Quick Tip Tuesday: "Sole" Mate - Shoe Care Kit

For those of you who love to be prepared, and adore projects that involve zero DIY skills, this one is for you!

Truly, today's task was as simple as stocking up on a few essentials and corralling them in an easy-to-access bin. 

This was definitely another case of, "Why did I wait so long to do this?!" 

I don't purchase new clothing seasonally, but shoes?  I have a bit of a love affair with shoes.  And just like everything else, there are times when I might save big on clearance flats or splurge on comfort and style.

And while I appreciate having footwear for various outfit types and seasons, our Wisconsin weather does not always love our shoes in return.  My boots are always covered in a salty film, the boy's tennies tend to be mud magnets and the hubby's dress shoes become dull and dirty after multiple days of wear. 

Shoes are an investment, but how do we extend their life and keep them looking nice season after season?  We create a shoe care kit, that is how!

What you put in your shoe care kit will vary based on your environment and shoe types.  Different types of shoes require different types of care.  So to create our kit, I took note of the types of the shoes we wear most frequently. 

Suede: I added both a suede cleaner and an eraser bar (similar). Leather: I added saddle soap and a rag (to clean and soften) as well as shoe polish and an applicator brush. Tennis Shoes: I added baking soda and a toothbrush (combine baking soda with dish/laundry detergent and gently scrub shoe and soles with the toothbrush).

I also added a variety of spare shoe laces, comfort pads and an anti-friction stick.  Those items were tossed into containers found at the dollar store and labeled with vinyl cut from my Silhouette.

A few other items that could be added to the kit are: a magic eraser (for those really tough cleanings - not to be used on delicate shoe finishes), rain and stain repellent, color shine, conditioning cream, shoe grips, shoe horns, shoe whitener, etc...  Whatever footwear maintenance items that make sense based on your shoe wearing habits.  (Should we start taking a drink every time I type out the word shoe?)

I found a narrow bin that can tuck away on our coat closet shelf, and printed off a label for the front.  Popped everything inside and boom, done!

Part of being organized, is being prepared ahead of time.  For me, that comes in the form of small kits or zones around our home.  In fact, I am a kit-making fanatic!  Sewing kits, cleaning kits, medical kits, stain kits, tool kits... I love and frequently use them all!  This is one more I know I will be grateful I took the time to put together, especially now that I will be able to extend the life (and looks) of my favorite foot candy.

What are your top shoe cleaning tips and tricks?  Any footwear maintenance essentials that we should add to our new caddy?

Looking for more quick tips?  Check out the entire series here!