I'm going to level with you: the original title of this post was supposed to be "Stylish & Functional Shoe Organizers" but in the end... not so much. Sure, there are beautiful shoe closets out there (Carrie Bradshaw's comes to mind), but the best of the bunch tend to be somewhat utilitarian in looks as well as use.
Still, that's not necessarily a bad thing. Those of us who have a lot of footwear can attest, plain and simple is often best. Here are the five types of shoe organizer I've found to be worth their weight in wedges:
1. A super-functional rack. This solution takes up a bit more room than some of the others, but can be hidden at the bottom of a closet. This Crate and Barrel version can be extended lengthwise and stacked, too.
2. A hanging organizer. I'm pretty sure everybody has owned one of these at some time or another, and for good reason: the hanging organizer is light, slight and über-functional for those shoes you reach for regularly. This one is the classic IKEA Skubb.
3. Clear Shoe Boxes. This option is attractive, and probably the best choice for the longterm health of your shoes. My best friend does this in her tiny NYC studio, and it's amazing how well it keeps her (totally covetable) shoe collection corralled. These ones are from The Container Store, and come in different heights for flats and heels.
4. Under-bed Storage. For out-of-season shoes or just for serious collections, utilizing space under the bed makes sense. This organizer from Bed Bath & Beyond has a zip-able clear top and dividers, to keep shoes clean and visible.
5. Back of the Door. For those with limited space (isn't that all of us?), using the back of the closet door is a good option. This organizer from Target holds 12 pairs of shoes.
There are other shoe-control options out there, of course - wheels and towers and whole cabinets devoted to the cause- but I find that a lot of these are overkill, and take up space rather than save it. Do you have a favourite shoe-storage product to share?
(Images: As credited above.)