Posts filed under ‘Shoe Storage’
Remember our shoe storage post? We’d like to add another storage solution worthy of mention: the shoe ottoman.
Ottomans (that open up) make perfect small-space storage solutions. (And we love them for shoes!)
Lilly Pulitzer’s Rousseau Home ottoman has been blogged about to death but we couldn’t resist sharing.
Our friend Stacey recently moved into a tiny New York apartment, sans closet space, and splurged on several faux Roussseaux.
When they’re not being used as ottomans, she places a stylish tray on top and voila! The multifunctional furniture piece is immediately transformed into a table.
We can’t wait to visit Stacey!
Beth will sleep in an ottoman.
We’d like to thank our good friend Mike Cassidy for his inspiration and support around this post.
We all own an article of clothing or accessory that has never been worn (for various reasons) or that has been worn but has taken an extended leave of absence in our wardrobe rotation. Mike’s article is a beautiful Scottish knit sweater given to him as a gift while living abroad.
Unfortunately Mike wore the sweater until the sweater wore him. And over the years it slowly disappeared to the back of his closet. Upon a recent de-cluttering session he re-discovered this gem and has since inserted it into his wardrobe mix (in a more balanced way).
We all own these items. Beth’s is a vintage blazer she snagged from a family member years ago. Snubbing the fear the jacket was “too old” for her, she wore it once and received a gazillion compliments. The blazer is now a staple.
We see this all the time with bags and shoes and earrings and sweaters. We experience uncertainty and a sense of unsureness (it’s a word now) – but not enough to let go.
- Solicit the opinions of friends and trusted advisors.
- Wear the items in question around the house – how do they feel? Pose in the mirror! Do you look or feel not-in-your-skin? Are they impractical? Too young, too old, too short, too faded, too 2003?
- Try them out – wear them to work, to school or to a party and see what kind of feedback you get (if any). How do people respond to you? Do you feel confident?
Cheryl wore these to a party and fell flat on her face. She was confident before she arrived. Lesson? Bring back-up accessories whenever you’re not 100% comfortable/stable. And eat dinner before drinking a bottle of red wine with a straw.
Summer is almost here – the perfect time for a wardrobe assessment.
Ask: what do I own? What will I wear? What do I need? What am I ready to toss?
Remember, taking a picture is an excellent way to preserve a memory while preserving space!
Enjoi! And don’t sweat it!
At dinner the other night some friends of ours graciously pointed out the fact one of us has been wearing the same winter hat for five plus years. Smirks quickly spread around the dinner table and we immediately knew the soft, practical, Made In Canada, doesn’t-itch hat has been a topic of discussion outside of our presence.
One of our more direct friends piped up: “It’s awful! It’s shabby looking and balling (the pre-2002 meaning) and I can’t understand how you of all people still own and wear it!”
Cheryl went home and chucked the hat.
We hang on to “practical accessories” why?
- They serve a purpose (no matter how unattractive the item may be)
- We think people don’t notice (they do)
- We think people don’t care (apparently they do as well)
- We get into a routine of just putting it on
- We don’t want to shop for/spend money on new pieces
Spring is almost here and thus this is the perfect time to edit one’s winter accessories. Especially since said accessories have experienced wear and tear throughout the past six months (from harsh winter weather to salt galore).
Appearance matters. The four year old down-filled coat with the feathers hanging out, rips and salt stains needs to go. Nicer wool coats should be dry cleaned at least once every three months.
And if you didn’t invest in proper winter boots (like you swore you would last year) start thinking about how to dispose of or clean up whatever your wet feet have been slopping around in.
Tips for storage:
Over the door storage, with clear/see through pockets, works well. Their purpose is to house shoes but we think they’re a great way to organize gloves, scarves, ear muffs etc…
Not keen on the visual? Find hanging storage with closed pockets or over the door baskets. Containers/baskets in the door way or main entrance closet work as well. Or, if space is available, use a piece of furniture with drawers.
Don’t let your scarf collection bottleneck streamlined storage. Use hooks or fold nicely in your closet.
Spring is almost here! Don’t flake out – start editing.
We like to play Stacy and Clinton once in a while (Beth always gets to be Stacy – not fair, we know). Love it or leave it, “What Not To Wear” catapulted “stuff editing” into the mainstream. Their points around clothing, style, appropriateness and “just in case mentality” are always valid (and most times their targets have an emotional epiphany on air).
Wardrobe editing has a huge impact on not only one’s sense of space (and closet) but on one’s self-esteem. We live in a culture where clothing, style and image count and where clothing is a means of self-expression.
Here’s our version:
Remove all clothing from closets and wardrobes every six months (make it a seasonal routine). Be prepared to toss pieces.
Sort and put things in “like with like” piles. Go through each item (try on if necessary) and ask yourself:
- Has it been worn it in the past six months?
- Does it FIT?
- What’s its FUNCTION?
- Is it FABULOUS? Do I love wearing it? Or is it for slopping around?One should only own three or four slopping-around-the-house outfits. If you need more - you need an antidepressant.
- What can I wear with it? Do I need to buy something to make it an outfit? Keep an ongoing list of items you need to purchase/replace. This reduces random shopping trips and encourages in-depth wardrobe knowledge.
Toss pieces that aren’t being worn or that you’ve outgrown (physically or otherwise). Sentiment scared? Take a picture. And stop holding onto pieces just in case you’re invited to a theme party!
We all have unwanted, unused and underutilized wardrobe pieces. Visibility is key (otherwise we forget items exist)!
We all struggle with weight and body issues as well. This leads to owning clothing in multiple sizes. Although a GOAL outfit is not damaging (and may actually be a source of encouragement) having more than a few can lead to negative feelings (and less clothing options). Clothes should make you feel good and should be an extension of the person you want to be (and thus are – Cheryl’s revisiting Descartes).
We all wish we had a walk in closet (an entire room wouldn’t suffice for Beth) but most of us don’t.
Tips towards alternative closet luxury:
Use hanger alternatives or hire a custom closet configuration specialist! Email us – we know some good ones!
Vacuum sealed bags conserve space - perfect for seasonal storage.
Add a second bar to an existing closet – it doubles hanging space (no, not that kind of bar!)
And keep dreaming.
If the shoe fits …
If it doesn’t, toss it!
Shoes are tough. Especially when we love a pair and are afraid we’ll never find them again (this may be one of the only times we condone purchasing multiple items).
Be discerning and remember if you haven’t worn them in a year, chances are you won’t wear them in the future.
As for the keepers, store according to everyday, occasional and seasonal wear.
Use clear/see through shoe boxes to easily identify.
Or label with pictures!
Adjustable cubbies allow you to create your own shape.
And we love hidden storage.
Keeping shoes in great shape eliminates the need to buy new shoes for every occasion.
Keep a shoe care kit and keep it organized by tossing products that haven’t been used in five years (polishes dry up and leather oils/protectors have shelf lives).
Make a habit of protecting new shoes after every purchase – especially leather.
Clean canvas/running shoes using a nylon bristle brush or old toothbrush and a cleanser such as laundry detergent, dishwashing liquid, baking soda or a “suede and fabric” shampoo (rinse shoes with warm water and scrub gently with brush and mixture of water and mild detergent. Rinse with clean water). The Mr. Clean Magic Eraser works wonders on suede and canvas as well!
Shoe bags are also a fantastic way to keep shoes clean and organized. Purchase ones with see through windows for easy access!