How To Organize Shoes

Shoes can be a problem area in any closet or bedroom. Unless organized properly, shoes can end up in a jumbled mess at the bottom of your closet, under your bed, or anywhere else in the house you happen to take them off. This can be very frustrating when you’re hurrying to find that perfect pair of pumps to go with the outfit you have chosen for a night out with friends. The more shoes you have, the more unruly they may become. Following these simple steps and keeping with a routine can help you keep your shoes in good shape and in good order.

What You Will Need:

  • All your shoes
  • Closet space to store them
  • Shoe organizer (type will vary)
  • Shoe boxes
  • Camera
  • Tape

How to Get it Organized:

  1. Find all your shoes (be sure to check under the bed) and bring them all to one central location.
  2. Match up your shoes, discarding any pairs that are old, worn, damaged, don’t fit or are missing a match. Remember, if you are getting rid of a pair of shoes that you personally don’t like, but which are still in good shape, consider donating them to a local clothing bank rather than throwing them away.
  3. Once you have assembled all the matched pairs you wish to keep, take a picture of each pair.
  4. Divide your shoe pairs by season. Take the shoes that are not going to be used for the present season, and place each pair in a shoe box (for instance, if it is winter, you will probably not be wearing your white open-toe sandals, so they get placed in the shoe box). Tape the picture of each pair to its respective shoe box and place the shoebox on a storage shelf (either in your closet or wherever else you store your seasonal clothing), making sure the picture is facing so that you can see it (the picture will make for easy identification).
  5. Take the pairs that you intend to use for the current season and separate them by either color or type (your choice).
  6. Once you’ve separated your shoes according to your chosen criteria, place them in the shoe organizer. The shoe organizer you choose should fit your particular storage needs. For instance, if you have a large, walk-in closet, you may prefer the horizontal “cubbie” type shoe organizer or shoe rack that sits on the floor of your closet underneath the hanging clothes. If you do not have much closet space, you may consider the over-the-door type of organizer, which hangs on the back of any door and contains numerous pockets for storing shoes vertically. You can find a variety of shoe organizers at super-stores such as Wal-mart or K-mart, or online at such sites as
  7. When placing your shoes in the organizer, place the shoes you use most frequently at the most accessible spot. Place the shoes you use less frequently at the least convenient spot. For instance, if you are not that tall, you may want to place the most frequently used shoes at the bottom and middle of the organizer and the less frequently worn pairs at the top.
  8. When the current season ends, exchange your seasonal shoes for the ones stored away. Place your current season’s shoes in their own shoe boxes for storage, again, taping a picture of the pair on the outside of the shoe box for easy identification. Arrange your new season’s shoes in the shoe organizer using the same system as you did in step 6 above.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • This system of shoe organization will only work if you keep up with it. That means you must discipline yourself to replace your shoes in the proper spot when you’re done wearing them.
  • Try keeping a laundry basket or crate by the front door if you routinely take your shoes off when entering the house. Keeping your shoes in that basket or crate until you have time (and energy) to put them away will keep them from getting lost or kicked around, and will keep your entranceway uncluttered.
  • Along with your shoes, keep an extra jar of shoe polish and an extra soft cloth in your shoe organizer for quick touch-ups before and after wear. You may also want to keep some extra shoe laces, heel pads, or any other shoe accessories that you use periodically with your shoe organizer so that you have them easily available when you need them.
  • If you don’t have, or can’t find, shoe boxes to store all your off-season shoes, plastic storage containers can be used and, although a little pricey, will last you a long time.
  • If you have a lot of shoes, you may need more than one shoe organizer, so make sure you pick a spot with appropriate space.
  • If you have an overabundance of shoes, you may consider designating a closet in your house specifically for shoes. Any small closet can be modified as a shoe closet by adding slanted shelves to hold your shoes (slanted keeps the shoes in place while allowing you to see what you have).
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