How to Organize Shoes

A round-up of clever ways to keep shoes organized

shoes separated using closet dividers


Shoes are notoriously hard to organize as anyone who's ever spent fifteen rushed minutes look for a mate to the shoe that's on their foot. But there are plenty of shoe organization ideas and storage options that keep shoes streamlined and easy to find. From drawers, to build-in shelving, or to labelled plastic bins, here you'll find a round-up of shoe storage ideas that will never you (and maybe even your kids) wondering where you left your shoes.

Whether you're using a closet kit or system, opting for a custom closet, or woking on a DIY closet idea, these shoe storage solutions will be helpful when it comes to finding shoes and saving space.

  • 01 of 31

    A Shoe Shelf

    shoe storage on a shelf


    No room in your closet? No problem. A bookshelf devoted entirely to shoes is a great way to maximize space and make your shoes part of the decor. A shelf with open sides, like the picture above, also makes it so that you can see your shoes from any angle. You could use any other tricks on this list too, like dividers or vertical stacking to create even more space.

    Continue to 2 of 31 below.
  • 02 of 31

    Dividers for Shoes

    shoes separated using closet dividers


    Using acrylic shoe dividers help keep sandals separate and easy to organize, plus it looks chic in a closet. In a pinch, file dividers or small plastic partitions would also work. With a system like this, it's also super easy to remember where to put each pair of shoes back.

    Continue to 3 of 31 below.
  • 03 of 31

    Sneakers on Closet Shelf

    shoes on a closet shelf


    Sneakerheads will love being able to see all their kicks at once so they can decide what's best for the day. You can choose whether to organize them on shelves by color, type, or brand. And when they're visibly displayed in a room as opposed to inside a closet, they add a major wow factor.

    Continue to 4 of 31 below.
  • 04 of 31

    Color-Coordinated Shoe Shelves

    color coded men;s shoes on shelves


    This built-in shelving unit for for men's shoes is so dreamy. It looks clean and crisp, and a set-up this streamlined will make it hard to pick a pair. Here the shoes are loosely organized by color, but you could also arrange by type, occasion, or brand.

    Continue to 5 of 31 below.
  • 05 of 31

    Color-Coordinated Sneakers

    sneakers arranged on shelf front and back


    If closet floor space is limited, don't forget to look up. Here, sneakers look elevated (literally) when they're placed above the hanging rack. Pro tip: you can always put a step stool in your closet if the upper shelves are tough to reach. Arranging shoes front to back can sometimes help to maximize space too.

    Continue to 6 of 31 below.
  • 06 of 31

    A Narrow Shoe Shelf

    shoes organized on narrow long closet shelf


    Ample shoe storage in a reach-in closet is totally doable. Sometimes all you need is a narrow shelf to add a bit of organization, and if your shoes are smaller or it's a kids' closet, you'll be able to fit two pairs side-by-side. This narrow, tall shelf fits perfectly between two wide shelves and also works to break things up visually.

    Continue to 7 of 31 below.
  • 07 of 31

    Shoes in Labelled Bins

    shoes in labelled plastic bins

    Neat Method Milwaukee

    Clear bins take shoe organization to the next level. Sure you can see the shoes but this takes it to the next level because each bin has a clear label with pretty white cursive stating what shoe's inside.

    Continue to 8 of 31 below.
  • 08 of 31

    Shoes on Shelves

    shoes on shelves


    These gorgeous custom shelves have a small lip on the end to keep shoes from falling off. If you don't have the option to have your closet professionally done, then you can still recreate shelves using a closet system. These shelves are tall enough to fit booties, so you don't have to store anything sideways.

    Continue to 9 of 31 below.
  • 09 of 31

    Shoes to Match Clothes

    white shoes on shelf in closet

    Take a color coordinated closet to the next level by placing shoes on a shelf above clothing of the same color. Here, white and neutral shoes are placed above beautiful white blouses. Even just simply arranging your shoes in color orders makes you instantly feel more organized.

