12 Brilliant Ideas For Shoe Storage & Organization
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Even if you’re a full-fledged minimalist, you likely have a few pairs of shoes. Shoes are an example of those necessary objects we need to keep, and the average person tends to have a lot more than just a few. The typical man has about 12 pairs of shoes, while the average woman has about 27 pairs.
Of course, if you’re a shoe-loving fashionista, you might have sneakers, boots, wedges, heels, sandals, and flip-flops pouring out of your closet in a veritable shoe avalanche. Since it’s fair to assume you’d rather not have your shoes scattered and piled about (it doesn’t look great, plus it can take forever to find a match–kind of like online dating), it’s essential to use the proper shoe storage.
Lucky for you, there are endless options for how to store your shoes in a way that makes sense for your personal aesthetic, budget, and style.
1. Shoe Storage Cabinets
They say a true classic never goes out of style, and a storage cabinet certainly falls into that category. Shoe storage cabinets offer multiple ways to store your shoes, showcasing various designs, features, and capacities. Whether you need to store 10 pairs of shoes or 50, you’re sure to find the right size for your shoe collection.
Depending on your preference, some cabinets feature multiple stationary shelves, while others have adjustable shelves. Adjustable shelving is great because you can cater the piece to your specific shoes. For example, you can raise a shelf to allow more space for tall boots or even add shelves as needed.
Other cabinet styles feature cubbies for individual shoes or pairs, slide-out shoe racks for the ultimate convenience, or a combination of several storage possibilities. You can opt for cabinets that reach from floor to ceiling for a custom, built-in look. Or, you can choose smaller, free-standing cabinets that easily fit inside a closet or even corner cabinets with a revolving shoe rack!
Some slim-lined cabinets, like the IKEA design pictured (as seen on ikea.com), have tilt-out shelves that make them great space-savers. You can also find cabinets with sliding doors, which are an excellent fit for tight spaces that make opening a door difficult.
2. Under Bed Shoe Storage
If space is at a premium, don’t forget about that magical world of extra storage space that you have in your room. It’s the area under your bed. People have been hiding things away under their beds for years, so it’s only natural that companies would take notice and develop products to fit that niche (literally).
You can opt for some basic under-the-bed plastic storage organizers for placing a few pairs of shoes. The kind with dual-sided lids are great; then you can just slide the bin out halfway if you want to grab something real quick.
However, there are also specially-designed pieces for underneath the bed that consist of separate compartments for holding shoes. Many of these typically feature soft sides and a zipper closure, like this one from Wayfair, and you can collapse them down when not in use.
Therefore, if you need to maximize your available space, utilize the area below your bed as extra storage. Consider it undeveloped real estate, perfect for expanding your organizational footprint. It’s an especially great spot for items you only need to access now and then. For example, seasonal shoes, shoes for special activities, or other pieces you only wear on occasion are all excellent candidates for under-the-bed shoe storage.
3. Outdoor Shoe Storage
Whether you need a place outside for dirty yard-work shoes or you want a place to deposit shoes before you go inside, the right outdoor shoe storage can keep things from looking cluttered and messy. There are a few ready-made solutions for containing shoes outdoors, but you can also get creative using elements like cinder blocks or buckets.
To keep garden shoes and the like at the ready, you can create a quick shoe shelf by stacking cinder blocks. Depending on the shoe, you can fit a pair of shoes easily into one block. Plus, you can paint the blocks to add your own personal flair, like this colorful version from Leah Garrett.
Then, when the shelf starts to get a bit dirty, all you need to do is give it a quick blast with the garden hose. You can also stack horizontal planks on top of cinderblocks to create some stylish outdoor shoe shelves.
If you’re not concerned with shoes staying together in pairs, you can create a shoe bin from a five-gallon paint bucket. Label a bucket for each member of the family and pile in the shoes. Then, you can either stack the buckets on some homemade shelving or even hang them from wall-mounted hooks near the door.
4. Hanging Shoe Storage
Hanging shoe storage has come a long way since classic over-the-door shoe racks (which is still an incredibly useful idea). Of course, there are also popular styles of hanging storage that suspend from a closet rod, featuring either cubbies or pockets for your shoes.
These typically have fabric sides and either wrap around the clothing rod using a heavy-duty velcro closure or have a hanger-style top that slips over the rod. They’re super easy to install, and you can find them in a wide range of sizes and colors.
