Courtney Craig

Shoes: We’ve all got them, some of us always want more of them, and we all need a system to store them.

Organizing your shoe collection can be a challenge, especially if you live in a small apartment – but even if you hoard footwear of all shapes, sizes and colors a la Carrie Bradshaw, there’s a storage solution out there for you.

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And we’re not just looking at you, ladies – men love their shoes, too. So how can you make your shoe collection walk the line instead of two-step out of control? Read on:

1. The Horizontal Floor Rack

This is a perfect solution if you’ve got a long, narrow closet: Just balance your shoes on the rack, and if you’ve got some vertical space to play with, get a rack that has two or three tiers. This will keep your shoes off the floor, organized by pair, and easy to grab when you’re rushing to get dressed. Floor racks are easy to find at home goods stores and cost as little as $10.

2. Over the Door

A popular solution for those short on floor space, over-the-door shoe racks are great for flip-flops, flats, and low-profile sneakers. Just hang the plastic or metal rack over the top of a closet door (and make sure you’re still able to close the door), then fill the rack with as many shoes as it’ll hold. Now your shoes are organized and your floor space is clear for other storage needs. Over-the-door shoe racks also are easy to find at home goods stores; expect to pay around $8 at the least.

If you've got the vertical space, use it -- your shoes can fit nicely on a set of shelves.
If you've got the vertical space, use it — your shoes can fit nicely on a set of shelves.

3. Up the Wall

If you’ve got room for a vertical rack in your closet, make use of that space by going up the wall with your shoe collection. You don’t have to buy a rack specially made for shoes – an old bookcase will work, or even some simple shelves attached to the wall. How much you’ll spend depends on what kind of shoe shelf you construct and what materials you use.

4. Stacked Shoeboxes

If you’ve got space to stack, keep your shoes in the shoeboxes they came in and organize them in a tower. If you’re ultra-organized, print a photo of each of your pairs of shoes and attach the right photo to the outside of the box – that way, you’ll know at a glance which box you need. Even better, this storage system won’t cost you a dime (aside from the shoes themselves, of course.)

5. Hung From a Ledge

Ledge shelves provide a creative way to store high heels.
Ledge shelves provide a creative way to store high heels.

This is especially useful for high heels – just buy a simple ledge shelf at any home goods store, attach it to the wall, and hook the heels of your shoes over the lip of the shelf. It’s simple, effective, and only about $20 per shelf.

6. In the Fireplace

Hear us out: You don’t use your fireplace in the summer, do you? Then there’s no reason you can’t keep shoes in there, especially if you can close the fireplace doors or metal curtain to hide them from sight. If you’re fond of making fires in the wintertime, of course you’ll have to find a different storage solution for your shoes then – but if you use your fireplace for shoe storage any time of year, we won’t tell.

What’s your most creative shoe storage solution? Share with us in the comments below!

More on storage solutions for your apartment:

Photo credits: Shutterstock / Natali Glado; Flickr / Collin Anderson, mmadden

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About The Author

Courtney Craig is a writer and contributor for the Apartment Guide Blog. She rented apartments for 12 years in 4 cities before buying her first house in Atlanta.

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