    Continue to 10 of 31 below.
  • 10 of 31

    Shoes in Shallow Drawers

    men's shoes in closet drawers


    A slim shoe drawer is a wonderful way to keep shoes organized and tucked out out- sight. Because these have slightly open fronts, you can still catch a glimpse the pair you want even when the drawers are closed. The area of the closet below the hanging clothes often doesn't get used, and this system keeps shoes off the floor and orderly.

    Continue to 11 of 31 below.
  • 11 of 31

    Shoes Labeled by Brand

    sneakers labeled by brand


    One quick way to get organized is to label clear binds with the brand or type of shoe you put inside. This way, everything has a spot, but if you own more than one type or brand of shoe, you don't have to be too precious about putting it in the exact right bin. A simple (an inexpensive) alternative is to keep shoes stored in their original box, though because shoe boxes are different sizes, they may not store as neatly.

    Continue to 12 of 31 below.
  • 12 of 31

    Shoes Organized in Mudroom

    shoes in drawer in mudroom

    Miss Annie

    Pull-out drawers that you can see into are a great way to store smaller kids' shoes, especially in a shared mudroom closet which needs to pack a lot in. Here, shelves hold boots and taller shoes, and loose shoes stay grouped together in bin-like drawers. This frees up shelf space for larger items like extra paper foods, dog food, beach toys, and whatever else you're storing in the hold-all front closet.

    Continue to 13 of 31 below.
  • 13 of 31

    Wire Bins

    shoes stored in labeled wire bins


    Once again, you can't go wrong with a labeled bin. Low wire bins are easy to see into and easy to pull out. They also tend to be a bit lower than plastic bins, so they take up less vertical space and may even stack.

    Continue to 14 of 31 below.
  • 14 of 31

    Built-in Shoe Shelves

    built in shoe shelves


    It's never a bad idea to store shoes with one facing forward and its mate facing backward. This way, when you're picking out shoes for the day, you can see both the front and the heel height. Here, the shoes are also loosely arranged by color giving everything an organized look.

    Continue to 15 of 31 below.
  • 15 of 31

    Stacking Shoe Shelves

    stacking shoe shelves


    Stacking shoe shelves add a ton of extra storage to a closet. Plus, if you have a big shoe collection and are renting, shelves that are built-in are a great solution. In many cases with metal shelves, you can adjust the space between shelves to accommodate for flats or give extra room for taller shoes like boots.

    Continue to 16 of 31 below.
  • 16 of 31

    A Standing Shoe Rack

    standing shoe rack in organized closet


    This stunning closet uses drop front shoe boxes (so the front slides open and you don't have to take down the box to pull off the lid), and a standing shoe rack to keep flats organized. There's much to love about this orderly and colorful closet, and the shoe organization ideas are just the beginning.

    Continue to 17 of 31 below.
  • 17 of 31

    Color-Coordinated Shoes

    rainbow organized shoes in beautiful primary closet

    Studio DIY

    Got a thing for rainbow colored shoes? Show off your colorful collection by arranging shoes by color, or even in rainbow order. It'll be easy when you know you want to wear red or blue shoes or when you're looking for something more specific.

    Continue to 18 of 31 below.
  • 18 of 31

    Risers for Shoe Organization

    high heels organized on risers


    Shoe holders (which you can find at The Container Store and other similar stores) add vertical storage that would otherwise go unused. Since the shoes are stacked instead of side-by-side, you can fit in double the pairs, which is always good news for shoe lovers.

    Continue to 19 of 31 below.
  • 19 of 31

    A Shelf for Shoes and Bags

    book shelf for shoes and bags


    Give bags and shoes their own home by dedicating a shelf just for them. Whether it's built-in shelving or a rental-friendly bookshelf, this type of storage adds both style and function to your space. And if you have a ton of shoes (or a collection you can't wait to show off) you could dedicate the entire shelf to shoes, or get a more narrow shelf so it stands alone.

    Continue to 20 of 31 below.
  • 20 of 31

    Vertical Shoe Storage

    vertical shoe storage


    The sky's the limit when it comes to shoe storage. Think vertically with these chic acrylic boxes that are actually clutch holders turned on their sides. When you use vertical space, you'll be surprised at how much room you have left-over on the floor and any other shelves.

