36 Clever Shoe Storage Ideas to Tidy Up Small Spaces

Shoes and bags stored in a walk-in closet

Calimia Home

Shoe storage can pose a challenge, especially when it comes to small spaces. Instead of allowing sneakers to pile up by the front door and dress shoes to get damaged in over-stuffed cabinets, gain some inspiration and clever tricks to maximize space to store your shoes in a neat way—no matter how small your space is.

We're sharing 36 clever shoe storage ideas to tidy up small spaces and keep your favorite pairs in mint condition.

  • 01 of 35

    Use Clear-Front Shoe Boxes

    Shoes organized in plastic boxes

    @afreshspace / Instagram

    Store shoes in boxes that have clear fronts so you can quickly find the pair you're looking for and flip lids for easy access. They look neat, typically have vents to allow for good air circulation, and they are stackable to save space.

    Place the boxes on a shelf, on your closet floor, or under the bed for space-saving storage.

  • 02 of 35

    Hang an Over-the-Door Organizer

    Shoes in an over-the-door organizer

    @nycneat_louisa / Instagram

    If your closet shelves are bursting at the seams, maximize space by hanging an organizer over the door. It's an inexpensive and non-permanent way to add extra shoe storage and typically has multiple fabric or clear plastic pockets.

    The organizer is very versatile as it can also be used to store other items such as seasonal accessories, jewelry, or toiletries.

  • 03 of 35

    Mix Open and Closed Shelving

    Closet with open shelves and storage baskets

    Finding Lovely

    If you are in the process of designing a closet, make sure to incorporate both open and closed shelving to accommodate various types of clothing, shoes, and accessories. Keep in-season and frequently worn shoes on open shelves for convenient access and store out-of-season pairs. For example, during the winter season, store away flip-flops in baskets or behind closet doors.

  • 04 of 35

    Place Wicker Baskets in the Entryway

    Wicker baskets under a bench

    Calimia Home

    Large wicker baskets provide a great spot to store casual shoes in your entryway. Not only are they sturdy and not easily destructible, but they also bring in a textural element and a natural material. Use one large basket for everyone or go with smaller, individual baskets for each household member to stay organized.

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  • 05 of 35

    Install Floating Shelves

    Shoes on floating shelves

    Laura Cattano Organizational Design

    Floating shelves offer flexibility and versatility that a built-in or freestanding shelf doesn't, as you can position them exactly to your liking. Hang floating shelves in your closet or bedroom and use them to store heels, sandals, and other lighter or more occasionally used pairs.

  • 06 of 35

    Group Shoes by Type

    Shoes organized on shelves in a closet

    @nycneat_louisa / Instagram

    A good organizational system is key to saving space and keeping shoes from getting damaged. Sort them into groups and store them as such; these could be heels, boots, sneakers, summer shoes, event-only pairs, and so on.

  • 07 of 35

    Hide Them in the Coat Closet

    Coat closet in an entryway

    Casa Watkins Living

    If you have a coat closet in or near your entryway, use the built-in hidden storage for your shoes. Store them on the floor, hang an over-the-door pocket organizer, or bring in a tiered rack to keep everyone's shoes neatly organized instead of them piling up by the front door.

  • 08 of 35

    Store Shoes in the Garage

    Shoes under skateboards hanging in a garage

    @afreshspace / Instagram

    If you keep sports equipment in your garage, keep the coordinating shoes next to it so you can grab all your gear in one go when needed. The shoes can be neatly placed on a shelf while the skateboards are hung above them to keep everything off the ground and in their designated places.

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  • 09 of 35

    Install Custom Closet Shelves

    Closet with custom shoe storage

    Casa Watkins Living

    When it comes to installing custom closet shelves, create a storage system that best suits your needs, the types of garments and shoes you own, and the size of your closet. Dedicate an area of your closet to shoes; go through your shoe collection first and discard any damaged and never-worn pairs, then sort them into categories to be able to estimate how much shelf space needs to be dedicated to shoes.

  • 10 of 35

    Organize Shoes on a Mat

    Mudroom with a mat for shoes

    Design by Priscilla Frost; Styled by Emily Henderson; Photo by Sara Ligorria-Tramp

    During the cold, wet months, keep a door mat inside your entryway or mudroom and store outdoor shoes on it to prevent trekking dirt all around the house. A coir mat is a durable, sturdy choice that gets mud off the soles and allows shoes to fully dry.

  • 11 of 35

    Add Floor-to-Ceiling Shoe Storage

    Shoes and bags stored in a walk-in closet

    Calimia Home

    Think vertically and add floor-to-ceiling shelves inside your closet so that not an inch of space goes wasted. Leave enough height on some shelves to hold tall boots and hang others closer to each other to hold flats, flip-flops, and sandals. This will help you fit more shelves in and give the closet a custom look.

