Carrie Bradshaw said it best when it comes to women and their shoes: “The fact is, sometimes it’s really hard to walk in a single woman’s shoes. That’s why we need really special ones now and then to make the walk a little more fun.” (I think it’s fair to say no man can compete with Manolo, Christian or Jimmy.) Why? Because every girl’s dream is to have a shoe closet—like the shoe shrine Big built for Carrie! After all, they say the higher the heels, the closer to heaven! But regardless of the size or shape of the space you’re working with, your should organize your shoes so you’re aware of what you have. Don’t overlook any of your fabulous pumps!
Keep reading for your chance to win shoe inserts from my LA Closet Design boutique!
If you have the space, built-in open shelving is a great way to organize that combines both function and beauty. Essentially, the floating shelves act as a neutral canvas, and your shoes act as the artwork on display. If you want to go all out, provide back-lit LED lighting to your display and truly showcase each shoe like a boutique. (These LED hanging rods are a great option if you’ll be using boot trees!) Everything has its place and is easy to see.
If you’re working with less space, you have several options to get the most out of what you have. For example, play with depth—don’t always think about height and width. A double-depth shelf allows for two rows of shoes. Using a pull-out shelf allows for use of its full depth, so you can see both rows of shoes at first glance. But if you are working with a stationary shelf, display your shoes one shoe in front of the other so, again, you see every shoe at first glance. Also, if you have limited space, a cabinet can be used to store your shoes but can also double as a console table. If shelving or cabinetry isn’t an option, get creative by taking advantage of free wall space with rails or molding as means to hang to heels.
Here are some general shoe-organization rules for any—and every!—closet:
1. Throw away boxes! Keeping your shoes in their boxes—even with a Polaroid on the outside—adds unnecessary bulk to your closet. You end up either stacking them to unreachable heights or storing them in forgettable places. After all, reducing this bulk allows for more shoes.
2. Organization is key. I like to organize shoe closets based on shoe type—flats, boots, wedges, and heels—and then by color-coding them. This makes them easily accessible and identifiable.
3. As a general rule, I like to keep boots on the bottom because of their height. Hanging them with boot trees maintains their shape.
4. Angle your shelving in order to see everything, and place a metal rod in the back of the shelf to prevent any sliding.
5. Flat shelves are for wedges. While angled shelves work for all other shoe types, wedges tend to slide, so keep them on a flat surface.
6. Use shoe inserts. Shoe inserts help freshen up its odor and retain its shape.
7. Change up the shelf heights. In order to get the most shoes in the area you have to work with, adjust the spacing of the shelves. Base them on the height of your shoes rather than having them all even spaced!
Now that you have these tips and have seen some of my closet concepts, I want to see what you’re doing! Tweet and Instagram your organized shoe rack, shelves, or whatever it is that’s working best for you. Mention @LAClosetDesign AND use the hashtag #ShoeSwoon, and we’ll post your photo on our Pinterest board! A lucky 10 winners will be chosen—based on design and originality—to receive shoe inserts from the LA Closet Design boutique. So start snapping those photos because I want to see what’s working for you!