How Pro Organizers Store Shoes Without a Mudroom or Closet

published Oct 26, 2020
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Credit: Joe Lingeman

In my house, there are a lot of shoes. Between my two young kids, my husband, and me, there’s usually a half-dozen pairs—at least 50 percent of them unsightly neon Crocs—hanging out by the front door. Generally, I stay on top of decluttering, but this hot spot has been tough—mostly because I don’t have a mudroom. In fact, my entryway also happens to be my dining room.

To help mitigate the issue, I ended up snagging a storage locker to corral my family’s footwear, but there are plenty of other creative, effective ways to keep shoes tidy and organized. So if rogue shoes have you down, here’s how pro organizers suggest keeping things tidy without a formal mudroom.

An entryway cabinet

If you have spare wall space, but not much spare floor space, try IKEA’s STALL shoe cabinets, says Eileen Kelly Reed, a pro organizer and productivity coach. “When my client doesn’t have a mudroom or entryway closet, I often recommend this product, because it has a slim profile and the shoes are enclosed,” she says. Plus, it can double as a great spot to put your keys or even a device charging station.

A multi-tiered shoe rack

Shoes need to be off the floor at all times, otherwise, you’ll inevitably end up with a pile, says Lucy Milligan Wahl, organizer and owner of LMW Edits. The solution? A simple, multi-tiered shoe rack (like this one) in a material that matches the aesthetic of your living space, says Wahl. “It’s easy to find your shoes, easy to put them away, and there’s some structure there to keep the shoes from being visually distracting,” she says. “Consider devoting one level of the rack to each family member, so that it’s always clear whose shoes are put away.”

Cubby storage

Dedicated shoe cabinets are usually relatively shallow, but if you have floor space to spare, you can consider any cabinet or shelf that goes with your entryway or home decor—like IKEA’s KALLAX cube shelf, says Amy Woidtke, a professional organizer. Shoes can go directly in the cubbies below, or in baskets or bins in the cubbies. And, if you put a cushion on top, it doubles as a sitting bench for taking shoes on and off, she ads.

Wall baskets

No floor space? Use your walls, says Woidtke, who often hangs long, slender baskets (like metal flower baskets or wire baskets) on clients’ walls to corral shoes and other items. You can attach lighter baskets with cup hooks or Command Strip hooks for no-mark hanging, but you’ll need to screw in wall anchors for heavier metal baskets meant to hold heavy shoes.

An over-the-door shoe organizer

Shoe organizers with clear pockets make grabbing and going easy, since you can see your shoes. And, according to Woidtke, over-the-door organizers work just as effectively on a wall in your entryway. You can also fill the pockets with hats, gloves, and scarves, and small items like sunglasses and keys. 

A storage bench

A storage bench can add extra functionality to an entryway, since you can use the space for storage, plus sit down to take shoes on and off, says Annie Draddy, organizer and co-founder of Henry & Higby. A bench like this one acts like a cubby, while some benches open up from the top for more discreet storage.

A simple basket

Many times people don’t actually put their shoes in a designated piece of furniture, which makes formal storage pointless, says Kim Jones, founder of Lock and Key Home Organization. If that’s the case for you, Jones says a simple basket on the floor is enough to corral shoes so you don’t lose them or trip—plus, you can just kick off your shoes upon entry, instead of sitting down to take them off. For a vintage look, try a wooden storage crate instead.