Organizing Shoes: 10 Best Tactics for Keeping Shoes Clean

Shoes are notorious for scattering around a home, making shoe organization strategies vital for anyone who wants to put an end to clutter and get the whole family in and out of the house with the least amount of hassle every day. .

Whether they’re stored in an entryway, a closet, or even under a bed, shoes can get misplaced without solutions to keep them clean and easy to find.

Here, we’ve rounded up our favorite shoe organization tips for keeping aisles uncluttered, closets tidy, and bedrooms tidy.

Organize shoes – ideas for the home

In many homes, shoe storage ideas are found in a variety of places, and consistency as to which pairs go where is important. But it is also vital to avoid the accumulation of shoes that are no longer worn. Use these shoe organization ideas to organize your own.

1. Edit your collections

Shoe cabinet with cubbies and white doors in bedroom with neutral carpet, green rug and chandelier

(Image credit: Future Publishing Ltd Photography: Antony Crolla)

Before you start organizing shoes, take the time to assess the entire family’s collections and make an attempt at decluttering. “Try on all shoes and boots,” says professional organizer Brenda Scott of Tidy My Space. “Make sure they fit properly and check if they need to be repaired or cleaned.” This is especially the case with children’s shoes, Brenda points out, because they grow up so fast.

“Only keep the pairs you like and actually wear,” she adds. “If any caused blisters or were uncomfortable the last time they were worn, they should be donated.”

2. Decide on locations

In most homes, shoes are stored between different places, so take the time to decide where they will fit best. Looking for entryway closet ideas? Or organize a hallway closet to store shoes in the hallway? Maybe you are reconsidering your starter room storage ideas? Or create space in the bedroom?

“Only keep the shoes you currently use every day near the door you use every day,” recommends Brenda Scott. “For example, winter boots and maybe a pair of shoes or slippers to wear around the house and change into. In hot weather, turn it off so that there are only one or two pairs of sandals and shoes for each person at the door.

3. Organize shoes in an entryway

Entrance hall with stone floor, coat hooks with bench and baskets below, and cupboards above

(Image credit: Future Publishing Ltd Photography: Jonathan Gooch)

It is imperative to organize shoes in an entryway so that they do not clutter it, making it difficult to pass through the space. Ideally, you could have an entry cloakroom, but failing that, you need to have a plan.

“Save your family from tripping over misplaced shoes by placing a shoe rack or cabinet with cubbies nearby to keep your shoes neat and organized,” says Marty Basher, organization professional at Modular Closets.

Alternatively, and especially with young children at home, opt for containers or baskets. “Shoes can be kept in a trash can — preferably a trash can that you don’t need to take out,” says Andrea Wolf of Organize Detroit. “The likelihood of a shoe ending up in a trash can is much greater if you don’t have a two-step process.”

Prefer to store your shoes in a hall closet so they can be kept out of sight until you need them? To maximize closet capacity, add a shoe rack under any hanging rail to hold shoes neatly. Predicting that the family won’t necessarily place their shoes on the rack? A container can work here instead.

Be aware of the caution of not keeping too many pairs in the entryway, even if they are in a closet. “Narrow them down to what you use regularly,” says Amanda Liford, professional organizer and owner of Easy Life Organizing, who recommends keeping only one to three pairs here. “The cute pair of heels are comfortable to wear, but if you only wear them once a month or less, put them away until you need them so they don’t get damaged.”

5. Store your shoes under a bed

under bed storage ideas with shoe box

(Image credit: The Container Store)

Go for shoe organization with under bed storage ideas and it’s possible to keep many more pairs neat and tidy.

“If you haven’t considered keeping seasonal shoes under your bed, you’re running out of quality space,” says Marty Basher. “Invest in hard boxes or plastic storage bags to keep your summer shoes organized during the winter months.”

If you think it will be difficult to fit a particular pair of shoes under the bed, try this strategy from Vera Peterson, president of Molly Maid, a Neighborly company. “Pile your boxes under your bed, but instead of having to pull out all the boxes to find the ones you want, attach a photo of the shoe to the end of the box for easy selection,” she says.

