36 Clever Shoe Storage Ideas to Tidy Up Small Spaces

Shoes easily pile up and create clutter in small spaces. Proper organization is key to making the most of limited square footage. With some clever solutions, you can effectively store shoes and keep your entryway, closet, or mudroom neat.

There are many innovative options to consider when selecting shoe storage for a small home. Rethinking where you put shoes and utilizing dual-purpose furnishings and vertical space are great ways to tidy up while maximizing every inch.

We will explore 36 clever shoe storage ideas to help you organize your footwear and reclaim space in your small home.

Utilize Wall Space Above Entryways

The area above doorways in entryways and mudrooms offers an excellent opportunity for shoe storage. Often this space sits empty when it could easily accommodate shelves or racks.

Some smart solutions for using this vertical real estate include:

  • Wall-mounted multi-tier racks – Choose metal, wood, or plastic racks with multiple tiers to hold shoes. Stagger footwear on the levels for the most space.
  • Floating wall shelves – Install floating ledges or shelving units to display shoes. Cubbies keep pairs together and prevent them from falling over.
  • Over-the-door shoe bags – Hang a shoe organizer over the door to stash shoes overhead. Use clear plastic bags to easily see contents.

Make sure your wall-mounted system is properly secured and can support the weight of your shoe collection. Measure first to maximize the available space.

Benefits of Wall-Mounted Storage

  • Keeps entryways clutter-free
  • No floor space needed
  • Easy to access shoes by the door
  • Optimal use of vertical area
  • System stays neat since shoes are hidden from view

Create a Custom Shoe Cabinet

For more enclosed storage, build or buy a shoe cabinet to tuck away next to an entryway. A custom cabinet with cubbies, shelves, or drawers keeps shoes tidy and out of sight.

Consider these cabinet ideas:

  • Repurposed furniture – Refashion an old armoire, file cabinet, or dresser by adding shelves sized for shoes. Repaint or stain to match your decor.
  • Under-stairs cabinet – Make use of awkward under-stair space by building or buying a cabinet customized to the dimensions.
  • DIY built-in cabinet – Construct a recessed cabinet with a simple frame and plywood. Add doors for a polished look.
  • Freestanding cabinet – Choose a ready-made shoe cabinet with plenty of storage options to organize your footwear.

Add hooks, benches, or stool tops to cabinets to maximize functionality in a mudroom. Label shelves or containers to find shoes easily.

Why a Custom Shoe Cabinet is Ideal

  • Keeps entry clutter contained
  • Can be sized to fit available space
  • More organized than open shelving
  • Adaptable storage options like shelves, drawers, and cubbies
  • Can double as a bench or seat

Take Advantage of Vertical Closet Space

In a small closet, the floor space is too valuable to waste. Optimize what’s already the room’s greatest asset – vertical storage.

There are several ways to make the most of upper closet space for shoe storage:

  • Over-the-door clear shoe bags – These plastic organizers maximize back-of-door space for shoes and accessories.
  • Hanging shoe shelves – Multilevel steel wire racks hook over the closet rod to double hanging space.
  • Wall-mounted racks – Secure wood or metal racks to the wall for personalized shelving. Great above standard reach.
  • Freestanding shoe towers – Slim racks with upper shelves for heels and lower tiers for flats save floor space.
  • DIY floating shelves – Build and install shelving to hold shoes out of the way at the top of the closet.

Go vertical to take advantage of air space and prevent a pileup of shoes taking over floor real estate. Choose organizers suited for available room height.

Why Use Vertical Space for Shoes

  • Keeps floor clear for clothing/storage
  • High shelves prevent bending down
  • Overhead storage is underutilized
  • Creates more storage with minimal footprint
  • Racks and shelves can adjust to fit the space

Opt for Dual-Purpose Furnishings

When space is tight, make sure every piece of furniture pulls double duty. Choose shoe organizers that also serve another purpose in your home.

