How to de-clutter your sneaker collection once and for all

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Photo: Stocksy/Bonninstudio

You don’t have to hop too far back in your time machine to remember a time when heels, mules, and Mary Janes outnumbered sneakers 10-to-one. Thanks to the surge of athleisure everything, however, footwear collections have become democratized. And while having different sneaks for HIIT classes, runs, and sure every outfit under the sun is now commonplace, the one downfall comes when you have to find a place to store the collection. Because a chunky sneaker does take up more room than a spiky heel.

So just how do you do right by your sneakers? I asked Tova Weinstock, a New York City organizational pro to ponder the question, and it seems as though it’s something that’s top of mind with her clientele. “I’m definitely seeing more sneakers,” she tells me. “I literally only wear sneakers.” Here, she shares all of the ways to store them depending on the size of your space.

Keep scrolling for Weinstock’s tips for de-cluttering your sneaker collection.

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If you’re tight on space

“If you’re dealing with a small space, you definitely need to maximize every inch,” says Weinstock. “Get a shoe rack as tall as your lowest hanging clothes.”  During a recent project, the organization pro installed two small Elfa rods in a small nook in the corner to create a de-facto shelf. This allows you to double and even triple the amount of shoes you can have because you’re going vertical with your storage.


Give your shoes room to breathe

Now that you’ve got your shelving solution, Weinstock adds that she likes to save plenty of room between each pair, so that they don’t all blend together into as sea of sameness. “I don’t believe in [saving pairs in] shoe boxes.” When you think about it, the boxes are bulky and you’ll always have to hunt inside them to find what you need, which can spell a m-e-s-s.


Behind closed doors   

If you have a cramped closet, you can alternatively look to the backs of doors as a place to save your shoes. “The first place I always look when I consult is the back of doors,” says Weinstock, who has an over-the-door shoe rack on the inside of her closet. Make sure that you go for an option that hides the rack when the door is closed, so you won’t see it peeking out over the top.


Your sneakers can be displayed like art

Some people color code their books, and other people their sneaker collection, Weinstock tells me. She likes to use the color coding method with sneakers in common areas, both because it’s easier to know where to look for something if you can identify it on the ROY-G-BIV spectrum and because they look cool on display. “You get a shelving unit in your living room—which might be aggressive depending on the space you have—and then display them all with the heel facing out.”  As they say: Wearable art.

If you’re in the department for new sneakers, this is a serious trend you need to know about and these are the super colorful ones you need to know about.

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