  • 12 of 35

    Label Boxes

    Photos of shoes attached to brown boxes

    Jeffrey Coolidge / Getty Images

    If you don't like the look of shoes being stored in bulky, different-colored boxes, purchase a set of uniform brown shoe boxes. Then, take a picture of each pair of shoes and attach it to its corresponding box. This will create a neat storage display while allowing you to quickly identify where each pair is located.

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  • 13 of 35

    Go With Industrial Shelving

    Shoes on freestanding shelves in a closet

    @afreshspace / Instagram

    If you're looking to store a large number of shoes in your closet or garage, go with industrial shelves. You can typically adjust the position of the shelves and while they are solid and sturdy, they can also be easily moved. It makes them a good option for renters who aren't able to install a custom closet or add built-in shelving systems.

  • 14 of 35

    Place a Shoe Rack in a Closet

    Shoes on a rack in a closet

    @nycneat_louisa / Instagram

    Place an inexpensive tiered shoe rack inside your coat closet to keep it organized and make use of vertical space. It still allows you to hang up coats and jackets and even an organizer over the door if you want to get as much storage out of the small space as possible.

  • 15 of 35

    Use Clear Storage Bins

    Baby's closet with shoes in clear bins

    Finding Lovely

    Clear storage bins allow for an uncluttered, clean finish when it comes to closet storage and organization. While they may not be large enough for adult-size shoes, they're a functional and pretty way to hold baby and toddler pairs.

  • 16 of 35

    Get a Metal Shoe Rack

    Shoes on an organizer in a closet

    @afreshspace / Instagram

    Install a metal shoe rack in your closet to maximize vertical space and store shoes neatly. Some of the main benefits of this storage solution are that it takes up very little space since the rack can be mounted directly on the wall or a closet door. It'll keep shoes accessible and easy to grab since they are out in the open.

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  • 17 of 35

    Store Shoes on Freestanding Shelves

    Shoes organized on shelves below hanging clothes

    @nycneat_louisa / Instagram

    If you live in a rental that doesn't provide much built-in closet storage or you're not up for a big closet remodel in your own home, bring in freestanding shelves. Place shoes directly on the shelves or inside shoe boxes that can be stacked so that you can fit in more pairs.

  • 18 of 35

    Build a Mudroom

    Built-in mudroom storage

    Kate Marker Interiors

    If your home size, style, and budget permit, consider adding a mudroom with built-in shoe storage. Typically located at the back of the house, you enter a mudroom through a garage or a back door, and the room's main purpose is to prevent trekking dirt inside.

    The most practical built-ins combine multiple different types of shoe storage; shoes can be organized in cubbies on the floor, in wicker baskets, or in closed cabinets, which are great for out-of-season shoes that need to be stored away for the season.

  • 19 of 35

    Line Boots Along a Closet Wall

    Boots lined along a closet wall

    @afreshspace / Instagram

    Boots can be a challenge to store because of their height. If you own a large boot collection that doesn't fit on a shelf or inside shoe boxes, line them along a closet wall instead of squashing them down and potentially damaging them. If needed, purchase boot inserts to help them keep their shape.

  • 20 of 35

    Incorporate Built-In Storage

    Built-ins with storage baskets

    Kate Marker Interiors

    Built-in storage is one of the best ways to customize a space to your needs, whether it's shelving to hold books in the living room or cabinets to store shoes in your entryway. Supplement open built-in storage with wicker baskets for shoes—not only will they add a nice textural element to the space, but they're also an inexpensive storage vessel that's perfect for holding casual everyday pairs of shoes in a neat and organized way. This will help prevent cluttering the floor.

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  • 21 of 35

    Add Wire Baskets

    Entryway with built-in bench and wire baskets

    Thomas Barwick / Getty Images

    In addition to wicker baskets, wire baskets are another excellent option. The open weave construction allows for the shoes to air out and dry. Visually speaking, they bring in a modern look and neutral color that easily fits in with other home decor.

  • 22 of 35

    Bring in a Storage Bench

    Wood bench with drawers

    Kate Marker Interiors

    When working with a small entryway where you need shoe storage and seating, go for furniture pieces that play double-duty, such as a shoe storage bench. The top provides a spot to sit and tie your shoes (and a surface for cute throw pillows) while the bottom drawers or shelves offer space for in-season shoes you wear on a regular basis.

  • 23 of 35

    Make Use of a Boot Rack

    Boots on a metal rack

    Janine zdemir / EyeEm / Getty Images

    A metal or wood boot rack is specifically designed to hold rain boots, hiking boots, and snow boots. Instead of the shoes standing upright, hang a boot on each of the posts to help them dry faster. Keep the rack in a space where you don't mind the floor getting wet, such as the garage, mudroom, or entryway, or place a tray or mat underneath the boot rack to catch any mud or water.

