8 shoe storage ideas for small spaces to keep your cute collection in check

Clean up your pile of platform Uggs and comfy Crocs ASAP

Shoes lined up on an entryway storage rack
(Image credit: Nataša Košmerl)

For those who worship style, footwear can be a mode to express yourself with everything from strappy sandals to killer stilettos. For others, shoes are strictly for comfort (shout out to the new pair of sliders in my closet). Regardless of whether you are a Carrie Bradshaw-like shoe devotee, or you prefer a practical approach to owning shoes, an organized closet can help simplify your everyday routine. 

If you’re short on square footage and ideas for keeping your fave footwear picks organized, take a look at these eight shoe storage ideas for some inspiration.

1. Color coordinate for extra joy

Colorful shoes lined up on closet shelves

(Image credit: @themodelhm)

With so many shoe storage accessories on the market, it can be difficult to know where to start. Professional organizing clients of Suzanne O’Donnell, owner and operator of My LA Organizer, begin with the goals of the client, which can vary. 

“Mostly they want to be able to shop their closet with ease,” says O’Donnell. “Sometimes, they have too much and need help paring down. Sometimes they need help making the most of the space. And sometimes, they simply want their closet to show better, look better.”

For those in the latter camp, a shelf featuring all of your shoes in a color-coordinated display can bring joy to your morning outfit-picking routine. 

2. Arrange by heel type or height

Peach-colored closet with shoe selves

(Image credit: @jline_design)

Color coordinating is a fun way to organize your shoes, especially if you love to dress in color. For those who prefer neutrals, a more practical solution could be to organize by shoe type, boot length, or heel height. 

By keeping all of your knee-high boots in one area, you’ll have fewer minutes wasted in the morning searching for your favorite pairs. 

3. Keep it clear

Shoe containers on top of a closet shelf

(Image credit: @bmooreorganized)

Need to find your fave pair in a hurry? Clear containers or dividers allow you to see what’s in your closet immediately. 

“My go-to shoe storage for small spaces is the shoe drawer at The Container Store, titled Clear stackable shoe drawer,” O’Donnell advises. “There are others out there, but this brand is the best.”

Besides being able to see your shoes secured in one place, containers and dividers can also keep your shoes in pristine condition. 

4. ...Or keep it out of sight, out of mind

Wooden shoe storage cabinet with hand opening it

(Image credit: @urbansales)

Maybe you don’t want to keep your worn-out sneakers or age-old Birkenstocks out on display? Tuck your less glam shoes away in under-bed storage or behind the veil of a cabinet door. 

A great approach for the more practical shoe-havers, a shoe cabinet is a highly-functional way to declutter the look of your space.

5. Have a dedicated shoe shelf

Shelves with shoes on each level

(Image credit: @saralwest_socoorganizer)

Many people spend a lot of time and money organizing their closets but don't think twice about their shoes. Although organizing clothes should be a priority for a home, dedicating an entire shelf to shoes allows you to have one place in your closet for your shoes to live. 

Rather than being strewn on your closet floor or hiding out under your bed, a dedicated shoe shelf is just the thing for anyone who has an impressive collection and wants them all in one place. For those without the closet space, a narrow or shorter shelf can also get the job done. 

6. Use a standalone wardrobe

Rattan shoe closet with door open

(Image credit: @anku.swiss)

Not everyone is lucky enough to have a big closet in their small space. For those tight on closet space but who have room for a furniture piece, a standalone wardrobe or armoire can provide ample space for shoe storage.

For a streamlined morning routine, consider placing the furniture piece near your doorway or closet. A mirror nearby adds an extra bit of help for those mornings when you’re not sure what to wear.

7. Minimize and declutter

A minimal closet with several pairs of shoes

(Image credit: @mralexportugal)

If you can't find a clear way to organize your shoes, it may be time to declutter your closet. By minimizing the number of shoes you have, the more organized your space can be, and you’ll have an accurate inventory of what you own.

“I can’t tell you how many times I found clients have had to buy something new simply because they can’t find what they’re looking for,”  professional organizer O’Donnell explains. “So, getting and staying organized can save you money.”

Besides, there’s no better way to save space than to reduce your need for storage. 

8. Streamline your routine

Pull out shoe closet with many racks

(Image credit: @dasiphoto)

As you’re organizing your shoes and deciding on a storage method that works for you, consider mapping your regular routines to streamline your early morning decisions.

For instance, if your mornings are spent running towards the front door to begin your busy day, then an entryway shoe rack could be the best solution for you.

If you're a major shoe fiend and have the space and ability to get a new storage system, then a dedicated shoe cabinet could be your best bet. Whatever your morning routine, there’s a shoe solution that can make shoe hunting more efficient.

Kate Santos

Hello! I’m Kate Santos, a writer and photographer based in Los Angeles. In the design world, I got my start working as an Editorial Intern for Dwell magazine in San Francisco. Since then, I’ve written about design and architecture in many national magazines and online publications, including Playboy, Hunker, and The Culture Trip.

I grew up in a very old house in North Carolina and am still influenced by the rustic, charming, antique and aged elements of a home. Sustainability and longevity is extremely important to me and I believe learning to reuse materials or purchasing items you’ll love forever goes a long way. I also lean towards the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi when designing my own home, embracing the perfectly imperfect items I can find.