Shoe storage can be an absolute nightmare. When I was in high school I used to just chuck all my shoes down the bottom of my cupboard. Then I’d frustrate myself cross-eyed every morning trying to find both parts of a pair. I actually went to work one day wearing two different shoes. It was the 90s and all my shoes were chunky, clog-like slip ons so they all looked the same. I also worked at a newsagent and my Sunday shift started at 7am, meaning that I had to get dressed way before my brain had reached the minimum level of functionality. On this day I ended up wearing one brown shoe and one maroon shoe. It wasn’t so much embarrassing, just surprisingly jarring. They had slightly different height heels so I spent the day standing on a tilt. It was rather unpleasant. Anyway, it was after this incident that I started exploring different options for shoe storage and I realised that most people need a combination of different storage methods to meet their needs and that this changes depending on their living situation. For example I currently live in a small flat, so I use a Plastic Box/Under The Bed Roll Away Storage combination. In my last flat, I was blessed with ample closet space, so I used a Hanging Plastic Rack/Upright Rack combination. It’s all about finding the perfect system to suit your daily needs and keep yourself sane so you don’t end up chucking a Cher Horowitz and emptying your entire wardrobe because you can’t find your white collared shirt from Fred Segal.
The 6 Secrets of Successful Shoe Storage
Clear Plastic Boxes
This is one of my personal favourites and has made shoe storage a breeze in my tiny flat. I have about 10 to 15 clear, plastic foldable boxes and I store one pair of shoes per box. These boxes are then stacked neatly up the top of my cupboard. Mine are from Pink Lily and I love them because you can unfold them and store them flat when they don’t have shoes in them. I recommend that you only store occasional shoes in this way like fancy high heels or boots that you only wear in really cold weather because it’s fairly time consuming to pack and unpack the boxes if you’re trying on several pairs with an outfit. It’s perfect for fancy heels though because it keeps them out-of-the-way for everyday dressing and also keeps them looking gorgeous because they haven’t been trapped at the bottom of your cupboard for months on end being spooned by your skanky Uggs.
These racks are perfect for everyday shoe storage and can be kept at the bottom of a cupboard, near your front door in the foyer or in the laundry for things like football boots or gardening shoes. It’s best to keep shoes that you wear on high rotation on a rack like this as you have limited space and you don’t want the high heels that you wore once to your year twelve formal getting in the way of your early morning efficiency. No one’s got time for that shit. Keep shoe racks functional by using them only to store a few everyday staples.
Hanging Shoe Storage
These are a fantastic space saver so they’re perfect for small living areas. The trick with plastic hanging racks is to remember that they appear to be an everyday storage solution but they’re actually a bit of a pain in the arse. I recommend keeping occasional shoes in a rack like this and don’t be getting greedy and shoving two or three pairs in each console. That’s abusing the system and it WILL result in early morning stabby stabs. Use these to store fancy shoes and off-season foot wear and shove it right to the side of your wardrobe so your clothes don’t get too annoyed.
Under The Bed Roll Away Storage
I don’t want you to get too excited here but this is THE BEST solution ever in the history of me telling you stuff. I own a Karton bed, which is made out of cardboard, but the best thing about it is that it has four really long cardboard drawers underneath. I keep all my everyday shoes in there, as well as my gym gear. The biggest mistake that people make with shoe storage is that they store their shoes ‘out of the way; which means that they’re constantly having to move other things to get to them. If you have space under your bed, invest in a few roll away drawers and you’ll be able to see all your shoes and access them really easily. Roll away drawers are game changers, I promise.
A friend of mine lives in a tiny flat with no cupboard. I know. I totally cried when I saw her place. I mean, it’s adorable but what about the shoes??? She came up with a brilliant solution. She bought a sturdy square stool that’s hollow inside and she stores her shoes in there. It’s the perfect solution for a small apartment. Not only does she have a great place to store her fancy footwear but she also has extra seating for guests. Brilliance.
This solution is for those who are blessed with space so if you have a large bedroom or ample living space, why not display your shoes as works of art? There are some great storage systems that you can have installed in your home, like this one from Howard’s Storage World or you can get a free-standing shoe closet like this one from Babooshoe. Some shoes are so beautiful, it’s such a shame to keep them locked away.
1. Split your shoes into 2 categories – everyday and occasional – and store them accordingly.
2. Be sure to adapt to each new environment and choose 1 or 2 storage systems that fit your current living situation.
3. Make life easy for yourself. Store your everyday shoes in a place where you can put them away without a huge amount of hassle. No one needs to be messing around with a complicated boxing system on a daily basis.
How do you store your shoes? Do you throw them down the bottom of your cupboard? Or neatly stack them in individual boxes.
P.S Jonathon The Organisation Crustacean was drawn by my mate Arran McKenna and he has classes in Canberra if you want to learn to Draw Fun Stuff.