How Do I Organize My Shoes?

Organize Shoes

I recently moved all of my stuff into a smaller space and needed to organize my shoes. I decided on a closet hanging shoe organizer. It has worked out well, but I do need to take a little extra time to place my shoes in it every day, but I think it saves time in the long run because I’m not looking for my shoes everywhere.

Decide what shoes no longer serve you and donate them. Tidy up surrounding areas, so you have space for your shoes. You’ll need a designated space and several shoes you’re willing to house. Then decide on the way to use that space that best suits your needs.

If you’re interested in getting your shoe collection organized, you’re not alone. With men in the United States owning over 10 pairs of shoes and women over 20, it’s no wonder there are about just as many ways to organize shoes as the number people own.

Tidy Up

So I’ll be the first one to say that I have too much stuff. There is a lot of stuff I intended to use or thought would be helpful but never got around to use or only used a few times.

Your shoes may fit into the category of items you intended on using but never did. Just a couple of months ago I bought a pair of hiking shoes. They are good in some ways, but they hurt my feet if I walk in them for any period of time.

I intend to find arch support that I can insert in the shoe to make them comfortable to use. In the meantime, I am using another pair of shoes that work well for hiking. Should I still keep uncomfortable hiking shoes?

I recently watched the Netflix show Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. It was interesting to remind myself of the importance of having an organized living environment. She goes over ways to get started and how to organize, some of which we’ll see below.

  1. The first step for organizing is to get rid of the thing you don’t use or need. I have been slowly decluttering my own stuff, since moving recently.
    • You’ll need to commit to however long it takes to get the job done. The first episode of Tidying Up with Marie Kondo shows the family took about a month to tidy up their house.
  2. After committing to the idea, you’ll need to get all of your shoes and place them in one area to evaluate. Pick up each shoe and ask yourself if it’s a shoe you love, need, and want. If it no longer brings you any joy or usefulness, it’s time to donate or throw away.
    • Consider if the shoe is healthy for your feet. Consider if having too many shoes bring you stress. Consider if you have two or more shoe for the same purpose. Consider if your shoe has outlasted its lifespan
  3. Look at the shoes that are left and make sure these shoes are useful and make you happy. If you’re just keeping a shoe because it cost $50 but you don’t use it, its time to give it away or sell it if money is your concern.
    • Consider selling your shoes on Facebook, Craigslist, or eBay. There are a number of apps that are helpful if you want to try selling your shoes, like OfferUp and LetGo.
    • Consider that giving it away as a way of helping others in need.

Now that I’ve watched the Netflix show Tidying Up with Marie Kondo and considered if I need my uncomfortable hiking shoes and do they bring me joy, I’ve decided to donate them. My thinking is that they are just cluttering up my closet and I feel like they won’t serve me well.

Set Up Shoe Space

Now that you’re left with only the shoes that you use and make you happy, clear up some space to organize them. You may have had an organizational method you’ve previously used. Consider some other methods that might work better for your current space.

If you want all of your shoes in the closet, make sure you have space. This may lead you to tidy up your clothing into a more manageable collection of shirts and pants.

Make it easy for yourself. What’s the easiest way for you to get your shoes and put them on in the morning and take them off in the evening?

If you’re interested in keeping the floor clean, you might want to organize your shoe near the front door. If you want your shoes out of sight, you can put them in the closet.

Many shoe organization systems use above-the-floor storage in some type of individual spot for each pair of shoes. Decide if you want to place each pair in the same place each time or if any spot is fine as long as it’s organized together.

Many organization methods include specific spaces for specific shoes. Taking a picture of the shoe and placing it where your shoes will go, helps spend less time later searching for your shoes, even if it’s just a few seconds. Over the years this could save you oodles of time.

If you want to organize your shoes vertically or horizontally, make sure it isn’t blocking your way and that you can easily get to your shoes without hurting yourself.

Select a spot that has easy access because you’ll be accessing this area at least twice a day. Make sure it’s not too high or low for your needs.

