I finally came up with a shoe storage DIY that works for me. But only after a lot of ‘sole searching’ (the kind of searching you do when you can’t find the pair of shoes you really want to wear, that is)!
Before I get into the nitty gritty, I have an amusing story about my shoe fetish. I worked for a downtown creative firm many years ago and was known for keeping a ton of shoes under my desk. One year at Christmas time, because we were a creative bunch, the party committee decided to shoot a video. Every time they shot a scene, they would cut back to someone counting shoes under my desk. This was a running joke that went on for the entire length of the video! Anyway, that ‘amusement’ soon faded when the reality of the situation finally sunk in. That resulted in having to come up with a solution to store more of my shoes at home 🙂
Shoe Storage Ideas for Small Spaces
Even though I have a walk-in closet, it is fairly small space and is a cluttered mess. I want to be able to easily locate shoes at a glance. It would take a mega-storage solution to organize my myriad of shoes, but I have to think small!
The as-is section at Ikea is a great resource for finding items at a fraction of the price. When I happened upon a Pax 2 wardrobe frame floor model, I just knew that it would work perfectly as a DIY shoe cabinet! The metal shelves it came with were meant to be used for shoe storage, as shown below, but I really wanted a dust free solution so I reinstalled the shelves in a horizontal position instead.
Here’s how the shelves look:
Shoe Storage DIY – Take Pictures
This pack of ‘self laminating cards’ is only $3 for 50 at the dollar store!
For each pair of shoes, arrange them on a white board to neutralize the background. That way, you can see the shoes from the side as well as from the top. If you’re consistent with this layout, it will look organized once stacked on the shelves. Then it’s just a matter of taking digital pictures of every pair of shoes.
You’ll need to practice a little to get everything into frame. Some of my pictures got cut off a touch because of the size of the laminated card. So be mindful of this as you’re taking pictures. Leave enough white space around your photos so you won’t have to retake them again!
Our local photography store was having a sale on 6×8 prints. So I set the pictures up collage-style (four to a page) to fit them into the self-laminating cards. The card size is only 2 1/2″ high x 4″ wide. I suggest a test print in your home printer to make sure the photos will work with that size.
After the pictures are processed, trim them to size to fit into the self-laminating cards and press around the edges to seal them.
You’ll need stackable containers that will fit within the wardrobe. Because I needed so many, I waited until one of our local organizing stores was having a sale. I was able to get perfectly sized containers for $2 each. For anyone wondering what I used, the boxes are from IRIS (13.63″ x 8.13″ x 4.38″ – 6 quart containers).
Once all the laminated cards done, put some double face tape on each one and stick to the outside of the box. If you prefer, you can use clear double side tape and stick the picture onto the inside of the box facing out instead.
All that’s left is to put the matching shoes into the box, close the lid and stack onto the shelf.
The wardrobe is the perfect size to hold up to 40 pairs of shoes in these plastic storage containers (it measures 19 5/8″ wide by 13 3/4 deep by 93 1/8″ high). In addition to the metal shelving, I bought a few more so I could stack the shoe boxes 3-high between each shelf. Stacking them in this way makes it easy enough to pull one out from the bottom without risking an avalanche of the ones on top.
The beauty of this project is that it takes up little floor space in the closet. It’s only two shoe boxes wide – the rest of the space is essentially vertical air space, leaving me plenty of room for clothes storage too!
Shoe Storage DIY
With some plastic storage containers, self laminating cards, a camera and some double face tape, here’s the final shoe storage solution.
This turned out to be the best shoe storage solution for me! I can store up to 40 pair of shoes in this tower. Because of the height, I need a step stool to reach the very top but I store less-used shoes on top.
Even if you don’t have a walk-in closet and don’t have space to devote to a tower of shoes, you can still utilize the self-laminating card idea on the outside of your shoe boxes to see what you have without having to open the lid! Easy peasy and dust free to boot!
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More Storage Solutions
For more storage solution ideas, you might want to check out a few of our other DIYs….