|Plastic Shoe Boxes as sold by Chancery Chair Covers on ebay.co.uk|
Sometimes, the simplest things are the best. I'm a bit of a boot hound on the quiet, and also a fan of patent shoes, mainly because they're usually designed with almond toes, in the right shape for my feet, unlike other types of shoes. Stilettos, I'm looking at you and wincing.
Not much I can do about my prized DMs, they have to live in full view all year round. But I recently decided I'd had enough of rooting through almost 20 pairs of shoes in the jumble on my wardrobe floor to find a pair that matched every time I wanted to leave for work. If I could organise the shoes I might even find things to ebay or send to the charity shop...not to mention actually pairing up my shoes properly for the first time in a while.
So last month, I placed an order on ebay for 20 flat pack plastic shoe boxes with dividers. These are exactly as they sound, the size and shape of those cardboard boxes you see in shoe shops the world over. But they're made of clear plastic, so you can see into them. They're sold all over ebay, Amazon and other websites too, but I chose the ones on offer from Chancery Chair Covers in Southall. These cost under £1 a box and had free post and packing when I ordered.
They were dispatched quickly and survived being left in the garden in the rain due to being packed in a grey waterproof mailing bag.
Each box has a divider as well which helps stability when used. I have to say I haven't done that with mine, as they seem fine without. Some of my flat sandals and sneakers fit two pairs to a box that way too.
The best way to assemble the boxes is to push them square from flat, then flip the tags through the hole to make one end. You need to ensure that the flaps and tags are all completely cut down the full length, or they won't fold down square. Any uncut bits should just pull apart gently, as I found.
Insert your shoes and the divider if using. Shoes should be placed in heel first for the first one and then upside down with the heel facing you for the second. I have UK size 5.5 feet and these boxes will take everything up to ankle boot size with a 5cm heel.
From the jumble on my wardrobe floor an hour or so ago, we now have four stacks of shoe boxes, the sandals at the back, the ones I don't wear that often next to them, then the court shoes and ankle boots in the front, because those are the shoes I wear daily for work. In the opposite corner sit my longer boots and my two pairs of Doc Martens, my wedding shoes and my tap dancing shoes, which to be honest really do need to end up on ebay because I am unlikely to be undertaking tap dancing again any time soon!
I have found five pairs to send to the charity shop (they're too far gone even to ebay) and two for my friend to try to see if she likes them, as she was looking for a new pair of work shoes. If she doesn't want them, ebay here they come.
It's amazing how much difference ebay has made to my life. I didn't know half the things existed that I've acquired in the last five months, and I certainly hadn't expected to enjoy ebaying as much, nor to be able to sell some of the clutter that I have done. And with that, guess where my next stop is? More photos and listings on ebay!