  • 24 of 35

    Roll in a Clothing Rack

    Shoes and clothes on a metal rack

    nzphotonz / Getty Images

    A rolling clothing rack offers extra hanging space for garments, but usually also features a shelf on the bottom that can accommodate multiple pairs of shoes. This is a great way to organize outfits for the week or prepare what you'll pack for a trip—hang clothing on the top and place the coordinating pairs of shoes on the shelf for a clear overview of your full outfits.

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  • 25 of 35

    Build Storage Around a Door Frame

    Shoe storage built around a door frame

    Liudmila Chernetska / Getty Images

    Get creative with your shoe storage and build shelving around a door frame in your closet or entryway. Lots of space close to the ceiling goes unused when it could serve as functional storage, which is where custom built-in shelves or even inexpensive floating shelves that are easy to hang come in handy.

  • 26 of 35

    Get a Tiered Shoe Rack

    Shoe storage bench with shoes, umbrellas and coat

    Liudmila Chernetska / Getty Images

    A tiered shoe rack is a freestanding piece of furniture that's perfect for an entryway or closet. Its multiple shelves have open storage so you can easily see and grab the pair of shoes you need. Depending on its height, the top surface of the shoe rack often doubles as a bench where you can sit, or if it's a console-style top, you can drop your keys and place a small table lamp for extra lighting.

  • 27 of 35

    Don't Forget the Laundry Room

    Mudroom and laundry room combined

    Kate Marker Interiors

    The utilitarian nature of a laundry room lends itself well to holding a shoe rack, storage bench, or built-in shelves. If shoes need to be washed or cleaned, they're already in the right spot for it with cleaning supplies and rags already on hand.

  • 28 of 35

    Add a Custom Shoe Wall

    Shoe wall in a closet

    Gray Space Interiors

    If your shoe collection extends beyond a couple of shelves, you may want to consider a custom-built shoe wall for your closet. Maximize space by building it from the floor all the way up to the ceiling for an extra sleek look. Add wireless cabinet-style lights to highlight your favorite pairs, turning the shoe wall into a display.

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  • 29 of 35

    Display Shoes in Cubby-Style Shelves

    Closet with cubbie-style shelves

    Laura Cattano Organizational Design

    Cubby-style shelves are a good way to make use of a narrow vertical space that's not large enough to fit a freestanding shelf, but too big to let go to waste. Depending on the shelves' depth, store one or more pairs on each, in addition to other items such as handbags, travel toiletry bags, and various accessories.

  • 30 of 35

    Use a Shoe Cabinet

    A white entryway tree next to a shoe storage piece

    Tetiana Soares / Getty Images

    A shoe cabinet is a narrow shelf with doors that swing open horizontally and has multiple interior compartments. It's a great choice for a small space such as a narrow hallway or tiny entryway, as it doesn't take up much square footage. Its diagonal position in which the shoes sit inside the cabinet fits a substantial number of pairs.

  • 31 of 35

    Install Metal Rods

    Shoes organized on shelves

    @nycneat_louisa / Instagram

    For an elegant, custom-design finish, install metal rods on the front ends of closet shelves to protect your high heel shoe collection. This will give your closet a high-end look and create a designated spot for your collection of heels.

  • 32 of 35

    Store Shoes on Wire Shelves

    Wire closet shelves with shoes on them

    Gizmo / Getty Images

    Use wire shelves to store any shoes other than heels that could potentially fall through and get damaged. These shelves are inexpensive, readily available in multiple standard sizes, easy to keep clean, and are a practical addition to any cabinet or closet.

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  • 33 of 35

    Add an Island

    Walk-in closet with island shoe storage

    Kendall Wilkinson Design

    If you have a walk-in closet that has enough negative space in the center to accommodate an island, either install a built-in one or bring in a freestanding one that can easily be repositioned as needed. Use open shelves to store shoes and various shoe accessories, such as polish, cleaning brushes, or extra laces.

  • 34 of 35

    Hang Heels on a Rack

    Shoes hanging from a rack

    Rachel Barringer / Getty Images

    Designed with angled shelves to hold shoes on an angle, a high heel shoe rack will keep your favorite stilettos and pumps neatly organized. Instead of the shoes taking up floor space, it has multiple vertical tiers and sturdy construction to hold a large collection.

  • 35 of 35

    Utilize Hidden Storage

    Shoes on shelves inside a built-in wardrobe

    Tina Ramchandani

    While open shelving is great for convenience, hidden storage is just as useful and necessary. Some of the benefits are the neat appearance since shoes aren't on full display, the lack of dust they'll collect, and no light damage.