17 Creative Ways to Organize Your Shoes & Storage Solutions

Whether you’re a self-proclaimed shoe lover with a substantial collection, or you simply have a large family with countless pairs of shoes piling up, organizing your footwear is an ongoing challenge. No doubt, shoes take up a lot of space, especially in a small apartment or home, making it crucial to find creative ways to organize your shoes. It’s just as important as making sure you organize your kitchen cabinets

This is not just about freeing up floor space; it’s about providing easy access, protecting your shoes, and finding that pair you need in a snap.  That last one is me…I can’t be the only one who runs around like a crazy person looking for a matching pair to throw on to run out the door!  It’s why I’m always on the lookout for shoe storage ideas.

What is the proper way to store shoes?

1. Clean Before Storing

Always clean shoes before storing them. This removes any dirt or dust that could cause damage over time, especially if the shoes are being stored for a long period.

2. Sort and Organize by Type

Keep similar types of shoes together. Boots, casual shoes, athletic shoes, and special occasion shoes should each have their own place.

3. Use Appropriate Storage Tools

Depending on the amount of space available and the number of shoes you own, you may choose different storage solutions. Shoe racks, over-the-door shoe organizers, under-bed storage boxes, and clear plastic shoe boxes are all effective options. For boots, consider using boot shapers to help them maintain their shape.

4. Protect from Light and Heat

Sunlight and heat can cause materials to fade and deteriorate. If possible, store shoes in a cool, dark place. 

5. Store in a Way That’s Accessible

Shoes that you wear frequently should be easy to reach. Seasonal or special occasion shoes can be stored up high or in the back of the closet since you won’t need to access them as often.

6. Don’t Pile Up Your Shoes

Stacking shoes on top of each other can cause them to lose their shape and can create scratches or other damage. Whenever possible, store shoes side by side.

7. Use Inserts or Stuffing for Long-Term Storage

If you’re storing shoes that you don’t wear often, consider using shoe trees, tissue paper, or other stuffing to help the shoes maintain their shape.

8. Allow Shoes to Air Out

If you’ve worn a pair of shoes all day, let them air out overnight before putting them back into storage. This helps prevent odors and gives any moisture a chance to evaporate.

9. Rotate Your Shoes

If you have a large collection, try to rotate which shoes you wear to reduce wear and tear on any single pair.

How do you store shoes creatively?

Time for shoe fun! Use floating shelves or repurposed wooden crates for a chic exhibit. Consider a pegboard wall for a customizable display. Ever thought of transforming an old wine rack into a sandals holder? Or, how about using moldings to hang your heels? It’s your shoe gallery, let your creativity soar!

Here are more creative shoe storage ideas for inspiration! 

17 Savvy Shoe Storage Ideas

1. The Ladder Shoe Shelf

Shoe storage DIY ladder for shoe organization, creative ways to organize your shoes

Image credit goes to A Pair & A Spare.

This is truly beautiful and if you take a look at it you can see that it isn’t that hard to make assuming you have the right tools. You could get Home Depot or Lowes to cut the wood for you and then you take it home and screw everything into place. Or, I found a beautiful one on Amazon.

What I really love about this idea is that because you’re using wood that means you can paint it any way that you want. This essentially gives you the ability to put this in any room in your home and make it blend in.

2. Clear Shoe Boxes

This is an easy way to keep your shoes in good condition, especially if you have a lot of shoes and limited closet space. Clear plastic boxes can be stacked up, maximizing vertical space. The clear bins allow you to easily see what’s inside and make shoe retrieval a breeze. My son loves these because he likes to have his sneakers on display! 

3. Cooper Shoe Rack

Copper shoe storage shelf that you can create today.

Image credit goes to Fresh Crush.

I don’t like dealing with metal too much but I probably need to get over it because you can do some really cool things with it. To be honest I’ve never looked into cutting metal pipes so maybe if I can learn to do that then the world will be my oyster.

The only hang-up about this solution is that it offers limited space and I’m not too sure about building multiple racks and screwing them into my wall unless I have a permanent home. However, that doesn’t mean this solution isn’t fabulous because it really is.

4. Shoe Storage Bench

shoe storage bench is a great idea for entryways. It provides a convenient place for family members to sit while putting on or taking off their shoes. With additional storage options beneath the seat, it’s a good option for small spaces

5. Wooden Shoe Rack

DIY wooden shoe storage rack to help organize your shoes.

This looks like it would be pretty easy to build if you wanted to DIY. Or, they’re easy to find! This is great for cowboy boots, riding boots, and booties because it helps keep their shape. Obviously, you can hang any type of shoe on here though. And hey, if you get your shoes wet, you have a spot to hang them and let them dry out!

