As someone who's been through the New York City real estate wringer, there's a particular episode of Sex and the City that's burned on my brain: the one where Carrie thinks she's going to be kicked out of her (rent-controlled) apartment, so she goes looking, and can only find places with teeny closets. Horrified, she asks her real estate agent: "But where do the shoes go?" Ah, yes. Where DO the shoes go? If you're plagued with tiny closets, or closets seemingly designed by someone who could not imagine anyone having more than four pairs of shoes, you need one of these creative shoe storage solutions.
#1: Get Organized
If your closet is big enough (or even if it's a bit on the small side), you can find creative ways to add more shoe storage within the closet itself (that don't involve one of those awful door-hanging pockets).
BUY: 8-pair shoe organizer, $39.99 from The Container Store. You can place this on the floor of your closet, or on a top shelf if your closet is unusually tall (and you are too).
DIY: The beautiful thing about this make-it-yourself shoe organizer from I Always Pick the Thimble, besides the fact that you make it yourself, is that it's two rows deep, to store twice as many shoes in the same amount of space.
BUY: The TJUSIG shoe rack, $19.99 from IKEA, can stack to different heights to to accomodate different sizes of shoes, or different lengths of clothes hanging above.
DIY: When you run out of space on the floor, try the walls. The folks at Stylizmo used towel bars to hang and display high heels — a great solution for any closet with a little extra wall space.
BUY: This over-the-door shoe organizer, $24.70 from Amazon, can also be mounted on the wall.
DIY: I mean really... what can't tension rods do? If your closet (or bedroom) has a convenient shallow nook like this one, you can make like Tammy from A Loyal Love and add tension rods to hang your heels, with no drilling required.
#2: Re-Claim A Wall Outside Your Closet
Who says shoes have to go in the closet? If you have a blank wall in your bedroom, and the option to hang things on the wall, this could be a perfect spot for a little extra shoe storage.
BUY: I would be remiss did I not mention IKEA's Billy bookcases, which (especially with the glass doors) make for some really nice shoe storage at a reasonable price.
DIY: This shelving, spotted on The Fashion Spot, looks like the Container Store's Elfa, but you could build something very similar using brackets and uprights you find at the hardware store.
BUY: The Trones shoe cabinet, spotted here in an impressive arrangement from Dekorum, is a great storage option if you've run out of space in your closet, and don't want to look at your shoes all the time. TRONES shoe storage cabinet, $39.99 for 3, from IKEA.
DIY: This sculptural and very efficient shoe storage installation, spotted on Bolig, is mad from thick cardboard tubes.
#3: Put Your Footwear On Open Display
BUY: So you're thrift shopping and you find a beautiful armoire, but... what in the world are you going to do with it? Well, it would make a perfect home for your shoes. Image from The Coveteur.
DIY: This shoe shelf from A Pair & A Spare is made from two ladders.
BUY: I also love the idea of tucking a shelf for shoes behind a desk or vanity. It's a perfect solution for small spaces, as seen here on Lonny.
DIY: A petite shoe shelf from Design Sponge, for those who need just a little extra storage.
#4: Convert An Extra Closet
A (DIY or buy) solution for those very, very serious about shoes is to convert an entire closet into a home for your shoes. That's what designer Michelle Smith did in her two-bedroom NYC apartment. This shallow living room closet wasn't deep enough to be useful for much of anything, but it's the perfect depth for shoes.