When you downsize your life, there are certain things that you will have to compromise on.
One thing that most people have a hard time keeping track of when space is limited is shoes.
So, what can you do when your storage space is far less than the shoes you need to store?
Here are some of the best creative solutions for storing shoes when space is low and stock is high!
1) Shoe Racks Made From Skateboards
Finding storage solutions for shoes doesn’t mean that you can insert some of your own personal styles into the mix. In fact, this is one of the best ways to not only solve a lack of space problem but to also design at the same time.
One really cool solution we found was using sports equipment.
The best part about this nifty storage idea is that it can be translated into lots of different styles of sports.
To pull off this cool looking shoe shelf you only need a few things and some imagination. You will first need to decide what type of materials you would like to use for the shelves. This example uses a variety of skateboards in different colors and sizes to make a shelf effect.
But, you can use skis. snowboards, and even surfboards to create the same type of shoe shelves.
Along with the “shelves”, you will need L-shaped brackets as well as hardware. You also want to make sure to use a stud finder to make sure you are safely installing the shelves. The best part about these shelves is that you don’t need to spend a bunch of money to re-create this look. You can easily scour second-hand stores for sporting equipment that is good enough shape to repurpose as shoe shelves.
Once you have the skateboard shelves attached, you can start to organize your new and improved shoe storage system. One important tip is to keep heavier shoes like boots for the lower shelves. This also something you will want to consider when figuring out how to space your shelves.
Give a little extra room to the bottom shelf so that you can account for taller shoes fitting perfectly.
When you’re done you will not only have a place for your shoes, but you will have a cool design element to your space.
2) Hidden Shoe Storage At The Entrance
This is how our other writer (Morten) is storing shoes.
He and his wife have hidden the shoes inside these boxes from Ikea (below to the right). They are white and neutral boxes designed for keeping shoes and you can flip them in order to open them.
3) Furniture Designed For Keeping Shoes
You can also find furniture pieces like the one below where you can tip the front of the shelf in order to open up towards the shoes.
These furniture pieces will hold a ton of shoes and they are great if you need to get them hidden.
4) Repurpose Furniture
If you love to repurpose old or broken furniture, this next shoe storage tip is perfect for you! We all dream of that walk-in closet with floor to ceiling shelves for all of our clothes and shoes. One thing that you can find in fancy closets that is a dream for any shoe lover is a shoe closet.
These are built-in units that are meant to house and display your favorite pumps.
But, did you know there is a way to achieve the same thing with far less money and space? That’s right – with a little bit of creativity and elbow grease, you can have a beautiful wardrobe or shelf made custom for your shoes too.
The first thing you will want to do is measure the space you will need. Downsizing means there isn’t always extra space, so you have to work with you have. Once you know how big space is you need to fill, it is time to start shopping!
You want to look for a unit that suits your exact storage needs.
If you have a lot of shoes to store, look for taller shelving units. One piece of furniture that is perfect for this project are china cabinets. These tall structures come with plenty of shelves and storage space to hold all your shoes. Next, customize that piece to suit your style with some paint and even some colorful contact paper.
In the end, you will have a great place to store shoes with tight space as well as a beautiful piece of furniture to elevate your home.
5) Dual Purposes Furniture
When you don’t have as much room in your home and you want, you have to get creative when it comes to storage. One great way to do this is to find ways to get multiple uses out of one item. When it comes to storing shoes, you have plenty of duel-purpose options!
This one, however, happens to be our favorite.
Either a bench or ottoman with a storage unit in the center is the perfect place to store shoes out of sight without taking up any extra space.
A small bench will not only look great in any home but it also gives you and your family a great place to sit and put on your shoes. These types of pieces can be found in most furniture stores. But, what if you want to get a little more creative?
You can absolutely make your own shoe storage bench with just a few materials. First, you will need to find the structure to make the bench. A small chest or toy box will work perfectly as long as there is a hinged top. From there, you will want to paint to treat the chest so that it matches your style.
Next, you can make a bench using thick foam, fabric staples and the fabric of your choice.
Measure and cut the foam to fit perfectly on top of the chest and cover with fabric and secure with staples. Last, you will want to create separations inside the unit so that you can easily place shoes in separate slots. This can be done by either using wood or sturdy cardboard.
You will love having a great place to store shoes without sacrificing any precious floor space!
6) DIY Crate Shelf
This next creative shoe storage hack is perfect for “country rustic” styled homes.
Best of all, it is very inexpensive to execute and quick and easy to install! To start, you will need to find several wooden crates in fair condition. While you can scour thrift stores, there is an even easier way!
If you live in a small town, consider reaching out to farming friends as well as small-town grocery stores to obtain these types of crates.
You will want to gather enough crates to hold your shoes. On average, each crate will hold up to four pairs of shoes. Depending on how many people are in your family, you may need upwards of 8 8 crates. While you can choose to paint the crates to match your decor, I find that the rustic look makes them much more interesting. Plus, it is much cleaner for the environment to not use harsh chemicals or paint to treat the wooden crates.
The install the crates, all you will need are some sturdy wall fasteners. It is important to remember that the weight of the crates will be higher once shoes are put in them. So, counteract the extra weight by ensuring that you are using strong enough hardware.
The last thing you will need to do is insert a custom shelf in the center of the crate which allows for shoes to stack up. This can easily be done by measuring the width of the crate and using a small slate of wood.
If you want to take it one step further, you can customize each shoe crate. Attach a small piece of a blackboard to the front of the crate. Using chalk, you can label each crate however you want. You can write the names of the people in your family or even the style of shoe.
With a little bit of imagination, the options are endless!
7) Mix In Some Vintage Decoration
If you have many shoes and you prefer to have them out in the open on a shelf unit you can mix in some classic vintage designs.
We have a set of yellow shoes from the 50s sitting on our shelf and a pair of classic rollerblades like the ones above can often be found really cheap at second-hand stores.
8) Hiding Baby Shoes In Small Drawers
Baby shoes can be hidden almost everywhere.
Kids grow out of shoes really quickly and if you plan on having more kids you might want to save the old ones as your kids grow too big.
Here’s a tiny shelving unit where you can fit shoes from your little ones.
9) Pretty Shoes Belong On Display
You can choose the best designs to be placed on a shelf.
A pair of shoes can easily fit on a bookshelf or among the decorations in your living room.
Stretch Your Imagination!
While these ways to store shoes are new and fun, they had to be born somewhere. It took one person to think outside of the box and stretch their imagination to what is possible with storage.
This is something that I challenge you to try as well! It all starts with recognizing what your specific need is.
Let’s say that you have a limited amount of space and have no room to have anything sitting on the ground. In this case, you can find creative ways to work upwards. Much like with the skateboard shelves, there are plenty of other ways to work with your space without being borning.
Who knows, you may even come up with the next great thing in shoe storage for people looking to downsize! Good luck.
Maria is the founder of GoDownsize. While studying architecture in Denmark she became fascinated with designing living spaces for boats, tiny houses, RVs, and other small spaces.
She mainly writes about space optimization, interior design, and downsizing. She’s also in charge of our YouTube channel. Read more about Maria here.