Monday, 16 March 2009

If The Shoe Fits

B'maid shopping wasn't as bad an experience as I was expecting. While I can't say I'm happy with some of the dresses we tried on (why is everything strapless?) and I'm suffering dreadly from it, we haven't made a definite decision yet. As if I wasn't tired enough though, yesterday I was awakened just before half seven. I don't know why nobody else in my house hears the doorbell, but forgetting it was a Sunday I rushed to the door to find 2 policemen standing there. It turns out the alarm at Mums work was going off and she had to go down there. I was so mad. Not to mention that the policeman was actually rather good looking and I'm standing there all bed-head and jammies and couldn't even string an intelligent sentence together!
Superdrug 'Udderly Organised' shoe boxesSuperdrug 'udderly organised' shoe boxesAnyway, I get asked all the time about shoe storage and how I can find room for the masses of pairs I own. It's important not to place all your shoes in the one big box as they dent other pairs and easily get ruined (I did this at Uni with little storage space). I know the 'fashionable' way is to take polaroids of your shoes and attach to the outside of the boxes, so you know which pair is inside. I don't find this practical though. What about those shoes that don't come with boxes? Or the boxes are tatty or not substantial. Plus, you have to pull out each box to take the shoes out and if like me, you have lots of shoes, the shoe-tower can become very unstable. Also taking pictures is time consuming and expensive.

I'm also not keen on most of the shoe hook/shelf type things you see in Argos, Ikea etc, as your shoes get dusty sitting out or some involve the soles sticking out (who wants to see that?).

A few years ago, I was lucky enough to find these boxes (top, clickable images) in Superdrug. They consisted of a 2 pack of one larger and one smaller in either floral or cow print and are called 'Udderly Organised'. They are quite sturdy and therefore perfect for piling on top of each other. They have a perspex front, so you can see the shoes inside. The best part is, the front flips down (as well as a normal lid on top). This means, you can take the shoes out of the box without ever removing the box from your pile. The perfect storage solution. If I remember correctly they were around £4.99 for the pack and for a while were reduced to £2.99. I visited both my local shops and emptied their stock almost every day for a couple of weeks until I had collected around 50 or 60 boxes. Unfortunately I have never seen them in Superdrug again, or anywhere else for that matter. My sister was telling me though that she saw see-through coloured plastic boxes in a local stationers, very sturdy and with the same idea of flip front. They are expensive though at £4.99 per box. Spending a fiver on storage for one pair of shoes is out of the question with the amount I would require. I quickly filled the boxes (floor to ceiling) as you can see and still had/have the problem of at least another 100 pairs with no home.

new irregular choice shoe storage cupboarddetails of irregular choice shoe storagedetails of irregular choice shoe cupboardI have 2 double wardrobes and one is basically filled with things that don't fit me, so I emptied it last week and folded everything carefully and placed in a large cupboard. There is no point keeping everything hanging when I don't wear them. I decided to turn the wardrobe into a shoe storage area. I have managed to fit 2 large columns of some of my Irregular Choice shoes (above, all are drawers style boxes so perfect for this) and I have squeezed the larger boots boxes into the middle as you can see. I am super excited by this transformation. It fits 26 IC boxes and a pair of unboxed boots on the top, so it was fantastic to finally find room for so many. I can easily open the doors and get access to the shoes, so that's also brilliant.

It's made a massive improvement to my room (which is a huge work in progress). As these images show though, there are still shoe boxes everywhere, I'd probably need a room specifically for shoes, in an ideal world. My friend was asking if I had done a shoe count recently (I always say I own more than 100 less than 200), I haven't and think that estimate is way short. Roughly, I know I have 2 columns of boxes beside my wardrobe (perhaps 40-50), then another pile of 25+. I have several pairs in boxes, labelled on top of my wardrobe (22?) and some inside my wardrobe (10?). I have a small cupboard within my wardrobe which holds around 8 pairs and then 4 or 5 smaller piles around my room which probably includes another 20-30, as well as the new IC storage area (of 27). Plus I have some older shoes in large boxes in a shed that my Dad built when I came home from Uni, because I brought so much stuff with me! I really need to go through these boxes at some point and throw them away or ebay them. I've just roughly counted that and it's a scary amount (and to think I recently eBayed around 40+ pairs!

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