Managing a Collection – Shoes

Today I’m continuing on with how I manage my collection.  Probably the easiest storage I’ve found is what I use for shoes.  The boxes above are photo storage boxes, and can be found in craft supply stores like Michael’s and A.C. Moore.  They are the perfect size for most pairs of shoes, and they are acid-free.  Best of all, they are cheap.  I bought most of these several years ago on sale for $1 each, but now they usually run $2 on sale.  Still that is a bargain for acid-free storage.

I’d like to claim responsibility for this storage idea, but it comes from Jonathan of Kickshaw Productions and The Fashion History Museum.

I store the boxes in a shelved closet, in chronological order.  Unfortunately, I have to store the boxes two deep on the shelves, but it is still very easy to quickly find any pair in the collection.  Each box is labeled with the number of the item, and a short description.  Someday when I have nothing to do, I’m going to add a photo of each pair to the front of each box.

Inside each box I have a piece of muslin to wrap around the shoes for added protection.

And to make sure the shape is correctly maintained, I use muslin as needed to support the shoe.

These are early 1950s swim shoes, made of mesh, with a textured rubber sole.


Filed under Collecting

22 responses to “Managing a Collection – Shoes

  1. Wow! That is super neat!! How I’d love to get a sneak peek into those boxes 🙂


  2. Barb

    Great! Thank you. I really would appreciate more help in how to store – and access – collections…and how to organize them.


  3. Love the swim shoes! They are a treat to see.


  4. Bijoux

    WOW!!! How many pairs of shoes do you have? Do you trawl your collection everyday or do you have a few pairs that you normally wear for everyday wear. I really envy that amount of room you have for your collections.


  5. Tracy H

    Wow, Lizzie, that is so impressive. I had not thought that older pairs of shoes should be stored in acid-free paper. I wonder if a regular shoe box with acid free tissue would suffice for my own older pairs of shoes?? One other question, are they mostly in your size, and do you ever wear them? How exciting!


    • I know people who do that, and then change the paper pretty often, like every 6 months or so.

      When I spot a pair of shoes I want , the size is just not a consideration. I have been know to try them on, and there is a pair or two that I have worn in the past.


  6. 100 pairs?!
    Wow! How I’d love to be able to peek inside all of those boxes!


  7. I also keep shoes in the boxes, but I snap a photo of them, print them off, and glue-stick it onto the box, so I know exactly what they are!


    • This would not work for the shoes you actually wear. You’d spend too much time looking for the right pair.

      I store the shoes I actually wear in 2 hanging racks, though you can only see one in this photo:

      The other rack is in the back of the closet.

      Tennies are in a basket and on the floor:


  8. Great idea Lizzie. Can I borrow you? I’d love you to organise my shoes AND my wardrobe! Pretty please! 😉


  9. Do you have pictures of the collection anywhere? I for one would *love* to see them.


  10. wonderful storage! So clean. *Sigh*.


  11. Thanks for the great storage info Lizzie. Like the others, I look forward to future posts on the shoes you haven’t had a chance to share with us!


  12. Karen Kaplan

    Again, very helpful! I never knew those photo boxes were acid-free.


  13. Pingback: A Cautionary Tale – Patent Leather | The Vintage Traveler

  14. Pingback: Managing a Clothing Collection | The Vintage Traveler

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