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How to Organize Shoes in a Small Closet

Keeping shoes organized is tough enough when you have a big closet with plenty of floor space for them. It gets even worse when you have a small closet with clothes hanging nearly down to the floor.

You can’t just look in and see what shoes you have to choose from when you’re getting dressed, so you end up piling them someplace more visible, which looks like crap. Or you end up just wearing one or two pairs all the time while the other gather dust. Here’s how to organize shoes when you have a small closet.

Messy pile of shoes on floor


How to Organize Shoes

I spent a lot of time looking at shoe racks. I love the over-the-door ones, but they wouldn’t work on my sliding closet doors. They may be a great option for some of you, though.

Then there was the idea of a shelf for shoes. But it would have to be out in the middle of the room looking tacky. And it wouldn’t hold any of my several pairs of boots.

The solution that worked for me was this Sterilite under the bed box. It slides well if your bed is on a carpet or rug. It also opens easily, which is important to me. There are lots of other options for boxes like this one. Including a wooden one with wheels and no lid, which would be super quick to roll out and grab the shoes you want.

You can also choose boxes that have compartments for shoes. I avoid those because boots and certain workout shoes won’t always fit in the compartments. But if most of your shoes are all the usual size, that could work.

Storing shoes

Obviously, you can also uses boxes like these to store shoes you’re not wearing right now. That means you can get the summer shoes out of the way in wintertime. That’s a great seasonal space saver. And if you have a sudden heat wave during the fall, the sandals aren’t that hard to get at unless you put the storage box in an attic.

But if you want to put half your shoe collection away without forgetting what’s in it – or having to drag it out to see – there are a couple of other very easy options:

  • Photograph each pair of stored shoes and keep the photos in a collection on your phone, or print them out and put them somewhere in easy reach. This is also a great system if you store shoes in multiple locations around your home – you can label each photo with the location where the pair is stored.
  • Write a description of each stored pair and turn it into an inventory list. Be sure to include details such as color, style and type as well as brand – just putting “[Brand] pumps” may seem fine for now, but what if you buy a few more “[Brand] pumps” over time? Knowing these pumps are also red will help you determine whether or not you want to get this pair out, and that’s what you need to know.