In pursuit of a simple, fabulous, imperfect life at home.

Real Life Shoe Storage

I like home decorating magazines.  A lot.  Sometimes i get sucked into their fantasy world.  A world where grand plans to place matching mom and daughter rain boots side by side under a rustic country bench actually happen each and every time we step through the door.  A world where snow boots never get mucky, work boots never get covered in drywall dust, and the shoes you mowed the lawn in never turn that awful yellowish green colour.

But I don't actually live in that world.

So here is my plan for storing shoes that doesn't require that I have only beautiful shoes and a family that is willing to line them up from smallest to biggest and colour coded. every. single. day.

STEP ONE:  Put all your dress shoes in your bedroom closets
a) You probably pick your dress shoes out when you are getting dressed anyways, not when you're rushing out the door.
b) It keeps them safely away from the mucky boots and stinky gym shoes in your entry way.
c) You can line them up, color code them, sort them by whatever you want because they will probably stay like that.
Tip: Don't put them on the floor of your closets.  Only entry closets can have stuff on the floor.  I just made that rule up just now, but trust me. Putting stuff on the floor of the closet is like stuffing stuff under the bed:  you start with good intentions.  I'm just going to put these few items there.  Neatly of course.  And before long it is a dark abyss of stuff and spiders and doom.

STEP TWO: Get a big basket. Or a shelf.  Or an old toy bin.  Something big.  Throw all the rest of the shoes in it.   This is kinda like the heaping pile of shoes you're hiding in your closet right now.  Except it's controlled chaos.  (Were you expecting something more complicated?  Sorry.  That's not how I roll.)

STEP THREE: Have a mat too.
Because a) you don't want to throw wet shoes on top of dry ones
and b) your guests aren't going to want to throw their shoes in the basket.

Tell me, how do you keep shoes looking neat and tidy at your house?


  1. great site. love your comments Dad

  2. We keep our shoes in a bucket by the front door. All my nice shoes are far away from that. For the longest time we would line them up on the wall but our guest had no where to put their shoes. The bucket is big and blue with cute rope handles cost about 5.00. As soon as I can play with toxic chemicals again I am spray painting it a color to match the rest of the house.

  3. I've been reading your post all morning! Can I ask a favor? Can you come to my house and help me?!?!
    I'm not opposed to begging!:)

  4. hi! We don't have the space for shoe walls, stacked pretty shoe boxes with polaroid pics of contents etc, like you we need real living ideas. I will use your tip to put dress shoes on top shelf of cupboard. I keep my shoes in wooden wine boxes on bottom shelf. Just pull out box and grab. One box is for office shoes, the other for free time shoes. It works well for me, I am not a tidy person so throw-grab works fine. I put off season shoes away (so now no boots etc, they are in a suitcase elsewhere) Your offer very doable idea's! Thanx!

  5. So glad to hear that I'm not the only one with the giant shoe bin! I like the idea of the mat next to it... we are resorting to a nasty cardboard box next to the nice Target one for all the gross shoes. Every time I look at it, I cry a little inside. Love your blog as well! I've been up waaay past my bedtime cruising through your posts :)

  6. OK, we live on several acres and raise chickens. Our gross yard shoes aka Chicken Shoes are not allowed inside the house. Each person has only two pair of chicken shoes. They're left by the front or back doors. The rest of the kids' shoes go in baskets in their rooms. Adult shoes have been living in our closets on old wonky pressboard racks. I am trying your method of putting them on shelves AND I LOVE IT.


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