6. Treat sneakers

Athletic shoes can take up a lot of space in a family home, so it’s essential to organize them so they don’t cause clutter. “Make sure first that if it’s out of season, that gear isn’t in an active area,” says Andrea Wolf. “Active areas should only have regularly used equipment.”

Also, make sure these shoes can dry out after use. “I like to install a small trash can so that the sports shoes can air out,” says Andrea. “If space is limited, keep them in the trash with the other shoes.”

7. Store your shoes in a closet

Clothes Storage Ideas with Shoe Storage

(Image credit: Boca do Loca)

To organize shoes in a closet, use clever closet organization ideas that make it easy to find the perfect pair for every occasion. “Sort your shoes by type and color, grouping all tall boots together, for example, then separating tall boots into different colors,” suggests fashion expert Maria Juvakka, founder of Chic Pursuit.

“Line these shoes up on your rack or shelf and repeat until every last category is complete. Then, when you go to pick up a pair of sandals, you head to the sandals section of your shoe collection and “shop” by color to find a pair that matches your outfit perfectly.

8. Extend the life of shoes

How you store and organize them can influence how long the shoes last. “Ideally you want to keep them dust free, and it’s best to put them in boxes,” says Yolandie Hamilton of Mind Your Style. “It is also beneficial for the longevity of the shoe to keep it dry and in shape. Stuff the shoes with a muslin cloth or acid-free tissue paper to wick away moisture. If you want to be resourceful, the small sachets of silica gel can be collected in a small pouch to also dry the shoes.

“It’s also important to make sure the shoes are clean before putting them away,” she continues. “The longer the dirt remains on the shoe, the greater the risk of damage.”

9. Optimize space with shoe organization systems

Shoe cabinet

(Image credit: Future Publishing Ltd Photography: James Merrell)

The way the shoes are laid out can help put more on without clutter. “Choose to store and display pumps on slanted shoe racks,” says Marty Basher. “Slanted shelves make it easy to choose the perfect pair of shoes for any given day. Store your shoes from heel to toe to save even more space.

But shoes can also be arranged to make an impact. “Get creative and consider using an accessory like a small antique ladder or a towel rack to display some of your favorite shoes,” Marty suggests. ‘Snag the bar heels to show off your favorite sets.’

10. Treat Boots

Organizing boots can be a little more troublesome than organizing shoes. “Boots have different specifications with a tendency to roll over and take up a lot of unnecessary floor space depending on their length,” says Marty Basher. “Consider filling them with plastic bottles to keep them upright and organized.” Another option if you have extra storage space is to hang them on a closet rod with specially designed boot hangers.

When it comes to snow and rain boots, it’s worth investing in a boot bin for the entrance. “It protects the floor and you don’t end up walking through puddles in socks or bare feet,” says Brenda Scott.

What’s the best way to organize your shoes?

In many homes, shoes are kept in different places, often in the hallway and in the bedrooms. “Shoes kept in an entryway or back door should always be limited to shoes that are part of the current rotation. It’s usually seasonal,” explains Andrea Wolf.

Organize the remaining pairs in closets. There are a variety of systems to choose from, each of which can make it easier to find shoes. “You can organize your shoes by type, like sneakers, dress shoes, sandals, and more,” suggests Dan Wiener, founder and chief interior designer of Homedude.

“You can also organize your shoes by color,” he continues. ‘This can be useful if you have a lot of matching shoes. Another way to organize your shoes is by occasion. For example, you might have a separate shoe rack for work shoes, party shoes, and casual shoes.

“One final way to organize footwear is by season. This can be useful if you only want to release certain shoes in certain seasons or have limited storage space.

How do you organize shoes in a small space?

To organize shoes in a small space, it’s worth investing in shoe bins. “Shoe bins are a great option because they’re stackable, they can hold lots of shoes, they’re widely available, and they’re usually transparent, so you can quickly choose the pair you want to wear,” says Marty Basher.

In a small closet, shoes can be arranged to fit additional pairs. “Twisting one so the heel pops out saves space on a shelf and lets you see the heel of a shoe,” explains Andrea Wolf. “You’ll also save space on a shelf by placing one shoe in the hollow of the other.”

If the closet floors can no longer hold shoes, use the doors. “An over-the-door storage system works great,” says Brenda Scott.

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