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Shoe Storage Ideas: Finding Solutions That Work for You
Marilyn Monroe famously said: “Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world”. We may not all believe in shoes having such phenomenal powers – but shoes are without a doubt one of the most essential items in our wardrobes.
They may be utilitarian or glitzy, and the ‘how many shoes are too many’ debate has spurred may a long discussion between spouses. But we all wear them, and we all need to store them.
Finding great shoe storage ideas can be tricky because each home – and each shoe collection – is different. In this article, I’ll go over the essentials of shoe storage, and suggest a few products and solutions that can make your life a lot easier when it comes to your footwear.
Why Do We Need Shoe Storage Solutions?
So why is shoe storage so important anyway? There are several reasons – the most obvious being the seasons. In summer, you don’t want your rain boots out – and in winter, your platform pumps probably aren’t seeing much use.
Having adequate and proper storage for these rotating collections can make your closet much less crowded. Another idea to factor into shoe storage is quantity.
Though it’s hard to admit, most of us own more shoes than we need – please don’t tell my husband I said that! Even when the out-of-season footwear is stored out of sight, you should still be able to easily find the shoes you need – and you shouldn’t need to dust them before you can wear them.
Finally, shoes represent an investment – and you want to keep them as nice as possible for as long as possible. It makes a lot of sense to invest a little into proper shoe storage solutions.
Which Shoe Storage Ideas Will Best ‘Fit’ Your Needs?
Finding shoe storage ideas that work for you will depend on your lifestyle, the types of footwear you own, and the layout of your home. Men’s shoes and women’s shoes will require different storage solutions; likewise, boots, heels, and flats require different treatments.
Depending on the size of your home, you may have ample closet space or none.
Whatever your needs, the basic ideas behind all shoe storage, are the same. Your storage must:
- Keep your footwear dry and fresh
- Make it easy to find and access the shoes you want
- Protect your shoes from gathering dust – and not be a dust gatherer in itself
- Utilize the space you have in an efficient manner
- Provide appropriate storage for the types of shoes you own
Now, keeping your own needs in mind, let’s look at a few examples of products that do a good job of providing for these varied needs.
All Purpose Racks: Good Ideas, Basic Solutions for Various Shoe Storage
If your household owns a wide variety of shoes, an all-purpose rack is a good idea for shoe storage. These racks work for the front door, but they are also ideal for storing footwear – set one or two up in your closet and you will have plenty of room for shoes – whether they are sneakers or pumps, they’ll fit just fine on one of these.
Units like these usually stack, and this is a great way to maximize vertical space in your closet.
There are a few crucial things to look for in a rack like this – and this metal utility rack by Seville is a great demonstration of the qualities you want.
- Make sure the rack is easily reconfigured and can stack – check. This rack has adjustable shelves – if you need to remove one to allow for storing larger boots, you can.
- Look for a rack that has solid shelves rather than slats! This is crucial if you are storing anything with heels. A narrow heel on a shoe or a boot will easily fall through slats, and this is really annoying – then the shoe can become wedged, and may become damaged as you try to wiggle it out. This unit has a great mesh bottom, offering maximum flexibility for your shoe storage needs.
- Make sure the unit is easy to clean. Storing shoes = dirty. A rack like this, made of metal, will always be easy to wipe down.
A final bonus to this rack and others like it is that they come in handy around the house for many uses besides shoe storage; they provide solutions for pantry storage, office use, and even electronics.
Use Vertical Space: A Space-Efficient Shoe Storage Idea
The next favorite idea for shoe storage is vertical – those designed to hang up in your closet. This is a great shoe storage solution if you are lacking closet space.
There are units that hang on the back of the closet door, but I’ve never been a big fan of them because they often look cheap, and I dislike the way they shift each time the closet door is opened or shut.
Plus, many closets don’t have a regular door. A better solution is an organizer like this one, by Household Essentials. This unit shines for these reasons:
- It’s narrow – taking up a fraction of your closet space
- The pockets are clear, making sure your shoes are easy to see and access
- The pockets are designed to protect your footwear from dust – and the outsides are easily wiped down.
