Do You Have a Lot of Shoes?

Do you have a lot of shoes?  Do you also have a small closet?  For years, I lived in a house built in the 1950s.  It had the tiniest closet possible, and my husband and I were expected to share it.  And the bedroom really wasn't big enough to have a wardrobe or an armoire.  For a while, it wasn't too bad.  We didn't have kids at first, so the closets in the other bedrooms were still available.  But as we added children, we needed some shoe organization ideas for small closets.

Years later, I do have a few ideas.  There were things that worked, and things that definitely did not.  In this article, we'll talk about a few ways to make sure that your shoes are organized and hopefully easily accessible.

Lots of Shoes
Credit: Photo by Modery -

Do You Really Need All Your Shoes?

I know, you're saying, "Please don't go there!"  But I'm not saying that you shouldn't keep all your shoes.  I'm just asking if you need them all at the same time.

 Chances are, you can only wear one pair of shoes at a time.  And you probably only wear up to ten pairs of shoes a week.  If you wear more than that, I really admire your ability to put together great outfits.  

What you need to do is choose out your favorite pair of shoes.  You may want a pair of athletic shoes for exercising.  Then choose out three to four pairs of your favorite dress shoes - one or two for slacks, one or two for dresses.  If it's summer, you may want to choose a few pairs of sandals.  If it's winter, choose a few pair of boots.

Now, look at the rest of your shoes.  Are there any that you have not worn?  Are there some that don't match any of your outfits, or some that are too uncomfortable to wear?  These should go into a donate or sell pile.  You'd be surprised what some slightly used shoes can go for!

How about the rest of them?  I like to take my off season shoes and store them in a clear container under the bed.  This protects them, and keeps them out of the closet.  If I find that I get a pair out more often than I would like, I put those into the closet.

Once that is done, you will hopefully be down to under twenty pairs of shoes that will go in your small closet.  Let's talk about how to organize them.

Organize The Remaining Shoes

Once you have stored or given away/sold some shoes, you are ready to organize the rest.  But what is the best way to do this?

I have found that it's best to organize your shoes so that you can see them. That way, you can easily find what you are looking for when you want it.  The two best ways to do this are with an over the door shoe rack or shoe boxes on the top shelf of the closet.

An over the door shoe rack works well in a small closet because it fits in the space. There are models that hold between 16-24 pairs of shoes.  It doesn't take up extra room, and you can easily see what you have if you get one with clear pockets.  I like to use these for my dress shoes.

Another way to organize dress shoes or flats is in boxes on the top shelf of the closet.  Most old fashioned closets have a top shelf that may be hard to use.  You can store your shoes in clear shoe boxes, or use the shoe box it came in.  Just take a picture and tape it to the front so that you can find what you are looking for at a glance.

Boots and tennis shoes I like to place on the floor of the closet.  If you have a lot of these, you may want a floor shoe rack.  There are ones that look like little shelves, and then there are wire ones that have hooks.  These are harder to see under the clothes, so they aren't my favorite method.  But they do work well.

Enjoy Your Newly Organized Small Closet!

Once your work is done, it's time to enjoy and evaluate it.  Are your shoes easy to get too?  Have you placed your most used items in an easily accessible spot?  If you still get frustrated when you are trying to find your shoes, that's a sign that you need to either rethink where you put them, or get rid of a few more pairs.  

So there you have some shoe organization ideas for small closets.  If you have more, please share them in the comments below!