A Stupid (But Very Effective) Guide to Organizing your Shoes

If you’re a shoeaholic, then you know the struggle. I’m not talking about your credit card overdraft, or the unhealthy relationship you have with shoe stores: I’m talking about organizing the suckers. Specially when you have a tiny wardrobe, or one that you have to share with someone else (fingers crossed that person is not another shoeaholic like you). And if you’re not one to put their off-season shoes away, then you have another real big issue. Now, I’m not an unintelligent person. I’m not going to tell you to organize your shoes by color or season or whatever other stupid shit someone has told you before; no, we are going to try on something even more stupid. This a step-by-step guide on how to organize your shoes—by the dates you’ve been on with them, or are planning to when we stop living in this semi-apocalyptic world. I guarantee you that after this, you’ll have a much more organized and clean wardrobe. 

STEP 1: take all of your shoes out, even the ugly ones you hide around the house.

I live in a flat, not a house, so there are not many places where I could potentially hide more shoes. But I’m sure you have them, and so the first thing you’re going to do is take all of your shoes out of your wardrobe/closet, reach for those you probably have under your bed, the ones you still have in boxes, the ones you hid in some dark corner because you’re embarrassed of having bought them. And please include your slippers as well (I’m certain you must have at least three pairs, given the current global circumstances). 

STEP 2: separate your shoes between those you’ve worn on a date and those you use to go to the supermarket (if you can make the difference. You should).

Now, this is very easy: just make a pile with those shoes you’ve worn on dates (or want to use in future romantic encounters) and those you haven’t. If you’re anything like me, then this should be a solid 80/20 kinda thing. I can’t tell you what counts as a date for you, but here are some tips to make the separation easier: 

  • Going for “a walk” is not a date, unless you’ve used the word “date” to refer to said walk.
  • Studying together shouldn’t count as a date, but if you make out at the end then that’s for you to decide (except if this is in the library. I mean, no, that is not a date).
  • Going with them to get their mom’s/brother’s/dad’s/dog’s birthday gift is not a date.

Finally, no judgement here, but if in your date-pile you put any sort of sport shoes/flip flops/slippers…you need to rethink your life choices. With love.

STEP 3: it’s all about those dates.

We will forget the non-date pile for the moment, I honestly don’t know how to classify these yet (also, they’re most likely the shoes you’re ashamed of or the ones you keep under your bed, and you could very well just put both back under it right now). Look at the date-pile, and once again divide it:

  • Pile number one should include all the shoes you’ve worn on good dates. Now, good is a big word and will, once again, be up to you what dates qualify as such, but for this to work you have to be honest with yourself. No, that date where they expected you to pay for everything was not a good date. So move that pair of shoes away. 
  • The second pile should include the shoes you’ve worn on bad dates. You should spot these ones easily: they stood you up, complained about the waiter/waitress out loud, or said anything remotely similar to “I’m not racist/homophobic/misogynistic BUT”. If you wore any shoes that hurt your feet/made you walk awkwardly but were really pretty and you wanted to look good for this person, and then they pointed out how you were walking too slow…yes, you know where those shoes belong.
  • The third and final pile is reserved for those shoes you haven’t worn yet for any of these past dates, but look forward to put on. Now, this is the most complicated of all the piles, because there’s no past story attached to these shoes. The only advice/warning I’ll give you, once again, is: don’t you dare put sport shoes here. Or flip flips. Unless it’s a date that involves running (and do you even want to go to this date?) or you live in fucking Hawaii or the Caribbean. Otherwise, KEEP THEM AWAY FROM THIS PILE.

STEP 4: the Marie Kondo act.

This is the final step. 

Pile number one: these shoes should occupy most of your wardrobe + the ones you left on the non-date pile. You like these shoes, they deserve some space (either here or under your bed). They’ve also attracted positive vibes or whatever that new age shit is. 

Pile number three comes next: I’m assuming most of these shoes are still on their proper shoeboxes so put them under pile number one (disclaimer: this should not be a pile anymore, be nice and properly place your shoes on top of the boxes, it’s not too hard). If some of them don’t have boxes then keep them at the back, not too hidden because you gotta have a little hope for the future but also not at the front because you also gotta be realistic.

Finally, pick the second pile, put the shoes in a trash bag, throw them in a bin and burn them (or better: skip the whole witchy ritual and donate them). I know, your gorgeous shoes are not to blame for the bad dates you’ve had, but you need some goddamn space in that wardrobe and it’ll be easy to get rid of them like this. You can now go and buy some more shoes, and you can thank me for that.

Siham Lee is a Chilean writer living in Glasgow. She’s currently doing a Mlitt in Creative Writing while writing short stories to keep herself alive and mentally stable in the midst of working on her first novel. The rest of the time she’s either rewatching Brooklyn 99 for the ninth time or eating all the cookies in the house.

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