Yuya Hasegawa's Ardent Shoeshine Dojo" is a series of articles. In the 17th installment of this series, Yuya Hasegawa will talk passionately about the practice of cleaning shoe boxes as we approach the end of the year.
There is a song in a company's commercial that goes, "Clean up this year's mess before it's too late," and if you clean up your shoes along with your house, you can welcome the New Year with beautiful feet.
We have a client who requests us to come to her home every year around this time. He has about 200 pairs of shoes and has a shoe room just inside his front door.
Each pair of shoes is a one-of-a-kind masterpiece for a shoe lover, and we have the great task of polishing all of his wonderful collection in time for his annual year-end cleaning. And since we polish all the shoes in one day, it is the hardest day of the year for us shoe polishers who are engaged in polishing every day.
The number of shoes varies from person to person, so the amount of time spent on polishing shoes also varies, but they are always stored in shoe boxes and shelves. So, let's clean not only your shoes but also your shoe boxes during the year-end cleaning.
1. First, take out all the shoes you have stored.
The photo is an embarrassing example of our shoe closet. The shelf on the left holds the family's shoes, but the mess is just for fun. I look at the shoe box every day, but it is not often that I take out all the shoes, so this is a good opportunity for me to take stock of the shoe box.
Let's give the leather a breath of fresh air by exposing the shoes to the open air. It is a good idea to dry them in the shade in a well-ventilated place out of direct sunlight. Check the weather forecast to make sure it will not rain, and let them air out for an hour or two.
2. After emptying the shelves, spray them with alcohol or antibacterial spray and wipe them clean with a rag.
The shelves are where the dirty soles come in contact with the shoes, so they are very dirty and should be kept clean. I have experienced several times that mold can get into shoe racks and spread to other shoes. Sanitize not only the shoes but also the shoe racks.
Anti-Bacterial Spray not only sanitizes but also has an antibacterial effect, so it prevents the growth of fungi. Spray the shelves a little more generously with three or four pumps and wipe them down with a suitable cloth.
It pains me to show you a dirty cloth, but this is how dirty it was, and it will gradually get dirty over the course of a year, so I usually don't worry about it, but it's a bit of a mess.
After I finished wiping all the shelves, I felt very refreshed. I realized once again that it is important to clean the shoe racks properly because they are like a home for your shoes.
3. After cleaning the shelves, I polish each pair of shoes one by one.
You may choose to do the whole process carefully one pair at a time. If you have a lot of shoes and cannot spend that much time and effort, you can simply wipe them with a glove or brush them with a horsehair or goat hair brush.
By the way, I polish all my shoes with mouton gloves. I usually replace and polish them regularly, so it is the easiest way to take care of them, but even a little polishing makes all the shoes feel good and refreshed.
Finally, I put the shoes back in the clean shoe box, but I recommend that you not only put them back, but also rearrange them to refresh your mind.
In this case, I stored them by color. It is beautiful to see the gradation of white shoes, beige, brown, and dark brown from the bottom, and it is also easy to see at a glance what color your shoes are.
I also noticed that most of my black shoes are casual shoes. I realized that most of them were casual shoes, such as outer blades and loafers, and that I didn't have the classic "black straight tips" that every shoe lover has. The year-end clog inventory will also help me decide which shoes to buy next.
So, this is my end-of-year cleaning practice for shoe boxes. Actually, I haven't been able to take care of all the other shoes that are in boxes and those that are not at home, but I will polish all of them with gratitude to the beloved shoes that have supported my feet in the year 2023.
I hope you will all try to do the same so that your feet will feel good in the New Year. That concludes this year's Dojo! We look forward to seeing you again next year! Oshinushi oshinushi!