Storage Solutions and Ideas: Shoe Organization

Many years ago, I used to shop for shoes quite often at a department store in Florida called Burdines (similar to Macy's, if you're unfamiliar with it); it doesn’t exist anymore. All the shoe salespersons knew me and called me “Imelda [Marcos]” because I was always there buying shoes!

As I got older and my taste got more expensive (sometimes) the buying slowed down, but didn’t stop. The most shoes I ever remember counting in my closet was somewhere around 160.

I was in my mid-twenties then and I worked a professional job full-time and liked to dress up. I also had a lot of discretionary income!  I was never much into jewelry; shoes were my accessory.

Can't find your shoes?  Keep reading for great shoe storage ideas...
Can't find your shoes? Keep reading for great shoe storage ideas...

I stopped working to be a stay-at-home-mom a few years ago the wardrobe demands of motherhood, unfortunately, did not call for too many shoes – and losing my salary didn’t really allow for the purchase of many new shoes either! I’ve been able to let go of some over the years but I probably still have around 100.

The crazy thing, though, is that I wear probably the same 3 or 4 pair of shoes ALL THE TIME! Mostly flip flops. Havaiianas are my favorite!

I recently found them on sale at Costco and they were the kind with the thin straps like I like (for some reason, the thinner straps look a little classier) plus a couple of Swarovski crystals on the straps - "bling"! These are my new favorite everyday flip flop!

Another crazy thing I have going on in my closet is that the majority of my shoes don’t even fit me anymore.  It makes me so sad even to say it.  During my second pregnancy, my feet grew half a size.  If you’ve ever been pregnant before, you know what I’m talking about – it doesn’t happen to everyone (didn’t happen with my first pregnancy), but it isn’t unusual for it to happen.  I’ve heard that they could go back to normal and I’ve heard that they won’t.  Here I am, 3 years later and still waiting for them to go back to a size 6.5.  I don’t think it’ll happen, but I refuse to give up my beautiful shoes! 

Okay, so all this to lead up to a discussion of the best way to store shoes and slippers. Actually, there is no one best way. It depends on your storage space, closet size, amount of shoes and personal preferences. I have tried many different storage options through the years and nothing is perfect, but here are a few of my favorites:

Find your shoes easily by attaching a photo of each pair to the outside of its box. Click to enlarge.
Find your shoes easily by attaching a photo of each pair to the outside of its box. Click to enlarge.

Inexpensive Shoe Organization

Firstly, an inexpensive option, if your shoes are still in their original shoe boxes, is to take a photograph of your shoes, preferably with a light-colored, solid background. Take that photo, print it out, crop it if necessary and simply secure it with tape or glue to the outside side of the box. This way, if your boxes are stacked up on a shelf in your closet, you can easily spot the one you’re looking for. I used to do this and many people thought I was crazy, but I think they were secretly jealous! 

Shoe Containers

Now I still have the majority of my shoes containerized individually, but in clear stacking containers, so I can easily see what is inside each one.

I have containers just like the ones to the right.  They are available in two different sizes.  The small should fit most women's shoes.

Stackable Shoe Shelves and Cubbies

The shoes that I wear slightly more often are on stackable shoe shelves that sit on the floor of my closet. I have the horizontal ones on the right.

Similarly, the cubbie style separates each pair of shoes neatly.  It is also available in a 25-pair system and they come in a few different colors.

Shoe Basket

My everyday shoes that I wear all of the time are kept in a basket downstairs by the garage door. It makes it easy to just grab and go. I do the same with my kids' shoes, in their own baskets.

These tubtrugs are awesome for all kinds of storage; this is what I use for my kids' shoes. These come in 6 different sizes and 15 different colors.  I have 4 of them and ighly recommend them for their durability, flexibility, and many uses.

Shoe Storage Benches

My exercise shoes are kept inside a storage bench by the front door. This works out perfectly because it is a convenient spot to sit while putting on and taking off shoes.

Over The Door Shoe Racks

If your closet has a normal wood door, then an over-the-door shoe rack is a great option. You can also use one of these on your bedroom door.

It's a great way to use space that would otherwise go unused!

This type is usually lightweight and can fit up to 36 pair of shoes. The Whitmor one on the right even gives you the ability to fold up unused rows to be able to fit taller shoes, such as boots - cool, right?

Revolving Shoe Storage Tree

A revolving shoe tree is another space-saving option. I used to have one of these and loved it, but I gave it away to a friend when we moved  - I had a giant walk-in closet with tons of shelf space, so I had no use for it any longer. I could probably use one now, though!

This one is available in a three-tier that holds 18 pair of shoes or a 4-tier that holds 24 pair of shoes.

Just For Men (their shoes, that is!)

My husband has one of these in his closet. Most men have significantly less shoes than ladies, so this expandable shoes rack fits the bill perfectly.

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Comments 8 comments

breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 6 years ago

I love organizers. The problem is I buy them and then find something else, and on and on it goes.


Lily Rose profile image

Lily Rose 6 years ago from East Coast Author

Me, too! I have a bad habit of wanting to change things up every few months or so - that can be costly!


dusanotes profile image

dusanotes 6 years ago from Windermere, FL

What a practical Hub. Way to go, Lily Rose. You really hit on something for all women, who tend to have lots of shoes. But 160? Imelda Rose, how could you keep them straight? Now I know, with those pictures you take and paste on each box or area of storage. Thanks, Don White


ConversantLeaders profile image

ConversantLeaders 6 years ago from Virtual USA

Has the plastic shoe storage boxes affected your leather shoes?


Lily Rose profile image

Lily Rose 6 years ago from East Coast Author

No, not in the least and some have been stored for years!

Thanks for the question, ConversantLeaders.


mythbuster profile image

mythbuster 6 years ago from Utopia, Oz, You Decide

Great hub. Oh, man I need some organizers like what are talked about on this hub...


Lily Rose profile image

Lily Rose 6 years ago from East Coast Author

Thanks, mythbuster, glad I could help!


mysisters profile image

mysisters 5 years ago

Nice Hub. Shoe organizers are definitely a must! I love the under the bed shoe organizers. I also like your idea to put them in shoe boxes with a photo of the shoes.

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