. Good pics!

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  44. Great ideas! I just completed my own shoe organization project hidden behind a shelf!

    http://dilettantedoyenne.blogspot.com/2013/09/upholstered-shelf-part-ii-peekabo-i-see.html

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  45. No matter how hard I try I simply never have enough room for my shoes!! Maybe I should cut down a little :) but they are all so pretty, I assume throwing them out is like choosing between your kids! Unthinkable. Great post x

    https://www.colitisandme.blogspot.co.uk

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  46. The last time I organised my shoes I found I didnt have any purple so ended up shopping for shoes....

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