The thing about having lots of anything is justifying having so much of it by using it. I could be talking about shoes here, but I could also be talking about endless piles of quilting fabric, pairs of earrings, DVDs, mixing bowls or, in my brother's case, ironlak spray cans. I know that for my part, shoes are regularly and eagerly collected (please, I've had as many people rhyme my name with banana who have called me Imelda so just don't), so I always make sure what I'm adding to my established selection is wearable, goes with clothes I own and isn't superseded by something I already have.
This may surprise you, but a pair of salmon sandals are totally different to a pair of heeled brogues. Take my word for it. There are shoes designed to go with most outfits (I call these coordinates) of which I have 4 pairs. I got some plain wedges by Sandler for this purpose and wear all of them to work where I am on my feet all day. I also have a bunch of other shoes ranging across the whole colour and material spectrum. How many do I have? Currently under 50 pairs (Imelda Marcos has around 3,000, funny people).
Why so many shoes? I feel this question is a akin to someone asking an artist 'why so many paints' or a quilter 'why so many fabrics'. The whole world can't be adequately articulated in grey lead pencils. If you think I should have fewer shoes, I am inclined to suggest that you lack imagination.
There are 2 key things I use when organising my shoe selection and both involve visuals. The first is a complete digital library of my shoes (and clothes etc.) using Stylebook on my iPad. The second is a physical collation of the shoes that partners the digital library.
For the purpose of physically organising the shoes I have used a super simple bookcase from IKEA and bought extra shelves. I would eventually love to put doors on the shoe case, but that is a future project. I adjusted the height of the shelves to suit the varying heights of the shoes (as much as adjustment was possible) and attempted to organise the shoes by height and style, and then by colour. It means I can see all the shoes at once and prompts a more diverse choice when wondering what shoes to wear. I find I am more likely to wear a pair of shoes when I can see them. This is obviously a principle we can apply to having collections of anything. Out of sight means out of mind so remember if you want to use it, keep it someone organised that you can see it regularly. Using clothes is like using your vocabulary: you may know a lot of words, but how many do you actively use?
Shoes (in top image) from left to right, top to bottom:
Weave Me Speechless Wedge - Modcloth
Darcy in Mint - B.A.I.T Footwear
Vivid Visit Heel - Modcloth
A Wink of Whimsical Wedge - Modcloth
Summer Wedges - Forever New
Strutting on Sunshine Wedge - Modcloth
Vintage Lilac Heels
Heeled Oxford Brogues
Sparkle an Interest Heel - Modcloth
Summer Ease Wedge in Red - Modcloth
Standard Red Patent Classic Heels
Classic Confection Heels in Bubblegum - Betti Page shoes
Sip of Liqueur Flat in Peach - B.A.I.T Footwear