Sneaker Structure: How to Organize your Shoes

Think you have too many shoes? Impossible! Here's how to organize your shoes and free up space so you can BUY. MORE. SHOES.

By Tina Jepson

 

Although I’m obsessed with organization in my kitchen, garage, and even the kid’s playroom, shoe organization has always been a struggle for me. It seems like I’ve been trying to find the perfect way to stack and showcase shoes my entire adult life. Once we added children to the equation, the problem only amplified. My home was (is?!) bursting with dozens and dozens of shoes, from itty-bitty jellies to my “I’m never letting them go” 90s Doc Martens.

 

It took a while — a very long while, but I finally found some great ways to keep my shoes neat and tidy. Surprisingly, some of the best shoe organizers are simple to make or readily available at your nearest big box store.

 

If you’re eager to learn some easy ways to organize your shoes, check out these six tips.

 

1. Use the Back of Your Closet Door

The backs of your closet doors are the first source of bonus space for your shoes, and fortunately, there are a few high-quality shoe organizers on the market made to fit behind your door.

 

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Photo by dreamstime

 

Choose a style with deep pockets and loose, semi-stretchy material, such as cotton or breathable mesh, so that even your platform heels can fit comfortably. While clear plastic is a good option to view your shoes, it traps odors and can eventually be a recipe for a smelly, unventilated disaster. This is a simple renovation idea that requires practically no work. 

 

2. Store Shoes Underneath Your Bed

If you’re really pressed for space, use the space under your elevated bed to store your shoes. Again, avoid closed plastic containers or anything else that’s liable to restrict air flow. DIY-savvy shoe-lovers can make custom-build two-tiered shelves, making sure the wood you purchase is at least 12 inches long to fit varying shoe sizes.

 

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Photo by bigstock

 

You can also purchase similar two-tiered shelves at any home improvement or shopping supercenter in the home storage department.

 

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Photo by dreamstime

 

3. Try a Shoe Carousel or Shoe Wheel

Shoe carousel and shoe wheels are great for shoe aficionados living in a studio or small apartment with limited closet space. For both designs, the concept is virtually the same: place your shoes in a small compartment on a metal wheel and spin to find the shoes you’re looking for.

 

While it may not be the prettiest shoe storage option, you’ll get bonus points for maximizing your space.

 

4. Repurpose Pegboards or Slat Walls

The usefulness of pegboards and slat walls isn’t just limited to garages and sheds. In fact, they’re extremely handy for shoe storage. The materials are available at home improvement stores. Simply purchase a pegboard or slat wall, cover it with the paint color of your choice, and then use decorative pegboard hooks. Once everything is set up, hang shoes by their heels.

 

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Photo by courtesy of fixturescloseup.wordpress.com

 

For an even cheaper alternative, when you learn that a nearby store is going out of business, ask if they’re selling their pegboards and slat walls. You may wind up getting a really good deal.

 

5. Install Shelves Underneath Your Clothes

While it may surprise you, older reach-in closets that haven’t recently been outfitted with new shelves and rods are usually prime for an extra shelf for shoe storage.

 

If your closet has a single rod located about 84 inches from the ground, consider installing a single shelf 12-18 inches from the ground. That way, you can sit shoes your shoes on and below the shelf and still have ample space for your clothes.

 

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Photo by bigstock

 

Tip: If you have lots of dresses, suits, and pants that are hanging in your closet, make sure you leave enough space between your shoe shelf and your low-hanging clothes.

 

6. Purchase Shoe Boxes in Bulk and Get Snapping

It’s possible that you already have a closet with built-in shoe shelves, but you may still be unhappy with your shoe situation. (Believe me, I understand!) To tell you the truth, the simplest way to tackle all those shoes is right under your nose.

 

Use shoeboxes!

 

Of course, a hodgepodge of mix and match shoeboxes isn’t attractive or necessarily helpful in keeping you organized. Therefore, it’s best to purchase blank shoe boxes made of strong corrugated cardboard. You can find these online. Then, take a picture of each pair of shoes you own, print the photos, and glue them to the front of each shoebox so you know what pair goes in each box to keep them organized.

 

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Photo by bigstock

 

Voila! Now you have a clean and uniform shoe system.

 

Whether you took the 2007 “Let’s get some shoes” viral video to heart or just can’t let go of your favorite shoes from decades past, then you’re probably swimming in them right about now. Don’t worry! At least one of the shoe organization tips above can help you organize and store your flip-flops, platforms, tennis shoes, and boots so they’re ready when you need them, but otherwise neatly stored away.

 

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Photo by bigstock