You can also think outside the box and hang shoes from decorative hooks mounted directly onto the wall or create a stylish shoe rack by installing several hooks onto a wooden panel. A curtain rod with hooks is another way to elevate your shoe storage (literally).
Ash Baker uses this DIY trick for small items like baby shoes and booties. For larger shoes, you can purchase shoe hanger hooks (yep, it’s a thing); each hanger holds a pair of shoes and simply hangs from a clothing rod as regular hangers do.
Tall boots can be a hassle to store, especially since you want to maintain their shape. To solve the problem, you can now get specially-designed boot hangers or use a regular skirt hanger, so you can store your boots without them flopping over and getting creased and bent.
5. Garage Shoe Storage
For many, the garage is much more than just a place to park your cars. It becomes the ultimate storage area, allowing you to prep for outdoor adventures, the next sporting event, or simply the routine of daily comings and goings. To make things more convenient, it helps to have things like backpacks, supplies, and of course, shoes at the ready and right where you need them.
There’s no need to overthink garage shoe storage; in many cases, a set of shoe shelves does the trick, like this arrangement from the Sunny Side Up blog. Plus, since there are so many styles, you can easily find shelving that matches your personal aesthetic.
You can also use buckets, bins, or a bench with cubbies to keep shoes easily accessible. If space is at a premium in your garage, consider mounting some shelves to the wall near the doorway or installing a few hooks on which you can hang a few pairs of shoes.
Basically, many of the ways you can creatively store your shoes inside will work just as well in your garage. The biggest difference is, in your garage, you likely store several pairs of shoes for each member of the household in addition to specialty shoes like rain boots, cleats, and perhaps dance shoes.
Therefore, you can concentrate on personalized shoe storage to make getting ready a snap. Designate specific shelves or bins for each activity, family member, etc.
6. Shoe Storage Ottoman
If you want to maintain your space’s design, but storage is sparse, double-duty furniture is the way to go. One of the best ways to store items in a small area is to have storage pieces in plain sight, like a shoe storage ottoman. You can add a stylish touch to your bedroom (plus additional seating) with a comfortable piece that showcases multiple compartments inside for your shoes, like this tufted piece from Hayneedle.
Ottomans come in countless styles, colors, sizes, and price ranges, so finding one that works within your space (and your budget) is reasonably easy to do. You can also create your own place for shoes in a regular storage ottoman by using drawer dividers or, if you’re a little handy, creating spacers out of thin wood panels.
Of course, you can also just toss your shoes inside the ottoman if you’re not concerned with separating different pairs. What’s great about shoe ottomans is you get the epitome of form and function in a single piece of furniture.
Plus, many shoe ottomans feature removable compartments, so if later on, you decide you want to use it for something larger than shoes, you can just remove the dividers.
7. Shoe Storage Bench Seat
The perfect way to keep shoes at the ready near an entryway is a storage bench. Shoe benches often turn up in mudrooms, garages, and small spaces where double-duty furniture is a must. They’re functional but without compromising your design. Some benches include open shelves, but several styles enable you to hide your shoes away. Some of these feature decorative slide-out bins, or tilt-out compartments, or even a sliding panel.
Other benches open from the top to reveal convenient cubbies for shoes (similar to a shoe storage ottoman). You can find benches ranging from rustic to modern and everything in between, so you never have to sacrifice style for storage. Plus, the bench gives you a place to sit and put on or take off your shoes as you’re coming and going.
Some benches also provide additional storage in the form of drawers, etc. They’re versatile and come in many sizes and configurations, so you can choose a design that works for your shoes. For example, if you plan to store a few pairs of boots in your bench, you can select one with taller cubbies. Some benches store a few pairs of shoes, while others can hold 18 pairs (like this piece available on Amazon) or more, so you certainly have many options.
8. Front Door Shoe Storage
The possibilities for storing your shoes near the front door are pretty much endless. You can use a shoe storage bench, shoe cabinet, hang decorative shoe shelves or hooks on the wall, use a hall tree, and so much more. Let the available space near your front door dictate the best storage for you.
For example, if your entryway is slim, opt for shelves or hooks on the wall or a narrow bench or shoe rack. You can also think vertical and opt for taller shelves that take up a smaller footprint. If you have more space to play with, go for a stylish cabinet or larger bench.
If you have a closet near the front door, you can use an over-the-door shoe rack, but hang it on the inside of the closet door to hide it from view. If your foyer features a staircase, you can create shelving and all sorts of fun features underneath the steps.