Some multi-functional ideas include:

  • Storage ottomans – Lift the lid on cushioned benches for shoe storage. Match decor for dual use seating.
  • Cabinet nightstands – Use bedside tables with shelves or drawers to stash shoes. Added bonus of keeping pairs together.
  • Chest coffee tables – Hide shoes away in trunk-style tables with lift-tops and interior organization.
  • Bookcase with shoe cubbies – Incorporate some wider cubbies sized for shoes into a wall-anchored or ladder-style shelf.
  • Console table with baskets – Stash rolled pairs into decorative baskets under a skinny entry table.

Let one piece of furniture or accessory multitask as chic shoe storage. This approach optimizes small spaces.

The Perks of 2-in-1 Furniture

  • Efficient use of existing furniture
  • Makes household items earn their keep
  • Saves costs by avoiding purchases
  • Ideal for multi-purpose rooms
  • Allows decor to serve storage needs

Stash Shoes in Entryway Benches

An entryway bench provides both seating and out-of-sight shoe storage. Look for designs with lift-up lids or slide-out drawers to tuck away shoes.

Consider these handy bench styles for shoe storage:

  • Wooden chest bench – This classic design acts as a comfy seat with interior storage space for shoes. Choose a top-opening or front-opening style.
  • Storage ottoman bench – The cushioned top lifts up to reveal a roomy space inside to organize shoes. Pick leather, microfiber, or washable fabrics.
  • Flip-top upholstered bench – These benches come in many styles, with padded seat tops that open for concealed storage.
  • Hall tree bench – With coat hooks on top and an upholstered seat that opens to hold shoes, this two-in-one piece is ideal for mudrooms.
  • Under-bench shoe drawers – Pull-out woven wicker drawers provide access to hidden storage under wood or upholstered benches.

Slide, lift, or flip open an entryway bench to reveal a secret spot for shoe stashing.

Why Benches Are Great for Shoes

  • Convenient drop zone by the door
  • Hidden storage inside
  • Seating and organization in one
  • Can slide under console tables
  • Styles to suit any decor taste

Use Space Under Beds

Don’t neglect the useful space beneath your bed. This out-of-the-way spot is ideal for slidng in shoe storage.

Some recommended ways to utilize under-bed storage for shoes include:

  • Underbed boxes – Clear plastic bins keep shoes protected but visible. Boxes with wheels easily slide and pivot for access.
  • Collapsible fabric bins – Folding canvas cubes create customized underbed storage. Some come with handy exterior pockets.
  • Underbed drawers – Roll-out drawers on smooth metal rails keep shoes neatly stored but accessible.
  • Hanging shoe organizers – Clear vinyl pockets allow you to see shoe contents at a glance and retrieve easily.
  • Overbed shoe racks – Racks installed above the bed frame hold shoes overhead and out of the way.

The space under the bed is prime real estate for shoe storage in a small home. Take advantage with storage boxes or install built-in organizers.

Under-Bed Storage Benefits

  • Keeps shoes up off the floor
  • Utilizes wasted, out-of-sight space
  • Allows custom storage with boxes
  • Sliding drawers, boxes, etc. simplify access
  • Versatile solutions for any bed size/height

Get Creative with Closet Door Storage

An often overlooked spot for shoe storage is right on the closet door. This vertical space is perfect for over-the-door options.

Some creative ways to use the back of the closet door include:

  • Hanging shoe organizer – Clear vinyl or mesh pockets provide visible storage and prevent spillover.
  • Overdoor mirror racks – Racks attach to the top of door mirrors for shoes and accessories.
  • Magnetic wall storage – Magnetic strips or mesh grids adhere to doors to hold shoes.
  • DIY hanging racks – Make a holder from wire shelves, pegboard, crates, or scrap wood to hang over door.
  • Pocket organizer – Use two or more removable fabric storage pouches mounted vertically.

The back of the door is fair game. Take advantage with specialized racks or get crafty with DIY options.