Decide if your storage or organization system needs to be secured to the wall and if it poses any safety issues. Do a walk-by of the area you intend to store your shoes and practice or picture how you’ll need to maneuver to walk around and reach for your shoes.

If everything is as you like it, then move on to getting storage or making a storage system that works for your individual needs.

Organize Your Shoes

Select you organization method.

Decide on a method that works best for your situation.

  1. Putting shoe up off the floor seems to work well for most people. They have a clear floor and it looks cleaner. If you want your shoe on the floor then decide how to organize them.
    • Under the bed pull out drawers might work for some.
    • A shallow wide box might work for others.
    • A bench with containers underneath that hold your shoes might work well near the front door
  2. Box ’em up. Placing each shoe in its own box is helpful for several reasons.
    • You usually can stack the boxes easily and if you buy clear boxes (Amazon Link) it’s easy to see what’s inside each one. If the boxes are not clear, you can take a picture of each shoe and tape it on the front of the box.
    • They’ll stay clean from dust and accidental spills.
    • You place them high up in the closet or attic for storage.
  3. Use Shelving. This is one of the most popular storage methods, possibly because there are so many types of shelving units. I used a small bamboo shoe rack with two selves.
    • Try out a shelf attached to the wall that is normally for pictures.
    • Try a bookshelf unit.
    • Maybe a heavy duty metal shelving rack is best for you if you are in a rain-prone area.
    • A cubby box style shoe holder can work well. (Amazon Link)
    • Maybe make your own original DYI shoe shelf to fits your space perfectly.
  4. Hang in the closet or over the door. Various style of shoe storage racks and storage organizers are available for relatively cheap.
    • These are easy to use and install in the closet (store) or over the door. (Amazon Link)
    • They are made of plastic, metal, and fabric with cardboard or plastic. They may be less attractive than other methods and break more easily.
    • The can hold a large number of shoes in a small space of the ground.
  5. Use a cabinet. A cabinet with doors creates a clean look and places your shoes out of the way.
    • The benefit of this storage solution is that it can be a beautiful piece of furniture that you can use for other purposes.
    • It hides shoes out of sight.
    • It may be bigger than you need and take up too much space.

Will You Please Put Your Shoes Away!

People who are organized spend a bit more time putting stuff away in its place. While this effort seems like it might not be necessary, especially when you’re tired, it begins to give back in beneficial ways.

Some ways that begin organized pays off.

  • You know exactly where things are, so you’re spending less time looking for them.
  • Your not searching to find the water shoes your sure that you bought a while back, because you find them right away. This prevents you from spending more time and money buying another pair you don’t even need.
  • The kids aren’t spending 5 minutes just finding their shoes, causing an argument every morning about where things are.
  • Everything looks and feels more comfortable when your things have a specific spot to go and are in their spot.
  • You might begin to feel a sense of relief when you get home, as you unwind from the day and your worries aren’t about a messy home.
  • If you spend more time taking care of your shoes, just by organizing them nicely each day, you may begin to appreciate your shoes more and that can lead to more good feelings.

Get Into an Organization Mindset

The Problem

Deciding to organize can be overwhelming, to say the least. People tend to accumulate too much stuff, without realizing it. Before we know it, we’ve run out of space.

People try to find storage solutions for all their stuff. Spending more money buying and filling a container full of stuff they never use again and renting storage units to put their stuff in.

What most people don’t have is a good method to reduce the amount of stuff they own. Yard sales only work so well, and selling each item individually can take a long time.

Looking for Happiness

We all want to find happiness. Many of the purchases we make are based on wanting something because it feels exciting and seems like it would bring joy. We tend to feel excitement during the purchase process and after receiving the item.

After we use the item for a few days that feeling starts to fade, and we are left with just a plain common item again. Our feelings change fairly quickly because we place less value on items we know are easily replaceable.

So we go and buy another item to feel that enjoyment of a new purchase. Soon, it becomes a habit to purchase things as often as there is enough money to do so. Later, we wonder where all this stuff that we’ve accumulated came from.

