Today I have a special treat for you guys! I interviewed Kim of Vanchic; she is a professional home organizer and has some great tips up on YouTube. Check out her packing video, I took away some great new ideas on how to make sure my bag is properly packed for all my future trips! Kim is here today to give some of her insight on how to organize the most important items in your closet… all those fabulous shoes you own!
1. What is your top recommendation for shoe organization?
I love thinking outside the box. I'd never recommend a shoe tree, plastic bin, under the bed space saver, over the door shoe hanger bag or a shoe rack. Shoe organization is simple. If you want to look good leaving the house every morning you have to see all the shoe options to know what matches your outfit. If there is minimum closet space and too many thin shoes like flats, slipper or flipflops: I recommend a sturdy basket. If you hate baskets, get creative. Paint an old lobster trap box or find an old 1900's tin wash tub bin. Make the thin shoes stand vertical and paired up hugging each other. For your sneakers, boots and heels try these funky options; armoire, china cabinet (pictured above), book shelf, cubby, pull out shoe cabinet, vintage leaning ladder, lazy susans...
2. As a professional organizer, what shoe organization faux pas do you see most?
- I see too many cheap materials that collect dust, bend, wobbly and they don't aesthetically fit in with the design of the home. Nothing is worse than cheap furniture, mesh, wire, shedding wicker and plastic! I think I'm the first organizer you'll ever hear say this, but stay away from The Container Store and stores with low quality decor. Also, people love buying shoe racks. Yet the problem is that shoe racks fit on average 10-18 pairs of shoes. Most people I know have more shoes than that! If you are married to your shoe rack, try buying another one so there are no excess shoes laying on the floor; have all your shoes in one place!
- Never keep shoes lined up on the ground. Anything sitting on the floor adds bulk to the width and base of the room causing the area to look short, bottom heavy, cluttered and stubby.
- Never hoard the shoe boxes that the shoes come in. Even if it's pretty designer box, you have to realize that it is just cardboard! Shoe boxes take up space, collect dust, rip and they’re all different sizes.
3. What are some of your favorite shoe organization products on a budget?
- If you are trying to save money, you can't sacrifice panache for a cheaper storage option. Treat your shoes with respect and give them something fancy to stand on! I have found many vintage furniture pieces for dirt cheap on craigslist, ebay, flea markets, boutiques, antique stores and tag sales.
- I love boot fillers because they hold the shape of a boot and keep them from collapsing or wrinkling. Boot fillers are quite a splurge so if you want a cheaper alternative: crumbled up tissue paper or balled up dust bags.
- Many clients have asked me if they should use an individual bin for every shoe with a picture of the shoe on the front of the box. I always say no. This will make your closet look like a theatre costume department. I want my clients to see the beauty of their shoes on display and not hidden in some plastic individual shoe bin.
4. Do you have any unique storage ideas?
- The most desired shoe storage ideas are custom made shoe carousels or lighted floor to ceiling wall shoe shelving. Contact a local closet design company to execute this custom project!
- The most unique ideas are using furniture pieces with character, history and quality....china buffet cabinets, baroque hutches, vintage curios, antique large chests, antique ice box... Go thrifting and upcycle old things for new goodies!
- The craziest shoe storage I have made for a client is hanging her stilettos on an old jail door from the 1800's. We leaned the jail bar door up against her walk-in closet wall. To make it classy, we hung a beautiful vintage Hermes pashmina on the top corners of the jail door. Another client wanted something movable so we found 2 red wagons from the early 1900's, painted them gold and lined her shoes inside the wagon.
5. Lastly, I would love to see a picture of your favorite pair of shoes and why you love them so much!
My favorite high end shoe designers are Ferragamo, Stuart Weitzman, Manolo Blahnik, Giuseppe Zanotti, Louboutin, Walter Steiger and Brian Atwood. My favorite shoes I own are Louboutin boots and Chanel flats. I like my red soled knee high boots because I love to be tall and give the appearance that I can easily walk in 5 inchers! Stiletto boots are much easier to walk in than pumps
Kim – thank you for your wonderful tips on how to keep our most prized possessions beautifully (and uniquely) stored! I know I got a lot of great inspiration for my own closet and can’t wait to bring those ideas to reality!
Unless otherwise noted, all pictures provided by Kim of Vanchic