Perks of Using Closet Door Space

  • Takes advantage of empty vertical space
  • Allows for adjustable storage add-ons
  • Easy to access shoes inside the closet
  • Convenient to return shoes when undressing
  • Keeps shoes up off the closet floor

Stack Shoe Boxes Like Drawers

While simple shoe boxes take up floor space, you can actually use them like vertical drawers. Stack and arrange boxes to create a DIY tower for easy access.

Some tips for constructing a stacked shoe box tower:

  • Use sturdy, matching boxes sized specifically for shoes.
  • Face box openings toward you for visibility and access.
  • Adhere stacked boxes together with Velcro or magnetic tape for stability.
  • Label fronts of boxes by category like sneakers, heels, sandals, etc.
  • Insert dividers in larger boxes to organize multiple pairs together.
  • Top the tower with baskets, plants, or decor items.

Get creative with your tower design – build straight up, stepped, or even staggered. Any arrangement keeps shoeboxes neat and organized.

Why Stacked Box Towers Work

  • Makes use of existing shoeboxes
  • Functions like a drawer organizer
  • Consolidates boxes in one spot
  • Creates vertical storage system
  • Easy to rearrange and customize

Hang Shoes From Closet Rods

While the closet floor should be reserved for clothing and accessories, make use of rod space above for shoe storage. Hanging shoes overhead keeps them out of the way.

Some space-saving ways to hang shoes include:

  • Clamp-on rod hooks – Versatile hooks allow you to hang shoes from any closet rod. Face openings outward for visibility.
  • Hanging shoe racks – Designed to hang from the rod, these racks have shelves or dedicated shoe slots.
  • Scarf hangers – Repurpose hanger accessories designed for scarves to drape shoes over rods.
  • Pants hangers with clips – Use empty pant hangers and secure shoes by clips or over the cross bar.
  • Overdoor shoe bags – Hang these organizational bags from the rod to conceal shoe clutter.

Go vertical and make use of the horizontal rod space to get shoes off the closet floor. Use hooks or racks to accommodate your footwear.

Why Hanging Shoes Makes Sense

  • Keeps floor space clear
  • Ideal for small or shared closets
  • Allows you to see shoes at a glance
  • Prevents dust and dirt buildup
  • Easy to access shoes while getting dressed

Store Heels in Hanging Shoe Boxes

If you have lots of heels, find ways to hang them vertically to save space. Hanging boxes keep pairs organized and prevent tipping over.

Some space-saving solutions for hanging heels include:

  • Hanging shoe cubes – Clear plastic cubes hook over rods or onto wire shelf systems. Protects heels.
  • Canvas heel cases – Sturdy cotton cases have grommets to hang heels upright on a rod or wall hook.
  • Hanging shoe shelves – Narrow, vertical shelves designed for heels to sit upright without falling over.
  • Overdoor shoe organizers – Use hanging pockets to store heels neatly over closet or door space.
  • DIY fabric storage – Make hanging cubes or tubes from felt or canvas. Add grommets or ties for hanging.

Create vertical storage for heels. Get them off the floor and store them in ways that prevent leaning, scratches, and scuffs.

Benefits of Hanging Heel Storage

  • Prevents damage to delicate heels
  • Allows upright, space-saving storage
  • Keeps pairs together
  • Convenient to see and access shoes
  • Hanging gets them off the floor

Stash Heels in Drawers

Drawers keep heels organized and protected while hidden neatly away. Use them for seasonal heel storage or rotate them into your closet.

Some effective ways to store heels in drawers include:

  • Acrylic heel dividers – These clear inserts organize your drawer with dedicated heel slots.
  • Foam blocks – Plain blocks protect delicate heels from scuffs and keep them propped up.
  • Foldable inserts – Collapsible fabric or cardboard dividers create customizable compartments.
  • Shoe drawer organizers – Some inserts have stacked angled slots specifically sized for storing heels.
  • Protective bags – Place each pair inside cotton drawstring bags before adding to the drawer.

Fill those sock and underwear drawers with heels instead! Dividers keep pairs together, tidy, and prevent scratches.