Depending on your budget, you can even get custom, pull-out shoe storage that tucks away under the stairs when you don’t need it, like this design from Home Stratosphere. If you want to have the ability to move shoes from one place to another quickly, opt for pretty bins or baskets.
9. Mudroom Shoe Storage
Nobody wants muddy and wet shoes traipsing through the house, which is why mudrooms are such a great idea. But, whether you have a full-fledged mudroom or you’ve carved out a small niche to function as your catch-all space, storage is of prime importance. Mudrooms tend to hold a lot of stuff, including coats, bags, sports equipment, and lots of shoes.
To keep things simple, you can buy a mudroom bench specifically designed to store shoes. These benches often come complete with a drip tray to catch all the stuff you don’t want on your floors. But, you can also create one just as easily, using a simple shoe rack that you place on a large baking tray or, for larger racks, an oil drip pan (you can find them at any automotive supply shop). You can also DIY your own shoe tray like this one from Hazel & Gold Designs.
If DIY isn’t your thing, you can purchase ready-made shoe trays, too. No matter how you decide to store your shoes in the mudroom, some type of tray is essential. After all, it’s called a mudroom for a reason. Shoe trays are also an excellent idea for any kind of shoe storage that you set up near an entry point, so you can keep your floors nice and clean.
10. Wall Mounted Shoe Storage
When storage space is hard to come by, go vertical, all the way up the wall if you need to! You can opt for ready-made shoe cabinets and shelves that you mount to the wall, or you can create some original storage for your best kicks. Wall hooks are another popular option where there is limited space or hang shoes from simple wooden pegs. You can also mount a small bookcase and use it as floating shoe storage.
Really, when it comes to wall-mounted shoe storage, you’re only limited by your imagination. You can create shelves out of wooden palettes, curtain rods (perfect for hanging high heels), or even large pieces of PVC pipe. Go with a rustic vibe, like these super-stylish shelves found on Etsy, or choose something elegant, retro, or contemporary. The sky’s the limit (or, in this case, the ceiling).
Many wall-mounted cabinet options feature open shelves, tilt-out shelves (perfect for keeping shoes hidden away from view), or simple cubbies. Consider the style of the shoes you plan to store, and whether or not you care if your shoes are out in the open, so you can choose the wall-mounted storage that makes the most sense for you.
11. Closet Shoe Storage
If you plan to keep all of your shoes tucked away in your closet, you can utilize any number of store-bought shoe storage solutions. Or, you can create DIY versions or use a combination of different methods. There are several variations of shoe boxes, shoe drawers, cubbies, and so much more to help you create a fabulous home for your shoes inside of your closet.
Clear containers are excellent, so you can find what you’re looking for with a quick glance. If you plan to stack shoe boxes, choose ones with flip-down lids that open from the front. This design enables you to access the shoes you need without having to move around a bunch of boxes.
You can also incorporate wall-mounted storage and shoe cabinets into your closet, as well as hooks and shoe hangers. If you have space and are looking for another fun way to store your shoes, take them for a spin (literally)! You can purchase a shoe spinner or DIY one like this design from The Owner Builder Network. 360-degree shoe spinners can hold many pairs of shoes that you can reach with a quick turn, plus they’re certainly a conversation piece.
12. Shoe Storage Basket
If you’re not overly obsessed with keeping your shoes in neat and tidy rows, baskets work in a pinch. All you need to do is toss your shoes inside, and voila! Instant shoe storage. While it’s true, you may need to dig around a bit more to find a matching pair; it really doesn’t take that long.
Plus, it’s undoubtedly preferable to having a mound of shoes strewn across the floor all of the time. Bonus? Kids will actually toss shoes into a basket while getting them to line up shoes nicely on a shelf could be asking a bit much.
To help locate shoes faster, use multiple baskets, one for each family member, like these lovely baskets from the Trey and Lucy Blog. Choose a style that works for you and your home’s decor, and select coordinating labels. In individual bedrooms, you can use shoe baskets for storing shoes by type. For example, you could have one basket for tennis shoes, one for flip-flops and sandals, and one for flats.
If you don’t have the floor space to spread out a bunch of baskets, take some inspiration from This Lil House and hang them from the wall. You could also repurpose window flower boxes and hang them on the wall or use a set of stackable, standing baskets that you typically see in kitchens for fruits and vegetables.
Shoe Storage Buying Guide
As you can see, there’s certainly no shortage of ways to store your shoes. However, organization is a very personal thing, which means not every storage method is the right choice for you and your stuff. Therefore, before you jump into your shoe storage journey head first, check out this guide to help you get your feet wet (no pun intended).
