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The secret to storing footwear at home is to make sure you stay on top of your inventory

Expert: Designer Lisa Adams began her career in kitchens and baths before starting LA Closet Design in 2007. Now she creates dream closets for celebrities including Reese Witherspoon, Tyra Banks and Khloe Kardashian

Q Please help! My shoes cause me so much distress and make my cupboard look untidy. What can I do? 

A Stop hiding your shoes. Instead, take cues from retail stores and display your collection – at least, the core six or eight pairs – on shelves, at eye level, where you can easily see them. If clutter bells are ringing, ignore them. The secret to shoe storage is staying on top of your inventory. Shopping is impulsive. The best way to keep yourself from overspending and stockpiling things you don’t need is to ensure you can see what you already have.

Q How do I start sorting out my shoes?

A Do it step by step:

1. Start with a simple scavenger hunt: Gather all the shoes you own in one place. Then divide them into two piles: shoes you’ve worn in the past year and shoes you haven’t. Everything in the latter pile should go. It feels extreme, but it’s effective.

2. Once you’ve determined which of your shoes you actually wear, note how frequently you wear them. Shoes worn daily or weekly should get prominent storage in the centre of your cupboard or entrance where they’re easy to put on and stow away. Seasonal and activity-specific shoes, such as hiking boots and formal footwear, can be stored in a garage, attic or back shelf. This is where plastic or colour-coded shoe bins and boxes come in handy. Although it’s less important for storage solutions to match the cupboard, retailers are catering to younger customers who want total co-ordination and control.

Q How do I display my shoes?

A How you store and display your shoes comes down to how much space you have. People with walk-in cupboards or a garage for seasonal storage have more options than those in a city apartment. But thoughtful and creative organisation can make even the smallest cupboard feel surprisingly accommodating.

Q How do I protect my shoes?

A Protect special or collectable shoes in clear plastic boxes. Serious shoe lovers who want to store and maintain their footwear should have stackable shoe boxes, which are sold in transparent plastic for easy visibility. Try a trundle-style storage rack. If the rest of your bedroom is at capacity, create your own makeshift storage bed with an under-bed shoe rack. Bonus points if it’s on wheels.

You can display everyday shoes on a bookcase, floating shelves or vanity. Place shoes you don’t want to see, such as flip-flops and workout shoes, on a shelf inside your cupboard.

The Washington Post

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