This Simple Space-Saving Shoe Organizing Hack Will Make More Room for Your Favorite Sneakers

published Sep 7, 2022
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As a self-proclaimed home-organizing nerd, I’m also unafraid to admit that I’m a sucker for a good organizing product. When something is made with high-quality materials, actually works, saves space, and looks aesthetically-pleasing, I will gush about it to everyone and anyone who will listen. However, these rave-worthy products usually come with a hefty price tag, and I’m left with questions about more budget-friendly organization ideas.

Luckily, I have a great organizing hack to share. It’s one of my all-time favorites for anyone struggling to get and keep their shoes organized. And that’s because it’s absolutely free and actually effective. 

Sure, you can still purchase racks, drop-front boxes, and even Shoe Slotz to fit more pairs in less space. But if you need just a little bit more room for your shoes or are in a temporary space such as a rental and don’t want to invest a lot into organizers, this trick can feel like magic.

Take a shelf in your closet or a flat, horizontal shoe rack that you already own and assess how many pairs can fit. Let’s say it could easily fit three and a half. But if you just had some wiggle room, you could fit all four. In this case, tweak the way you place the shoes on the shelf. Instead of all of the toes facing the wall, leave the right shoe where it is and turn the left one around so the toe is now facing outward.

Credit: Mary Cornetta

Merely flipping one shoe in the opposite direction will open up a few centimeters to an inch or so of room (depending on the type, more on that in a moment) by allowing them to hug their own curves better. It might not seem like much, but it will be enough to fit an extra shoe on the shelf most of the time.

I personally find that this hack works best with bulkier types of shoes such as sneakers or booties. I’ll also be honest and confess that I don’t actually love the way this looks on my closet shelves. I prefer to have all shoes facing one direction, particularly with the toe to the wall as I think it simply looks cleaner. If you find yourself in the same boat, feel free to only use the method where you need it.

For example, most of my shelves comfortably fit three pairs across with the exception of one row of sneakers. So I only flip that shelf and leave the rest in one direction. Feel free to also use it with shoes on the lower shelves so it’s not at your eye level but still allows you to be better organized.

This hack keeps shelves or racks looking neat and prevents stray shoes from being strewn across the floor, whether that be in a closet or by the front door.