No matter who you are, shoes can quickly add up and end up in the wrong places. Not having them organized can also cause you to waste time in the morning when you’re trying to get yourself (and perhaps others) out the door and you can’t find the matching pair. Take notes with this blog on how to pair down (no pun intended!) and keep your shoes in check!

When you’re first organizing your shoes make sure you sort like with like. First, put the actual pairs together and then start to categorize by what makes sense to you. Maybe it’s the type of shoe (sandals, boots, heels, wedges, etc.) or maybe it’s how they’re worn (work shoes versus athletic shoes versus formal shoes, etc.). Don’t forget to include all of your shoes in this process, even if they’re slippers that you wear at home 24/7 or high heels that you never wear. 

As always, we suggest purging your shoes while you organize them. Get rid of any that no longer fit, are totally stained, out of style or past the point of repair. Now if you have any that you haven’t worn in awhile and fear you’ll miss, give yourself a deadline to wear them by. Trust us, your closet will thank you. 

Next, your job is to figure out where they’re going to live. While it can be convenient to have some shoes by the front door, do not make it a habit to just leave whatever shoes you wore that day by the door or else you’ll find yourself with a pile of disorganized shoes. I would suggest only keeping the shoes you wear regularly near the front door. If you’re having trouble finding a home for all of your shoes, it’s okay to be creative. If your shoes do not end up in your bedroom or bedroom closet, it’s not the end of the world. Shoes can be placed in coat closets or a guest closet as well. Focus on where they can all fit together. 

When it comes to containing your shoes, my favorite way is with the IKEA Brusali shoe cabinet. I have it featured here. The design is sleek and slim and it can hold up to 18 pairs of shoes. If you’re dealing with an even more narrow space, this one from IKEA is also a fantastic option. 

If you have a smaller collection of shoes and limited closet space, try using this over the door shoe organizer. Another solution for limited storage space are Shoe Space Savers from The Container Store so you can double stack your flat shoes. Or perhaps you have the opposite situation with a very large closet and shoes you’d like to showcase, you may want to consider this glam option. Whether that is your go-to or these shoe boxes are, take it to the next level and have them labeled so you know where to return them once they’re off your feet. P.S. the same bins come in men’s shoe sizes as well as boot boxes. If you have room at the bottom of your closet to stack shoes I would suggest using this shoe organizer.

Now that your shoes are beautifully organized, here’s what to do with your unwanted shoes. Unless your shoes have never been worn or are in “like new” condition, I would not bother consigning them since consignment shops are very picky about their shoes. Our friends at the Cambridge Women’s Center or Solutions at Work will gladly accept gently worn shoes as well. If you have more formal wear in good condition, check out Dress For Success. Another suggestion is Soles for Souls who will provide a free shipping label for up to 50 pounds of shoes. They state “Your new and gently-worn shoes help individuals start and sustain small businesses to lift themselves out of poverty.” Lastly, if your shoes are those among the “far past repair,” toss them into a Planet Aid bin where it can be recycled into fabric rather than throw them into a landfill. You can find the closest bin here.

Having your shoes organized will greatly improve your productivity throughout the day and help make the frequently visited areas in your home less cluttered. Keep in mind, you only have one pair that you can wear at a time! Be realistic in what you hold onto. Your wardrobe and everyday decision making will thank you for it!


Written by Mia Salmo

Mia Salmo

Professional Organizer