I’ve been working hard at decluttering my house and SHOES were pretty high on the list. I do not collect shoes in the way that most women do- I have size 10w feet so nice shoes are a pain to find and I don’t love shoe shopping. So I don’t really buy shoes very often.
But I HATE throwing out old shoes and it’s sort of a problem.
Actually, in general I hate throwing things out so that’s part of the issue. I found out that I own SEVEN pairs of sneakers… who needs that many sneakers?! And I’d literally sewn up the fabric on the toe of one pair because it was so ragged. And then kept the sneakers in the back of the closet for God only knows how long.
That’s a pretty good sign that it’s time to toss those shoes!
But I ran into issue again… I hate to put stuff in a landfill. I didn’t see much of an opportunity to upcycle them. I did a quick search though and found out that PlanetAid accepts shoes in all conditions- they have a big yellow bin near us so that works perfect. And the shoes in bad condition will get recycled! Yay! It’s just a tad easier for me to let go of stuff if I know they’ll not end up in a landfill.
Supplies listed below may include affiliate links to the products.
- Fabric bin
- Binder clips
I went through all of our shoes and pulled out shoes that don’t fit, are too beat up, or we didn’t need. I put all of the shoes that could be washed into the washer. I wash on cold with some laundry soap and white vinegar in the rinse- it’s loud so beware. I attempted to put them through the dryer, but with so many shoes they kept kicking the dryer door open… haha.
Just for a visual- these are some of the shoes I decluttered, yikes.
I clean them because I wanted them clean so that the company could figure out easily which should be saved and which should be recycled. I didn’t want anything recycled that could be used.
The shoes that Kaden would grow into, I saved… or rather, I saved one pair in each size. Those will make good play shoes for the mud and backyard.
I tied the shoelaces together for the matching shoes… if they didn’t have shoelaces, I put them in a plastic baggy and tied it up. I dropped them off at the PlanetAid box.
We’ve been using these two bins for shoes at the front door which works out nice. It’s pretty easy to throw our shoes in there and the kids are cooperative about using the bin (aka a basketball hoop of shoe kicking). My issue is that I can never find shoe pairs because they end up all mixed up. Decluttering extra pairs of shoes will definitely cut down on this, but I wanted an additional solution so I grabbed some binder clips.
For each pair, I put a binder clip on the pair to hold them together! It works great, although I don’t clip shoes that might get damaged by the clips… I used these mostly for our sneakers. I moved one of our bins to the back door and the other to the front door. The front door bin is for our “leaving the house shoes”- aka the shoes that don’t inspire people to drop dollar bills in our hat if we take it off. The back door bin is for the shoes we don’t mind getting dirty. I’m SO THRILLED with this setup. Hopefully it will help keep us from ruining the nicer shoes so quickly.
When we’re wearing the shoes, I just clip the binder clips to the edge of the bin. It works great. It does mean I need to help my kids a bit more for putting their shoes away, but if it gets us organized whatever!
Oh- did you ever see my sock bin? That’s the drawers beside the bin. I store all of the kids’ socks by the front door. It speeds up our exit a LOT compared to keeping them in their rooms.
Altogether I think I recycled about 15 pairs of shoes. How many do you think you’d be able to declutter?!
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Danielle Pientka is the sewing and DIY blogger behind DIYDanielle.com. She taught herself to sew in 2011 when she wanted to make cloth diapers for her first son. She’s been sewing everything from ecofriendly items to kids products to clothing since, as it has become a passion. She loves learning how to do new things and teaching others in the process. She hopes to inspire other moms to take time for themselves to find their own creative passion.
Danielle lives in Maryland with her three young sons and her husband, Brandon. In her spare time, she gardens, reads, horseback rides, and has a small homestead with goats and ducks. Visit her shop to buy patterns or her sewing eBooks. Subscribe to her newsletter to get blog updates, free patterns and other printables by clicking here.