Not all hanging shoe storage ideas are created equal, and I would caution against units made entirely of fabric. I have owned one – while it did provide a functional and space-efficient shoe storage solution, it also got dirty easily and was impossible to clean – which bothered me.
Household Essentials is on to the right idea here; the only shoes might not be great for our heels and boots. If you have a lot of those to store, read on.
Under Bed Shoe Storage: A Solution for Out-of-Sight Stashing
Another idea in shoe storage is to make use of the space under your bed. This is great if you are short on closet space in your home. This type of storage is great for long-term storage – for footwear, you don’t need to access it every day.
The main feature to keep in mind here is protection; you want to make sure your shoes are protected from dust and other potential damage. So, storing them in a unit with a zippered cover is ideal.
I love this under-bed solution – a canvas shoe storage unit that ships flat and expands to offer pockets in which to carefully tuck your shoes.
Once it’s filled, you simply zip the protective cover closed and slide it under the bed. This one even features two cedar panels, which will help to keep your shoes fresh. The canvas structure allows your footwear to breathe while in storage – an important factor in keeping odors and mustiness at bay.
Two things to keep in mind: one, this may not fit boots, though it is perfect for shoes of all types; and two, you’ll want to take care when sliding this under the bed – packed with shoes, it will be heavy, and if your bed is located on the carpet, it might be helpful to add a piece of poster board or cardboard underneath to make slipping it in and out easier.
The Best Storage Idea for High-Heeled Shoes: Give Each Pair a Home
For many women, heels are the prize of the shoe collection. Often delicate, this type of shoe requires a different storage idea in order to best protect it.
Sure, there are vertical racks with one bar to support the heel and one for the ball of the shoe; but they can be tippy, and hog a lot of floor space – and they offer no protection against dust.
The best idea by far for storing your precious high heels is to give each pair its own suite: with clear, individual boxes that will protect, stack, and maintain easy visibility.
This type of storage can be done with any small, clear, lidded tote – these will keep your heels organized, clean, and visible. But in this arena, the very best idea for storage of your beautiful shoes is this style, by IRIS USA.
What makes these shoe storage boxes so much better than the rest? They stack, and keep your shoes clean and visible, just like the others – but these feature a brilliant design: each box has a door that opens on the end – meaning you can access the pair you want without removing the boxes on top.
So clever! These boxes look sharp and will make short work of tidying your closet. They’re an investment, but nothing compared to your shoe collection. You won’t be disappointed.
Not Just Shoes, Boots Deserve Smart Storage Ideas Too
While we’re discussing shoe storage ideas, we’d better not leave out boots. Whether utilitarian or glamorous, boots pose a challenge in storage because they are often tall – so to store them properly, you need a solution that keeps their shape.
Sure, you can use a boot shaper or even a rolled magazine to do this – but that still leaves your boots hogging floor space and tipping over. But, the storage racks designed for shoes often aren’t big enough for boots.
There are many products for storing boots; some are designed to hang boots up, which is great in that it helps maintain the boot’s shape. But even these can still be cumbersome in your storage zone and can have a large footprint.
You could use clear storage boxes, like those I described for heels; this protects them from dust, keeps their shape, and you can stack them neatly on a shelf – or even slide them under the bed if you don’t need daily access to them.
If you have the room, consider storing your valuable boots in their own condo – vertical storage is always a great idea, and this unit, again by Household Essentials, provides a perfect solution for boots. In this product, boots are stored vertically – with the advantage of high sides that keep them upright.
This keeps them organized, dust-free, visible, and accessible. Plus, this piece offers flexibility for storing boots of differing heights, with adjustable shelves. This unit isn’t tiny – you will definitely want to consider the measurements before ordering – but it promises to be a great storage solution for your footwear, protecting your valuable investment and making your closet a pleasant and tidy space.
I hope this has been helpful in demystifying the ins and outs of storing footwear. The best ideas for your shoe storage needs are always going to start with your lifestyle and what you wear on your feet.
But whatever your needs, there is a storage solution for your shoes – and believe me, you will not regret a minute of the time it takes to get your shoes under control and into a good home. Do it for you, but also – do it for your shoes!
I’d love to hear what works best for your shoes – maybe you have storage solutions that I haven’t thought of? Please share your thoughts!