If you have lots of shoes and boots but little space, or your shoe/boot collection has outgrown your mid- or full-sized closet, it’s time to get creative with your shoe storage solutions.
Let’s begin with the biggest culprits of space wasting: boots. If you have two or more pairs, you know what a conundrum storing them can be. They don’t stand up straight and often topple over, crumpling the shaft material. Plus they take up so much room! Room that can be put to much better use, whether your closet is tiny or spacious. And since even those of you who live in your boots need to take them off at some point, you’ll need a better way to organize them than a heap on your floor or shelf.
If you have a spot on a shelf where you can store your boots, consider doing so, but in containers: You can use the box they came in, purchase plastic containers that are boot-sized, or even store multiple pairs of boots in a large basket. To keep the boot material from creasing, you’ll need something to fill the space where your legs go when you’re wearing them. You can purchase products specifically made for that purpose. The materials these are constructed from will range — on the inexpensive side — from cardboard to plastic, and on the pricier, sturdier side will include natural materials such as cedar (which also has excellent odor-fighting properties). Insert these boot liners before you place your boots in containers.
Expert tip: Place sachets inside each container to fight odors. You can also make your own: Grab some clean cotton material (you can repurpose a t-shirt, for example), cut out a piece roughly the size of your hand, sprinkle some baking soda inside, then gather up the material and tie it with a twist-tie or ribbon or rubber band.
Another creative way to store your boots is on a hanging boot organizer. Shop around online for a product that’s both sturdy and has a compact footprint. And read the reviews to make sure that the product will fit your particular needs.
You can also use clip hangers to hang boots, but take care that the clips don’t leave marks on the boot material.
If you have multiple pairs of high heels, multiple solutions exist for creative organization.
One idea is to hang them by their heels from a baseboard installed onto a wall: Grab pre-cut pieces from your local hardware store, or repurpose an old art or photo frame. (Make sure the baseboard is level so that the heels don’t slip off, and well-secured to the wall with either screws or nails.)
A pegboard with holes that are large enough to place the tip of the heel through is another good way to store multiple pairs of heels. You can dedicate a side wall to this pegboard — or hang it on either side of your closet door. Fill up any remaining space on the pegboard with hooks in various sizes, on which you can then hang scarves, purses, belts, necklaces. Voila! Your very own personalized accessory board.
Another simple space-saving trick for heels is to arrange them toe-in, toe-out.
Regarding other types of shoes: That toe-in, toe-out trick will work on all shoes, so begin there if you’re storing your shoes on shelves. Arrange your shoes by type so that you’ll know at a glance which types of footwear is versus hunting all over the place.
Sandals and Flip-Flops
If you have numerous pairs of sandals of flip-flops, these have a very slim footprint that is conducive to some fun storage solutions: First, place them so that the soles are touching, and then slide them into the slats of a milk or wine crate. And because it’s super frustrating to lose one flip-flop, keep them together by tucking pairs of flip-flops or sandals into wine gift bags (especially ones that have been re-gifted so many times they’re starting to look a bit too creased). Hang these bags on hangers, or the afore-mentioned pegboard.