Tips For Organizing Shoes
People never tire of making jokes about Imelda Marcos, the former First Lady of the Philippines, who amassed a collection of more than 3,000 pairs of shoes. Imagine the task of picking out a pair to wear each day. With unlimited resources to tap into, she organized them for easy selection by having floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall shelving built. But we're not all first ladies -so we need affordable ideas to store our shoes so they don't end up in a heap on the closet floor.
Cull The Herd
The first step is to gather all your shoes together in one spot. Sort them into 3 piles: Keep, Donate and Throw Away. Those that you love and wear regularly are the keepers. Those that you haven't worn in over a year but are still in good condition can be donated. Those that are beyond repair should be thrown away or recycled. Once you have a smaller collection, your shoes are easier to organize.
Next, group your shoes according to type: sandals, sneakers, flats, heels, boots, etc. For a large collection, go a step further and arrange them by color. This makes it easy to find a pair of shoes to match your outfit when you're headed out the door in the morning.
Consider Storage Options
The key is to store your shoes so that you can see them. For a small collection, the best choice is a fabric organizer that hangs over your closet rod. They range from simple pockets that hold several pairs to a multi-pocket carousel that spins for easy selection.
For a medium-sized collection, use a shoe rack, the workhorse of shoe storage. Racks are available in styles that mount over your closet or bedroom door and as floor models that you can position against an empty wall or beneath items hanging in the closet.
Open shelves are a great way to store shoes where you can easily see them. For most of us who can't afford custom, built-in shelving, the wooden 2-shelf stacker is a popular choice. It rests on the closet floor under hanging clothing and triples your shoe storage space. And in spots where the clothes don't hang low, you can stack these units 2 or 3 high.
Use the boxes the shoes come in or purchase clear plastic boxes or drop-front boxes with a window. Such modular storage expands with your collection and can be arranged in any way that suits your space. The epitome of this concept is made of wood and tempered glass and lined in cedar.
Borrow Ideas From The Fantasy
The ultimate shoe storage solution is the custom walk-in closet with shelves or cubbies for shoes. This luxurious closet is a fantasy that most of us will only see in the movies, but it does offer ideas we can borrow, such as fittings that look like furniture. Consider repurposing a cabinet or an armoire by adding shelves or pairs of tension rods inside to hold shoes. You can also use a bookcase or china cabinet just as it is.