Why Drawers Work for Heels

  • Keeps heels hidden but easily accessible
  • Prevents damage from falling over
  • Foam blocks or fabric protect delicate materials
  • Dividers and inserts keep pairs together
  • More space-efficient than shelving

Install Wall Racks for a Vertical Library

Take advantage of vertical wall space for a shoe rack storage system. Wall-mounted racks create organized “libraries” to display your shoes.

Some space-saving wall rack options include:

  • Floating wall shelves – Single shelves or sets create instant display space. Stagger heels and flats.
  • Multi-tier racks – Stacked racks double hanging space. Arrange shoes on each level.
  • DIY ladder shelves – Build racks from wood ladders or dowel rods. Be sure it’s securely anchored.
  • Overdoor racks – Hook racks over doors for vertical storage close by. Great for pantries or closets.
  • Wall-mounted cubes – Cubbies sized for shoes keep pairs neatly together.

Go vertical with racks to save floor space. Displays keep shoes easily visible and ready to grab on your way out.

The Benefits of Wall-Mounted Racks

  • Make optimal use of vertical space
  • Floor stays clear for walking
  • Visible storage allows you to see options
  • Easy-access and grab-and-go organization
  • Versatile and adjustable for available space

File Shoes Away in Drawers

Drawers offer concealed storage for keeping shoe clutter out of sight but still organized. Use them around the house or in closets.

Some effective ways to use drawers for shoe storage:

  • Plastic drawer organizers – Insertable dividers create custom compartments sized for shoes.
  • Vacuum storage bags – Compress shoe bags to save space and slide neatly into drawers.
  • Portable shoe boxes – Stackable plastic boxes keep pairs together and can be removed easily.
  • Acrylic risers – Lift stacked shoes with clear risers to see all pairs at a glance.
  • Protective inserts – Line drawers with padded inserts or soft fabric to prevent scuffs.

Shallow storage drawers are perfect hiding spots for slidng in shoe storage around the home. Use in closets, under beds, with consoles, etc.

Why Drawers Are Great for Shoes

  • Neat concealed storage
  • Allow custom compartments
  • Protects shoes from damage/dust
  • Easy to reorganize when seasons change
  • Contain mess to one space

Repurpose Furniture Like Bookshelves

Give new life to old furniture pieces by repurposing them as shoe storage. Bookcases, hutches, and sideboards all make great candidates.

Some ideas for furniture shoe storage:

  • Bookcases – Remove shelves and insert cubbies sized for shoes. Or lay shoes sideways stacked.
  • China hutches – Replace glass doors with mesh screens. Install shelving sized for shoes.
  • Nightstands or sideboards – Lay shoes flat in drawers for upright storage. Use top as a shoe rack.
  • File cabinets – Horizontal filing cabinets provide ideal-sized cubbies when retrofitted.
  • Armoires or wardrobes – Remove hanging rod and add adjustable shelves for plenty of shoe storage.

With a little creativity, outdated furniture finds renewed purpose for organizing shoe collections.

The Benefits of Furniture Reuse

  • Makes use of existing furniture
  • Creative way to upcycle old pieces
  • Provides enclosed storage space
  • Size and shape accommodate shoes
  • Adds character to your storage

Maximize Closet Floor Space

While the floor should be secondary shoe storage space, you can still use it efficiently. Organize shoes across the floor against the wall or under hanging clothes.

Some tips for maximizing use of closet floor space:

  • Store shoes upright, shoulder-to-shoulder along the wall.
  • Use shoe racks to double up the floor space.
  • Slide slim shoe boxes underneath hanging clothing.
  • Place shoe organizers around the closet perimeter.
  • Use removable storage cubes to contain shoes in one area.

The closet floor is valuable real estate. Make the most of it with upright storage, racks, or containers to keep shoes neat.

Making the Most of Closet Floor Space

  • Keeps shoes accessible but out of walkways
  • Makes use of otherwise empty space