Between sneakers, boots, heels, and flats, it can be tricky to keep your shoes from overtaking the wardrobe. The key to staying organised is to create a system that works for you!
The good news is that there’s a huge range of stackable and expandable shoe racks, shoe boxes, shoe drawers and over-the-door shoe racks out there. No matter how many pairs you have, keeping your shoes organised will in turn keep your home organised, with the added benefit of protecting shoes from damage!
When organising your shoes, the main things to consider are:
- Look for a shoe organiser that works for you. If you’re a shoe fanatic, look for a stackable or modular system that can grow with you.
- Don’t waste space on shoes you don’t wear anymore. If you haven’t worn them recently, store them separately from the rest of your shoes or consider donating them to charity.
- Choose a shoe rack that will complement your current wardrobe setup. Unless you’re looking to renovate the wardrobe, the right shoe organiser for you is one that works with your existing shelving system.
How to store different types of shoes
Flat shoes are the easiest kind to store. From freestanding racks to over-door and hanging organisers, you'll have no problem finding a home for these pairs. If you decide on shoe boxes or drawers, you may be able to fit several pairs in each box!
Look for freestanding shoe racks with angled support rails, or angled shoe stackers; these are perfect for heeled shoes. Over-door or wall-mounted racks can be used, but be careful that the heel doesn't damage your door. Thin heels may also damage hanging wardrobe organisers made from fabric.
Shoe boxes and hanging organisers are suitable for ankle boots. Taller boots are best stored on a dedicated boot rack, or in an under-bed storage box. If you have a flexible shelving system like Elfa, use shallower shelves to store accessories and other small items between the boots and the wall.
Everyday sneakers can be stored anywhere. When storing high-tops, ensure you have 15-20cm of clearance between shoe rack shelves or inside a shoe storage box.
Top shoe storage tips & hints
- To keep shoes protected from dust, choose transparent shoe boxes or shoe drawers. They’ll keep your favourite pairs safely stored and easy to see. You can also use clear storage bags for those special occasion pairs.
- Shoe trees and boot shapers will help shoes maintain their shape and prevent creases.
- Use a moisture absorber in the wardrobe to minimise musty smells. Cedar wood products tackle bad odours and also keep moths, silverfish and other creepy crawlies at bay.
- Store your most frequently worn shoes front and centre. If you’re storing them over the door, keep them at eye level or within arm’s reach. Likewise, if you’re using a freestanding shoe organiser, put your everyday pairs on the top shelf so they’re easy to grab and go when you’re in a hurry.
- Just like with your seasonal clothing, switching shoes out between summer and winter is a great way to create space. You can store seasonal shoes under the bed, in clear storage bags or on your top shelf in airtight storage containers.
- Consider which areas of your wardrobe offer the most potential storage space. If you have plenty of hanging space available, use this before taking up room on the floor. Likewise, don’t use a hanging shoe organiser if it will displace other clothes.
- Don’t forget to regularly clean and polish leather shoes to keep them in good condition!
Where to use different types of shoe organisers
Use a freestanding shoe rack for flexibility
There are several options available, making these shoe racks perfect for any and every wardrobe. Expandable shoe racks offer a perfect fit for most spaces, and many are also stackable. This makes the most of vertical space underneath hanging clothes.
Shoe racks with fixed shelves are a more heavy-duty solution. Use a non-expandable shoe rack if you're storing boots or lots of shoes, as the expandable racks can bow over time if heavily loaded. This style of shoe rack is usually available with 2-5 levels of storage.
Use an over-door shoe rack if you've got the room
Don’t waste that space if you’ve got it! These over-door shoe organisers keep shelf and hanging space free, while keeping your shoes easily accessible. Many over-door models can also be screwed into the door or onto a wall if you’re looking for a more permanent rack.
Elfa’s Utility Wall & Door system can be hung on the door or screwed to the wall, with baskets that can be adjusted to any height on the vertical band.
Use a hanging wardrobe organiser if you've got heaps of hanging space
We’ve all seen these wardrobe organisers around, usually in a long, slim form factor. Flats and dress shoes are a great fit for these skinny wardrobe organisers, but the wider models (sometimes called sweater or jumper hangers) can also be used to store ankle boots, sneakers or two pairs of flats per shelf.
If you've got lots of shoes to organise, use shoe boxes or drawers
Perfect for large shoe collections or those blessed with lots of wardrobe shelf space, these organisers keep your shoes protected from dust while maintaining visibility.
You can stack them up to create a full-blown shoe library (remember to keep your regular pairs within arm’s reach), or to store shoes you don’t wear all the time.
When your wardrobe has run out of space, use under-bed storage boxes...
All you need is 15-20cm of space under the bed to create a discreet, space-saving shoe storage solution. Under-bed storage boxes are a great place to store seasonal shoes, shoes that you don’t wear often, or shoes that won’t fit in the wardrobe.
...or store your shoes in another room!
You can use larger freestanding shoe racks and shoe benches to organise shoes in the living room, in the hallway or by the front door. Many have comfortable padded seats or practical timber tops that turn a shoe rack into a functional hallway table.
And if you need a whole wardrobe makeover, choose a flexible, modular storage system
If it's time to say goodbye to your current wardrobe, make sure you take your shoes into account when planning the new wardrobe.
Modular shelving systems like Elfa have come a long way over the years, and there are plenty of genius ways to organise shoes. From solid melamine shelves to gliding pull-out shoe racks, you'll be spoiled for choice!