Shoes. Can we really have enough of them? We have different pairs for different functions. This pair for going to the gym, this pair for casual walks, sandals for the beach, dress shoes for work, slippers for cold weather, and boots for the rain. The list goes on and on. The mere suggestion of getting rid of some of them is blasphemy. The problem, however, is storage. Where do you put them all when they aren’t on your feet? How can you store them so that they don’t clutter up the floor in the closet?
If you’re struggling with shoe storage solutions, read on to learn about our top five DIY storage hints.
1. Hang Them Up
One of the challenges shoe storage presents is the amount of floor space that they occupy. Instead of using floor space, use wall space. This solution works especially well if you have lots of heels.
Hanging crown molding on the wall in rows parallel to the floor mimics a bookcase and is a very inexpensive way to add vertical storage. Shoes can be hung by the heel on top of this molding. If wall space is at a real premium, you can mount a row of molding near the ceiling in your closet for seasonal or special occasion shoes.
You can also repurpose other products at the hardware store. A bath towel rod or coat rack hooks can both be used to hang shoes. These two products both come in a plethora of different styles and colors. You can vary the hanging pattern on the wall to organize shoes and create interest. Coat rack hooks are nice to use as they work for more than just women’s heels.
If you want to move things around and reorganize your space, you may want a more temporary storage solution. You can build a ladder out of inexpensive wood—paint, stain, and age it to fit your style. Shoes can be stored hanging from each of the rungs.
2. Make Designer Shoeboxes
There is much more to shoeboxes than the brightly colored boxes that contain shoes at the store. You can buy matching boxes that will fit your shoes. By using matching boxes, you get a more uniform and organized look. The boxes should be stackable so they can be easily rearranged. You can rotate them to keep your sandals at the top in the summer and your slippers handy when the weather turns cold.
The most crucial point to consider when using boxes is to make sure that you can find the shoes you are looking for without opening every box or dumping the stacks on the floor. Using clear plastic bins allows you to see what each box contains. There is no guesswork. Larger flat containers work well for boots as well.
For solid opaque boxes, consider another labeling method. A label maker can make quick work of this task. Type a description of the shoes on a label for each box. If you are more of a visual person, you may prefer to take a photograph of each pair of shoes to affix to the outside of your boxes. This idea is especially attractive if you use polaroid style pictures. Alternatively, you could use the snapshot to create a luggage tag style label for each box.
3. Build Shoe Shelving
Adding shelving is probably one of the most common ways to organize shoes. One of the big benefits of installing custom closet designs is the addition of extra shelves. These shelves can be personalized to your needs, creating larger spaces for boots and smaller ones for tennis shoes and flats. If a custom closet isn’t in the budget right now, there are ways to add shelving yourself to augment your existing shoe storage.
Shelving can be added anywhere you have extra wall space. Most of the time, shelving for shoes does not take up very much horizontal space and can be pretty shallow. It can be added to a smaller closet, nook, or hallway. As shoes are light, you can use just about any material to build shelves. Weathered barn wood, copper pipe, and painted wood are just some of the options from which to choose.
The creativity in using shelves to store shoes comes in how you arrange your shoes on the shelves. If maximizing storage is what you are after, you might try arranging your shoes toe to heel on the shelf. You might be surprised at how much space you save over facing all the shoes in the same direction. If you have room for deeper shelves, you can place your shoes in two rows with commonly worn shoes in front and special occasion shoes behind them.
4. Put Them on Display
At the heart of each shoe collection are some unique pieces – perhaps your wedding shoes, or a showy pair you save for fancy occasions. If you have showpieces in your closet, you might consider putting them on display intermixed with other shelf display items. These shoes may show well amidst a fancy purse, plants, small artwork, or pictures. Play around with ideas and see what works for you. A fancy armoire or bookcase with glass doors can be an excellent frame for these display items. This furniture has the added benefit of adding moveable storage space.
5. Get Creative With Cubbies
Cubbies are best suited for smaller shoes. Kids’ shoes, sandals, and flats lend themselves well to this type of storage system. You might initially think of evenly spaced squares or rectangles, which is an option, as is using sections of large PVC pipe to create storage spots for smaller shoes in a child’s closet.
However, if you take some creative license with materials and shapes, you can create something unique. By varying the size and shape of the cubbies, the cubbies take on a whole different look. You could use rustic crates to give variation in material. Then, place shoes of different shapes, sizes, and colors in each opening. The visual effect can be quite attractive.
A collection of shoes can present a significant storage challenge, but the options for solving the problem are endless. If you get creative with the space that you have and purchase a few supplies, you can organize your shoes in a way that will suit your needs. Find a material you like and create something that fits your style.