Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Gotta Choose What Shoes to Lose!

I think I have the Imelda Marcos shoe syndrome, because when I opened up my shoe closet (yes I have my own shoe closet under the stairs), I was almost sickened by the topography of the mountains of shoes in there. Shoes were literally falling off of the shelves. There was no order to the what seemed like hundreds of shoes. I couldn't even find my solemates! Like for my daughter's rockstar-themed birthday party, I imagined my fit finished off with my vintage thigh-high flat boots with the zipper in the back. Totally rockstar. But it wasn't so cool when I could only find one boot. Fail.

With the swap approaching, I knew it was about time to take some inventory and do some organization. I've watched MTV cribs, saw Kimora Lee's fabulous shoe organization, and thought that I can do something like that, even though the only shoes we could have in common could be my two pairs of Gucci heels that I copped from a garage sale (sorry, not swapping those!).

But the thing is, I didn't want to keep shoes that were not always comfortable for me, as fabulous as they were. There had to be some shoes in there that I didn't need or want, some shoes that I can bring to the swap to make room for more shoes, of course.

I have a history of acquiring shoes, from shops, swaps, ebay, garage sales, thrifts, what have you, and getting rid of them when times are tough. During my college days, I sold most of my sneaker collection on ebay. Yes, even some of my favorite '95 Air Max's. I like to think that shoes helped me survive college. Other times, it was difficult for me to slim down my collection, and once, my pit bull decided to use my pink '95s as a chew toy, so instead of staying mad at him forever, I just chucked it to the game. Kind of like an easy way to make a decision of which shoes to toss. But damn, I sure wouldn't have picked those shoes.....

My current dog, Thriller, has put his teeth on a few pairs of shoes of mine, which I won't bring to the swap, but wasn't going to let him loose in my closet to make choosing which shoes to lose an easy task for me. Nope. Just as I make the choice to bring a pair home, which is sometimes an easy spontaneous decision or, on the flip side, a painstaking choice to make, I had to make a choice of what shoes have the honor of staying in my closet, and which shoes that were once blessed by me that could possibly go home with you.

I emptied out my whole damn closet. I tried to put the shoes in categories of some sort: sneakers, heels, boots, sandals, and what I like to call "teacher"shoes, what I wear to work. I even have Heelys, WTF. Of course, these categories had sub-categories, like work-out sneakers, flossy kicks, flat boots, kitten heels, etc. If shoes needed repair or cleaning, they had their own separate heap. My organization process took up the span of my hallway.

The next day, I had an OCD moment and thought it would be cool to try on each and every pair, decide if it was something I wanted to keep it, and if so, I'd take a photo of it. I dreamed of having a photo-inventory system where I can look at my shoes in an album to choose my shoes for the day. I'd even have an area for input where I could write out when I wore them, where I wore them, etc., that way, if I didn't wear something in awhile, I'd know it would go to the next swap. So I did it, tried them all on, took pics of the keepers, but I have yet to establish my system.

The result:

This is what you see when you open the door. Order! When I put my shoes to rest, I put them in their place! No more shoe mountains! Keep in mind that this is only the shelf, because to the left of this are boots, more boxes, and more heels of course. These are just my frequently used pairs, and since I'm such a good mommy, I even gave my daughter the bottom 3 rows. Which brings another topic to mind: my daughter's shoes! When I was a kid, I had 3 pairs of shoes: some sneakers, a dress pair, and some boots, and here I am giving my kid 3 rows. Wow. But I made her (unwillingly) join in on the process, and she's tossing some saddle shoes, crocs, Ruby glitter flats, and sandals.

So what did I get rid of? What can you possibly find at the swap?

  • Fornarina flats that were worn a handful of times (too many polka dots).
  • Banana Republic pink snakeskin kitten heels (too sexy for the classroom).
  • Nine West gladiator flats (I love them but they don't fit me right).
  • Sexy heels my ex bought me that never left the bedroom (my ex....exactly).
  • Adidas wrestling style shoes (I'm not a wrestler).
  • Nine West peep-toe wedges I bought in Vegas and wore only on New Year's (bought them too small so only went shoeless for the most part of the night).

I'm also getting rid of some Jordans that came in a retro pack because I only wanted the III's but I had to buy the ugly XX's with them, some composition notebook Blazers, and some vintage funky Britannia kicks. But those, my friends, will be offered to the ebay world. I gotta make some of my money back, if I can!

So all in all, out of about 100 shoes (not the official count, but pretty damn close), I'm chucking 9 pairs. Damn, that's not even 10%. But I do have to admit that I'm proud of myself for my process. I organized my collection, found some shoes to swap, cleaned the dirty shoes, and I still have dreams of my inventory system, that way when the next swap comes around, the shoes I never wore will have to find a new home. All I really have to do now is find a good repair shop to fix all of my broken vintage heels and make more room for those in my shoe closet...and room for the shoes I'll be bringing home from the swap!


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