The cull diary - the BIG shoe cull and I ask the question "just how many pairs of shoes does one woman need"? (Part 1)

Just how many pairs of shoes does one woman need?

According to some online resources, a woman could get by with as little as three pairs, but there are a vast array of sites which are more generous in their offerings listing the 5 or even 10 pairs of shoes every woman needs or must own.  The contents of some of these lists however is a little dubious, with one list taking up 2 out of the 5 precious spots with one pair of sneakers and one pair of hiking boots!  The two could be combined if you ask me...  Another site which lists 10 pairs every woman must own includes one pair of black flats and one pair of ballet flats - again I think the two can be combined, leaving a spot free for a different style for greater variety.

If it were up to me to to come up with the ultimate list of shoes each and every woman must own it would look like this (be prepared to die of boredom):
  1. Sneakers
  2. Ballet flats
  3. Sandals
  4. Ankle boots
  5. Tall boots
  6. Dress/work shoes
  7. Evening shoes
Note that I have not specified heel types or colours, as I think that these specifications would depend on the woman's height and also on the contents of the woman's closet.  

So what's in my current collection I hear you ask?

This (not including my workout sneakers, flip flops and house slippers):

All my shoes - the BEFORE shot

Yes I know, I own a lot of shoes... but I wasn't born yesterday! This is a result of many years of shoe shopping and recycling (selling my shoes on eBay only to buy new shoes). Many of the shoes have not been worn in a long time and others are really on their last legs - hence a big shoe cull beckons.

Here are some close up shots of each one my IKEA Billy bookcases (in case you were wondering what I store my shoes in). Note that all my designer shoes are ordinarily stored in their original boxes and shoe bags and the long boots live in the hallway closet, but for the purpose of this exercise I have displayed them in the one spot out of their boxes.

Contents of IKEA Billy bookcase No. 1 - shoe count: 19 pairs

Contents of IKEA Billy bookcase No.2 - shoe count: 24 pairs

Contents of IKEA Billy bookcase No.3 - shoe count: 24 pairs
I have not photographed 3 pairs that have been residing in a green bag since we moved into our place (clearly the first cull candidates), which means that the grand total of shoes that I own before the cull is 70 pairs... a nice even number... hmmm.

Stay tuned for the results of my shoe cull and the AFTER shots.

ETA: make that 71 pairs... I found a pair hiding under the bed.
ETA: make that 72 pairs... I forgot about my Country Road biker boots which were hiding in my boyfriend's side of the closet.


  1. Those book cases look perfect for storage.

  2. If it was a matter of need, I would need ballet flats, sneakers, flip flops, and loafers. for fun, a pair of flat sandals. But I have at least 2 pairs of everything, so my total is closer to 20...

  3. My list is 10. 2 of every type

    2 flats
    2 boots
    2 sandals
    2 sneakers
    2 heels

  4. The book case is perfect. How much are they? Thanks P.S Looked through IKEA website and couldn't find it.

  5. Prêt à Porter P - at my old place these bookshelves stood in the hallway and served as a landing strip.

    Lin & Rebecca - it goes to show that each person's list is different.

    Anon - This is what I have: (BILLY 80cm wide, 106cm high)
    Then I purchased extra shelves and the doors separately. It isn't the cheapest "shoe rack" that money can buy, but at least it looks ok and it is functional.