    Continue to 21 of 31 below.
  • 21 of 31

    Stacked Drop Front Clear Boxes

    stacked clear shoe boxes


    No closet? No problem. Drop front shoe boxes stacked up are an amazing way to store sneakers, and because you can see into them, you'll never forget what you have. These are from The Container Store and in the drop front style, the front slides open so you don't need to take down all the boxes above to get a shoe at the bottom.

    Continue to 22 of 31 below.
  • 22 of 31

    Organized Kids' Closet

    organized kids closet with shoe shelf

    Neat Method NYC

    Kids' closet can get messy fast, to put it mildly. Having a system in place, like shelves dedicated to those cute little shoes helps you and your kid actually be able to find both shoes when you're hurrying out the door. More narrow drawers are also a great option to keep shoes tucked away until you need them.

    Continue to 23 of 31 below.
  • 23 of 31

    High Heel Storage

    high heel storage

    Neat Method NYC

    Display those heels, so you can enjoy them even when you're not wearing them. A low bar around the toes helps to keep them in place and you'll never forget what you have when you can see all your shoes.

    Continue to 24 of 31 below.
  • 24 of 31

    Kids' Shoe Storage

    kids shoe storage


    It's so much easier for kids to pick out their own shoes when they can clearly see them all. Here, acrylic dividers keep everything organized, and taller boots hang out on their own making it easy for your child to see and grab whatever suits their mood.

    Continue to 25 of 31 below.
  • 25 of 31

    Open Shelving

    open shelving storage for shoes


    If you're lucky enough to have shoe storage shelves in your closet, pack your shoes in tight. You'll never forget what the back of the shoe looks like when you store them this way.

    Continue to 26 of 31 below.
  • 26 of 31

    Shoe Space Savers

    shoes on plastic space savers


    These shoe space savers lend vertical space to a closet. Whether you have a big or small closet, it's always a good idea to maximize space by stacking shoes (because you don't really need to see both), and plastic dividers help to keep shoes from sliding off each other.

    Continue to 27 of 31 below.
  • 27 of 31

    Men's Shoe Storage

    men's shoes on shelves


    Even a narrow shelf is perfect for displaying shoes. Here, each shelf perfectly fits three pairs of shoes, though if you were to squeeze, you could add even more. When displayed like this, it's easy to grab on the go.

    Continue to 28 of 31 below.
  • 28 of 31

    Small Closet Shoe Storage

    shoe storage in shared front hall closet

    Neat Method NYC

    A hall closet is one of the most notoriously difficult places to organize in a home because there's always so many unrelated things tucked inside. Here, a simple shoe rack keeps the whole family's shoes looking organized, while behind the door storage keeps odds and ends loose.

    Continue to 29 of 31 below.
  • 29 of 31

    Shoe Cubbies

    wooden shoe cubbies

    Neat Method NYC

    If you have the space, give each pair of shoes it's very own cubby. It looks professional and keeps each pair distinct. You could recreate this for less using a cubicle bookshelf, or if you're going all out with a custom closet, this style is worth building in.

    Continue to 30 of 31 below.
  • 30 of 31

    Shoes as Part of the Decor

    shoes on floating shelves in room

    Laura Cattano Professional Organizer

    Store shoes outside of the closet and they instantly become part of the room's decor. Here, floating shelves display shoes and bags in an artful, thoughtful way. Taller boots and high tops can rest on the floor underneath.

    Continue to 31 of 31 below.
  • 31 of 31

    A Shoe Bag for Kids' Shoes

    shoe bags used for kid shoes

    Laura Cattano Professional Organizer

    Sometimes a simple plastic shoebag is the best solution. You'll get maximum space in a kids closet because this bag fits inside the door, in a spot that would otherwise go unused. Plus, because it's clear, kids' can pick out their own shoes, and if you don't have the closet space, these work well behind a bedroom door or in a hall closet.

It's too easy to lose one shoe, or to forget about pairs you already own because you can't see them. These shoe storage solutions not only keeps shoes neat and organized, but they make life just a little bit easier when it comes to getting ready for the day. And if you're a shoe lover, you'll love how your collection seamlessly becomes part of the decor.