Stylish shoe storage ideas you need to know

Do you have a serious shoe fetish? Are all your shoe storage boxes and shelving overflowing with heels, sneakers and the like? Peter Walsh’s advice might do you some real good…

A few years ago, when I was working on The Oprah Winfrey Show, I helped a couple who had a serious clutter problem declutter their large house.

It was a huge project that took months. By the time we finished, we had found more than 3,500 pairs of women’s shoes. We also found 200 odd pairs of men’s shoes.

Do you really want to face this many shoes each morning? Picture: Getty

Some people LOVE their shoes. In fact, it can be incredibly difficult for some people to part with the shoes they don’t even like anymore. So, because of that, I’ve learned some ways of making the most out of shoe storage solutions.

Here are some of my favorite shoe storage ideas.

Declutter your shoe collection before you start considering Peter’s shoe storage ideas. This scene would be less appealing if there were dusty, ripped shoes on display. Picture: Getty

1. Use racks for shoe storage

Shoe racks really are worth the investment. If you don’t have a set of shoe racks available to you, then be clever and buy some or make some that might work. I’ve seen shoe racks made from just about everything (some PVC piping, wine crates, old bookcases).

What do you have lying around that could work? If you’re not the DIY type then visit a local home improvement store where you’ll find something that will work for you.

Shoe racks are practical and can double as stylish decor with extra seating functionality. This Scandinavian-style shoe rack from Kmart costs just $35. Picture: Kmart

2. Store shoes away immediately

It’s easy to kick shoes off and leave them lying wherever they might happen to land. They pile up fast, get ruined, and make the rest of your floor space pretty unusable.

Get into the habit of sitting on a chair or bench, taking your shoes off and holding them in your hand until you go to your closet and can put them away neatly and immediately.

3. Heels with heels and flats with flats

Group like types of shoes together. When you’re looking for an athletic shoe, you want to be able to see your choices in front of you quickly and easily (same thing with a dress shoe, and so on). The only way to do that is to make sure that you’ve put all the same types of shoes in the same area.

As we tend to buy similar things over and over, this technique will also help you realize that perhaps you do have more than enough pairs of a certain type of shoe.

By storing shoes based on category and shape, the owners of this wardrobe would know exactly how many pairs of heels, flats, and trainers she or he has. Picture: Getty

4. Shoe boxes make a good shoe storage solution

Let’s talk about boxes. I’m not a fan of keeping original boxes unless the shoes are very special and need that kind of protection. If not, the better way to go with boxes is to invest in a set of clear acrylic boxes that are all the same size.

With those, you can easily see what you have inside each box, and yes, your shoes do get far more protection from dust and critters.

If you opt for clear acrylic shoe storage solutions, your shoes will be stay in good nick. Picture: Getty

If you do end up keeping the original boxes, then I’d suggest you take a picture of one of the shoes, print it out, and adhere it to the outside of the box. That way you’ll immediately know what’s inside without having to pull the box down from the shelf.

5. Stack shoes cleverly

In general, a left shoe fits nicely on top of a right shoe if you reverse it and put their faces next to each other. Two shoes become basically one rectangle. These small rectangles take up less space than the individual shoes placed side-by-side.

You may find an elastic band to go around the width of them making them little bricks that can then be stacked (carefully) on top of each other. These should live within a shelving system of some sort because you can’t go too high without the entire pile collapsing down in a shoe eruption. But, if done right, you can save quite a lot of space and create shoe storage that works well for you.

Be creative with shoe storage solutions. This vintage cabinet looks funky and has ideal sized drawers to store neatly stacked shoes. Picture: Tamara Graham

6. Shoe storage needs ventilation

You want to store your shoes in a well-ventilated area. If your shoes have to be stored in the back of a closet, make sure you throw some satchels of baking powder in a few of the shoes.

Trust me, this small tip will help avoid that lingering foot odour that no one wants. Especially if there are lots of shoes and lots of active people wearing them.

If your shoes get worn regularly and need to be aired, store them in an open rack located in a well-ventilated area. Picture: Ikea

Wishing you all best and I hope these shoe storage ideas help you get your wardrobe sorted.

Originally published as Shoe storage ideas from Peter Walsh by Peter Walsh. Author at