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Shoe Closet Organization Tips

By Catalogs Editorial Staff

pile of shoesContributed by Info Guru Lindsay Shugerman

I love shoes, and I’m pretty sure you do, too! Who doesn’t? But when you get all those wonderful pairs of shoes and boots and sandals, it can be challenging to figure out how to keep track of them all. The unenlightened might suggest that we thin out our collection, but we know that could NEVER be the answer! And there are always more shoes we just have to have, right?

So in the spirit of the great shoe gods who have bestowed all of this footwear abundance on us, I am here to solve your shoe storage problems. Here are my favorite shoe closet organization tips. But be forewarned…some of these are, well, a little unusual. But hey, who says every tip has to be serious!

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10. Stack up shelves

closet stackable shelves

If floorspace is at a premium in your closet, take your shoe storage vertical. Look for stackable shelves that allow you to build up. These shelves made just for shoes work better than bookshelves or other shelving because the space between the layers is just enough for a pair. No wasted space equal more places for shoes. Clearly a win-win!

9. Hang them up

Hanging boots

Who says a shoe closet has to be inside? If you have more boots than floor, string them up! Think about it…a patio accent AND shoe storage.

Okay, I get it. You’re not thrilled with hanging your boots outside. But the idea still works. Use clip style pants/skirts hangers to hang up pairs of boots. Use foam strips or pieces of old towels to pad the spot where the clip holds onto the boot top to avoid dents.

8. Sort by season

winter boots

We put away our sweaters in summer and pack up the shorts and tank tops in winter. So tell me, why are our closets littered with sandals and snow boots all year long?

Add you shoes and boots to your annual “change of the seasons” clean up, and you’ll be amazed at all the shoe space you gain.

7. Freestanding wire shelving

wire shelving

Built in closet systems are all the rage, but what if you’re renting? Or just don’t want to put all those holes in your walls? The solution, which happens to work amazingly well for shoe storage, is a freestanding wire rack. You can fit a whole lot of shoes on these puppies, and the open wire shelves allow air to circulate. The wheels let you roll it in and out of your closet — great for spring cleaning. And the mobility means you can take it with you when you sell your house, leave your rental or move out of the dorm.

6. Sort by use

shoes on shelf

I know, you love all of your shoes. But let’s face it, some of them get a lot more foot time than others. So why in the world are ALL of your shoes on the same shelves or piled together on the same floor space?

It’s time to be realistic and sort those shoes by how often they leave the closet. Those awesome Jimmy Choos that look great but hurt so bad if you walk more than two blocks? Top shelf, along with the super cute wedding shoes and the oh-so-sexy club shoes (because you haven’t gone clubbing in two years!) Next level down go the interview shoes and all the rest of the shoes that you wear at most once a month. Finally, there are the shoes you wear all the time. Weekly, if not daily. Store those wherever they are easiest to reach and easiest to put away.

I know it’s hard to play favorites with your shoes. But I promise they will forgive you. Someday.

5. Plastic shoe boxes

plastic shoe boxes

Not orginal, but a method that works. Label the outside of each shoe box with a quick description of the shoes inside… or take a picture and paste that on the outside. Stack seldom used shoes on higher shelves, keep favorites down low.

4. Think about door space

over the door shoe storage

When the floor and the shelves are full, what then? How about the doors? Installing over the door shoe organizers can add storage where once there was none. Look for rack style or pocket style depending on your space. Both will allow you to store a couple dozen pairs of shoes in otherwise wasted space.

3. Who knew stairs could be so useful?

shoe storage in stairs

Take the shoe closet out of the closet and put it into the stairs! And why not? Think about all that wasted space under your stairs…and now think about all the extra pairs of shoes you’ll have room for if you install this. Pretty tempting, right?

2. Clear out the clutter

ugly yellow shoes

You know those shoes with the worn out heels that you were going to have fixed but never did? And those awful bridesmaid shoes you had to wear for your roommate’s wedding? It’s hard to say this, but it’s time for them to go. Those and all the rest of the out of style, never-were-comfortable, what-was-I-thinking and where-did-they-come-from shoes taking up precious real estate in your closet.

Grab a box, toss them in and seal it up. Take it out of the house and leave it at a thrift store, in the trash or in the freebee pile at your garage sale. Just say good-bye, then head back in your room to rearrange all those shoes you actually like.

1. The boxes they came in

paper shoe boxes

It’s low tech as all get out, but it works. Just keep the boxes your shoes come in, and use them as storage. Think about it…they’re already labled, they’re stackable and they’re free. And you know your shoes will fit inside!

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You can never have too many shoes, but unless you can see them, you can’t wear them. Clean it up and step out in style!


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