Buying Power

Our buying power has increased in some ways in the last few decades. We have more and more items that are easily purchasable at a relatively low cost. So we buy more stuff for enjoyment because we can.

The unfortunate consequence of having so much buying power is that the enjoyment of the item only lasts for a short period. We tend to value items based on how we felt when purchasing them.

If we have extra money and used a credit card to purchase the item, we feel like it’s nice to buy something we want, but there is not much attachment to the item we purchased.

On the other hand, if have limited money, and spend a large amount, we feel more attached to the item and are likely to take care of it longer.

The consequence of this power is that we have purchased many low-priced items we don’t value and our children feel the same. We have stuff that’s nice to have, but we really don’t need it. Soon, we are regretting having so much stuff we don’t need.

Kids tend to be bombarded with so much stuff, they also tend not to value many of the items they have. Parents really want their children to be happy. Sometimes, so they can try to control their behavior.

So we inadvertently start teaching children to place little value on items they get, because they know their parents will get them something else soon, or that they can manipulate their parents with their behavior to get what they want.

So Many Shoes

When it comes to shoes, they are also relatively cheap to buy. Having more than one of the same type of shoes is common for most people. I have three pairs of running (article) shoes right now.

It’s easy to buy shoes that I feel I need and especially when they are on sale. I used to buy a lot more shoes for very cheap and would go through them faster because they tended to fall apart quicker.

Then I started to value shoes that lasted longer and we made from higher quality materials. Then my shoes lasted longer and I kept more shoes around because they were still wearable.

After a while I had lots of shoes, many I no longer would wear. What happened? How did I get so many shoes, I would ask myself.

So I would go through them and donate the ones I no longer wore, but it still felt painful to get rid of good shoes that I paid good money for.

When a shoe is no longer in fashion, or we get a scratch or stain, it may seem easier to just buy a new pair of shoes because they are relatively easy and cheap to buy.

The Solution

One solution to reducing your shoes might be to get rid of a least one pair each time you purchase one. If you have too many already, then you might challenge yourself to donate one pair of shoes a week to the Salvation Army.

The ultimate solution to buying too much stuff is to place value in things that matter.

We tend to value people, experiences, and items that we have taken the time to work with and take care of.

If we place more value on people and experiences, and less on finding happiness in things, we might start to buy less and get rid of more.

If we can reframe how we see our shoes, we will start to say to ourselves that shoes are great and I love them, but excess is unhealthy for me in several ways.

On the show Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, Marie explains that it’s important to hold each piece of clothing that we have purchased and see if it brings a “spark of joy”. If not, we can thank the item of clothing for… I’m guessing that it’s for being of some value and for having served us.

Taking time to value how special something is, even when it cost $1, will help us change our mindset about items and influence our purchasing. We will remember and recognize the value of what we already have and might wonder why we even need to buy anything at all.

Schedule Some Time

Get started today by scheduling time in your week when you’ll go through your shoes and possibly other items. Pick up each item and decide if it’s something you want and need.

Within a short time, you will have paired down your shoe collection and possibly added value to the shoes you are keeping.

If we fix up the shoes we have already and make them look nice, we will most likely be adding value to them in our minds.

Start slow and don’t let it overwhelm you and be consistent. Soon you’ll have organized your shoes and kept only the ones that really benefit you.

Thanks for visiting

Additional Questions

Should I throw away my shoes or donate them?

A good way to determine if you should donate your shoe is to ask yourself if someone would buy these shoes from you. Deterioration occurs in storage. If they have been stored for over five years possibly throw them away. If they are soiled inside or out, clean thoroughly and donate or throw away if too soiled (article).

What is the best shoe storage solution?

The best way to store shoes is in an individual box. The reason I believe this is best is that it helps your shoes maintain their shape and stay clean. It also helps them look and feel organized, especially if the boxes are see-through.


I enjoy many types of outdoor activities including running, hiking, and walking. I was a former elementary school teacher for 17 years and now enjoy writing and sharing my love of the outdoors.

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