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Even if you’ve been trying to stay a little more active and healthier during quarantine, take a second and look down – are you wearing slippers right now?

It’s okay, we all are. The various shutdowns and quarantines during the COVID-19 pandemic, while necessary to protect everyone’s health and safety, have really put a damper on being able to go out for anything other than a walk (or a trip to the grocery store). This probably means you have a lot of shoes you haven’t worn in a while, since nobody really needs their nice going-out heels or expensive Italian leather oxfords if you’re drinking wine at home in front of Hulu.

If this is starting to sound a little familiar, and you’re looking for ways to prioritize your daily-wear sneakers over your sadly unused formal wear, we’ve got a few ways to organize shoes by priority during quarantine:


Prioritize what you’re wearing

The first step, as with a lot of organization projects, is to sort through everything and prioritize it by need and usage. Things like running shoes and comfier sneakers are probably more of a need right now than anything more formal or out-of-season (like snowboots), so try to divide your shoes up appropriately.


Let the air flow

For most shoes, it’s important to give them some air every now and again. This will prevent the buildup of dust, stop delicate materials like suede and leather from getting damaged, and help keep them in better shape overall. Gather the shoes you’re wearing most often and find a shoe rack that lets them breathe.


Find a spot where everyone can get to their shoes

Of course, having a good shoe rack is only half the battle – you also need to figure out where it can go! Get out the tape measure and find a place in your house where everyone can get to their shoes more quickly. Ideally this could be the entryway (although you might have to move around your entryway furniture to make space), but anywhere close to whatever door your family uses most – side door, garage, etc – is perfect.


Clean your unneeded shoes

Now’s the time to start focusing on the shoes you didn’t find fit for the shoe rack. The first step is always to clean them off – dirty shoes in storage will get damaged or musty if left too long, so take your favorite shoe cleaner (appropriate to the material, of course) and scrub them up to keep them safe in storage.


Keep them somewhere cool and dark

Shoes of any material or type can be a little sensitive to temperature and humidity. Find somewhere temperate and dry for long-term storage, ideally in a closet or at least somewhere out of the garage or basement.


Use your shoeboxes

Some of us who are a little more, er, serious about our shoes tend to keep the boxes. If this sounds like you, then use your shoeboxes to store anything you’re not wearing right this second – it’ll take up less space and make you grateful you kept them around!

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