6. Over The Door Shoe Holder

A simple solution, but a great option! Hanging a shoe organizer over the entryway closet door or bedroom closet door provides easy access and saves a ton of space. This is especially handy for kids’ shoes, flip-flops, and rain boots. 

7. Shoe Crates

Entryway shoe storage idea with crates.

I loooooove organization ideas that also work as home décor ideas. Different size crates mean different configurations which means I can always change stuff up around the home.

I really love how they went with two contrasting colors to really pull you into things. The only issue with this setup is that you’re limited in the amount of shoes you can store. But then again you could just keep on adding crates.

8. Custom Closet

a luxury custom closet with shelves for purses and shoes, shoe storage ideas

If you’re lucky enough to have a walk-in closet, a custom closet may be the best way to show off all those designer high heels and tall boots. You can add pull-out drawers, shoe cubbies, and shelves of different sizes, creating a shoe cabinet that makes use of every bit of available space. 

9. Vintage Shoe Cubby

DIY Shoe Cubby plans for your shoe organization at home.

Image credit goes to Remodelaholic.

This reminds me of kindergarten and can be a great solution if you don’t mind stacking shoes. Works perfect for kids but a little less so for adults and their gigantic feet.

But you might be one of those women with petite feet so you can walk over to the kid’s section and buy the Jordans for cheap. Lucky.

10. PVC Pipes DIY Shoe Storage

For a unique way to store shoes, consider a DIY project with PVC pipes. Cut into lengths to fit your shoes, they can be stacked and secured in any configuration that fits your space, creating a vertical shoe rack that’s perfect for small closets.

11. Antique Crate Shoe Storage Idea

Vintage crate shoe storage idea.

Not much to say here.

Find vintage crates and then put your shoes in them.


12. Wicker Baskets

I love these baskets for organizing shoes! They’re an attractive option that can slide under a coat rack, sit beside the front door, or be used in mudroom cubbies. And what a great idea to label them so they don’t get mixed up!

13. DIY Plywood Shoe Rack

DIY plywood shoe storage idea.

I’m a big fine of diversity in my storage options and this plywood shoe rack definitely gives you options. Plywood is pretty easy to work with as long as you can get it cut. Once that happens you’re good to go.

The only hang-up I have with this solution is that if you build it and then don’t have the right shoes to fit in the storage spaces it can leave gaps.

14. Tension Rods

Installing tension rods in a small closet can be a clever way to create ample space for hanging heels. By creating a “new” closet rod, you can also divide a larger space into shoe cubbies. 

15. DIY Wooden Shoe Rack

DIY wooden shoe rack to store your shoes.

By now you might be thinking “Please just let me buy a shoe storage solution” but I can’t do that to you.

You need to see these ideas and embrace them.

You need to be able to put your own things together because your shoe collection is different than everyone else’s. Sometimes that means you need to look at custom solutions for things.

So grab the tools and build yourself a wooden shoe rack.

16. Storage Ottoman

This is another good idea for the bedroom or living room. An ottoman provides extra storage space while serving as a decorative piece.  In the bedroom, it looks great at the foot of your bed.  Clear the shoe clutter and start organizing today!

17. Shoe Shelf

The most magnificent shoe shelf as a shoe storage idea.

This is a dangerous solution. Why?

Because it’s the type of solution that makes you want to buy more shoes to ensure you fill up your shelves.

Nobody wants empty space on their shelves.

Hmm, the more I think about it the more I believe that the shoe industry is pimping this solution out to the world. That must be it.

How do I make more room for my shoes?

Use all the hidden spots like beneath your bed or behind doors with nifty organizers. Create a tower of shoes with stackable racks, or transform an old bookcase into your personal shoe library. Even wall hooks can become shoe holders.  

How does Marie Kondo say to organize shoes?

Marie Kondo advises us to first gather all our shoes into a single spot. Then, apply her “spark joy” principle: retain only the pairs that genuinely delight you. Arrange them methodically by category and color, storing them heel to toe. A shoe rack can significantly improve organization and aesthetics. It’s like curating a personalized shoe gallery!

How to organize your shoes without a shoe rack?

Use the bottom of your closet, or use multi-purpose furniture with storage compartments. Use labeled clear boxes or over-the-door organizers for space efficiency. Vertical space, such as walls or the back of your closet door, can be used for hanging shoe storage. Underneath furniture like beds or couches can be utilized too. Remember to group them according to their type or frequency of use.

Need More Organization Ideas?

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