Assess What You Have
So many different unique products and DIY projects for wrangling shoes await you; you’re understandably eager to buy or build everything you can. After all, everything’s just so cute and stylish and practical, right? But, not so fast!
Before you go clear the shelves at your local Container Store (a great place for snagging amazing storage solutions), you need to figure out precisely what it is you need. In other words, as incredible as that deluxe, rotating shoe rack is, it simply might not fit in your closet. Or, perhaps, those clear shoe boxes are perfect, but you actually only need 10, as opposed to the 30 you bought.
Therefore, you need to assess what you have to determine what you need. Take a tally of all of your shoes, maybe seize the opportunity to toss or donate what you no longer wear, and make some notes. Determine how many pairs of shoes you have and the types. This step is critical, so prepare to spend most of your time on it. Take every single shoe you own and gather them all into one place to get a genuine assessment of what you have.
Consider Your Lifestyle
Once you know what you have, don’t race off to the store just yet. First, think about your typical day. Where do you get ready? Where do you end up dumping your shoes when you return home? What special activities (and therefore, special shoes) do you enjoy? Do you usually have time to spare when you leave the house or are you constantly tearing out the door at the last minute?
Your answers to these questions will play a significant role in determining the best shoe storage for you. For example, if you kick your shoes off as soon as you walk through the door, shoe storage near your entry makes sense. If you don’t like visual clutter, then closed-off storage would work better for you instead of open shelving and clear boxes. If you try and base your shoe storage purely on aesthetics alone, it’s likely not to work well for you in the long run.
Measure Your Space
Now that you have a clear picture of the shoes you need to organize and how and where you want to store them, you’re one step closer to gathering your storage solutions. But first, you need to take some measurements. It won’t do you any good to buy items that won’t fit where you want them to go. Inevitably when this happens, people are more likely to try and make what they already bought work, which usually results in an organizational system that doesn’t function as well as it should.
Take careful measurements (and write them down!) of the spaces you plan to put cabinets, shelves, shoe racks, or whatever else you’ve decided to get for your storage. It’s also important to measure your shoes. Yep, you read that right.
Now, you don’t have to measure every single pair of shoes you have, but definitely measure your tallest and shortest boots, your highest heel, and your average size shoes, like tennis shoes. This way, you can select shoe storage with the correct spacing for your shoes, or if you plan to hang shelves, it will help you determine the spacing between them.
Write everything down, take pictures of where you plan to put your storage solutions, and then you can head to the store.
Purchase Or Make Your Storage Solutions
Where you decide to get your storage supplies all depends on your budget and personal preferences. Several stores with exceptional organizing items are The Container Store, Bed, Bath & Beyond, IKEA, Wayfair, At Home, and Target. If you don’t have one of these stores locally, no worries, you can shop them all online, along with other online giants like Amazon.
However, there is something special about getting to shop for organizing solutions in person, so you can feel the items, hold them, and get a sense of how they truly function. If you’re unsure about any storage pieces, you can always get several options to try them out with your shoes (but make sure you’re clear on the store’s return policy first).
If you opt to DIY your storage, then head to the home improvement and craft stores to gather your supplies, measure twice and cut once, and take your time. Test out your pieces as you go to make sure the fit is right, and don’t be afraid to call in some help from a handy friend if you get stuck.
Put It All Together
Once you have everything you need, you can head home and put it all into place. Next, it’s time to live with your new system for a while, try it out, and see how it works. Over the next few weeks, you might make a few tweaks, but if you took the time to plan things out initially, the tweaks should be minor. Ultimately, you’ll end up with perfectly organized shoes, and you might even discover you have some extra room for a few new pairs.
Shoe Storage FAQs
When it comes to cost for shoe storage, it varies widely depending on your choices. It also depends on how many shoes you plan to store. You could spend as little as $50 if you opt for a few DIY touches, or you could spend over $1,000 if you go for custom storage options. For an average overhaul of your shoe organization, you’re likely looking at about $200 to $400.
When you decide on your list of storage solutions, take some time to price out what it will cost so you can save up for your project.
If you fully commit, you could get your shoes organized in a few hours. However, a few factors can extend this, such as needing to order supplies or build a DIY project. It also depends on how many shoes you have and how you plan to organize them. If you’re worried about getting overwhelmed, it’s best to break up the project into small, manageable chunks, so you can stay focused and on track. When you do it this way, it might be best to work on your shoe storage over the course of a couple of days.