Neat Freaky Shoe Solutions

Here’s a little follow up to all of you entry-way Imelda Marcos out there.
1.    Sort the shoes that pile up by the door and ask family members to return infrequently worn shoes to their closets (e.g. if you still have snow shoes readily accessible and you live in the northern hemisphere, give them the boot!)
2.    Pair down (pun intended) the number of shoes your kids wear regularly. For summer, a pair of sneakers and pool shoes should suffice. If your child is currently playing a sport that requires special shoes, keep those handy, too.
3.    Corral the mud/water/mess with a boot tray from an organizational store such as this one from the Container Store.

4.    Think vertically! If you have a coat closet door near your entryway, consider hanging over-the-door shoe pockets on the inside of the door and have your kids put their shoes away in the lower pockets. Higher pockets are great for your shoes or sunscreen, bug spray, sunglasses and keys.

5.    Consider keeping a plastic laundry basket (or two!) next to the door for kids to pile sports shoes in. Hose it out occasionally and quickly whisk it away if guests are on their way over.

6.    Other favorite Tools of the Trade:
•    Shoe cubbies are readily available at Target or WalMart and some can hold up to 24 pairs of shoes.

•    I have a huge crush on the Horizontal Shoe Rack from Design Within Reach. Quite pricey, but oh so awesome.

•    Feeling crafty? Make your own similar solution such as this Apartment Therapy reader.

•    Finally, Ikea’s TRONES shoe storage is attractive, handy and inexpensive for shoe storage in narrow spaces.

Do you have a favorite shoe solution? Share it on my blog in the comments section! Inquiring Imelda’s want to know what works for you!

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6 Responses to Neat Freaky Shoe Solutions

  1. Lisa B says:

    A very important way to handle shoes is also to a- buy decent ones and take care of them, meaning polish and clean. Refurb them if you need to, and always wipe and neatsfoot or saddle soap them before seasonal storage. b- if you buy junky cheap shoes, do your best with cleaning them but let them go. (Recycle, trash whatever) The less junk and the more you pay attention to what you have, the more you stay organized. (take care of your things!)

    I have a pair of Ralph Lauren flats that I have resoled 2x, bought them in 1993. (I take care of them!)

  2. Laura M says:

    Fabulous blog NF! Can you advise on a great she storage site/store for something for our garage? We are going to transition our messy garage to part mud room. We bought our house before we had kids and realized the importance of a mud room!

  3. perr1ker5h says:

    Hey Laura,
    A garage entry can make a great “mudroom.” Rather than going with baskets or shoe cubbies, if you have the space, I recommend using something like wire closet shelving that mounts to the wall. This allows dirt from the bottom of the shoes to filter through and keeps shoes visible (rather than a shoe black hole like a big bin!). This product from Elfa could work:

    Or even the wire shelving that mounts with brackets at a big box store like Lowes. Good luck! At least you have your garage…you’re one up on me!

  4. perr1ker5h says:

    Lisa B, I couldn’t agree more! Buying quality over quantity is so important. Good, timeless shoes are worth the investment…and are better for the earth. If “cheap” is the primary reason you’re purchasing something, you might want to wait a few days, think over your purchase, and see how badly you still want the item. Replacing shoes every six months will cost you more in the long run!

  5. Liz F says:

    Hi Perri – I love this topic! Our shoe solution for the past five years isn’t perfect, but it’s worked by using something attractive and interesting looking to hold the many shoes that accumulate. We’ve set up an antique wood jelly cabinet by the front door (since we don’t have a 2nd, family-only door) and have assigned a shelf to each family member. The cabinet itself is an interesting piece, wasn’t super expensive, is a bit nostaglic (we bought it in central NC before we moved to Seattle) and adds some charm to an otherwise uncharming need to keep shoes by the door.

    When we have the perfect dream mud room – and oh, that is my dream too! – we’ll figure out something more utilitarian-looking. But in the meantime, this is what we’ve got and it’s not so bad!

    Thanks for the tips and my best from Seattle!

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