Birdz of a Feather
Birdz of a Feather
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Sole Searching - A Shoe Storage Solution

2 Materials
$60
2 Hours
Easy

After a lot of 'sole searching' (the kind of searching you do when you can't find the pair of shoes you really want to wear, that is), I finally came up with a shoe storage solution that works for me.

Before I get into the nitty gritty, I have an amusing story about my shoe fetish. I worked for a downtown creative firm many years ago and was known for keeping a ton of shoes under my desk. One year at Christmas time, because we were a creative bunch, the party committee decided to shoot a video. Every time they shot a scene, they would cut back to someone counting shoes under my desk. This was a running joke that went on for the entire length of the video! Anyway, that 'amusement' soon faded when the reality of the situation finally sunk in - which resulted in me having to come up with a solution to store more of my shoes at home :)

With some plastic storage containers, self laminating cards, a camera and some double face tape, this is what I came up with:
At a glance dust-free show storage
At a glance dust-free show storage
Even though I have a walk-in closet, it is fairly small and was a cluttered mess. I wanted to be able to easily locate the shoes I wanted at a glance. It would take a mega-storage solution to organize my myriad of shoes!

The as-is section at Ikea can be a great resource for finding items at a fraction of the price. When I happened upon a Pax 2 wardrobe frame floor model, I just knew that it would work perfectly as a shoe tower! The metal shelves it came with were meant to be used for shoe storage, as shown below, but I really wanted a dust free solution so I reinstalled the shelves in a horizontal position instead.
Source: Ikea.ca
Source: Ikea.ca
Shelves positioned horizontally
Shelves positioned horizontally
The wardrobe turned out to be the perfect size to hold up to 40 pairs of shoes in plastic storage containers (it measures 19 5/8 wide by 13 3/4 deep by 93 1/8 high). Although it already came with some metal shelving, I bought a few more so I could stack the shoe boxes 3-high between each shelf. Stacking them in this way made it easy enough to pull one out from the bottom without risking an avalanche of the ones on top.
Stacking 3-high on each shelf functions well!
Stacking 3-high on each shelf functions well!
I found this pack of 'self laminating cards' for only $3 for 50 at the dollar store!
Love the dollar store!
Love the dollar store!
Then I took digital pictures of every pair of shoes I had. I arranged them on a white board to neutralize the background. I arranged each pair, as shown below, so that I could see the shoes from the side as well as from the top. I tried to be consistent with this layout so it would look organized once stacked on the shelves.

You'll need to practice a little to get everything into frame. Some of my pictures got cut off a touch because of the size of the laminated card, so be mindful of this as you're taking pictures to leave enough white space around your photos so you won't have to retake them again!
sole searching a shoe storage solution, closet, diy, organizing, shelving ideas, storage ideas
Our local photography store was having a sale on 6" by 8" prints so I set the pictures up collage-style (four to a page) so I could cut them down and fit them into the laminated cards. The laminated card is only 2 1/2 high x 4 wide, so you might want to do a test print to make sure the printed photos will work with that size.
sole searching a shoe storage solution, closet, diy, organizing, shelving ideas, storage ideas
When the pictures were processed, it was just a matter of trimming them to size to fit into the laminated cards and then pressing around the edges to seal them up.
sole searching a shoe storage solution, closet, diy, organizing, shelving ideas, storage ideas
I then needed stackable containers that would fit within the wardrobe. Because I needed so many, I waited until one of our local organizing stores was having a sale and I was able to get perfectly sized containers for $2 each. For anyone who's wondering what I used, the boxes are from IRIS (13.63 x 8.13 x 4.38 - 6 quart containers).
Source: http://www.irisusainc.com/
Source: http://www.irisusainc.com/
Once I had all my laminated cards done, I put some double face tape on each one and stuck it to the outside of the box. If you prefer, you could use clear double side tape and stick the picture onto the inside of the box facing out instead.

All that's left is to put the matching shoes into the box, closed the lid and put it onto the shelf.
sole searching a shoe storage solution, closet, diy, organizing, shelving ideas, storage ideas
The beauty of this project is that it takes up little floor space in the closet. It's only two shoe boxes wide - the rest of the space is essentially vertical air space, leaving me plenty of room for clothes storage too!

I can store up to 40 pair of shoes in this tower. Because of the height, I need a step stool to reach the very top but I store less used shoes on top.
sole searching a shoe storage solution, closet, diy, organizing, shelving ideas, storage ideas
Even if you don't have a walk-in closet and don't have space to devote to a whole tower of shoes, you can still utilize the laminated card idea on the outside of your shoe boxes to see what you have without having to open the lid! Easy peasy and dust free to boot!

Here is just one of the storage solutions you'll find on Birdz of a Feather: Tarnish Free Jewellery Cabinet Upcycle
sole searching a shoe storage solution
And here's another one you may have missed on Birdz of aFeather:
sole searching a shoe storage solution, closet, diy, organizing, shelving ideas, storage ideas
Here's an overview of previous storage projects on Birdz of a Feather:
sole searching a shoe storage solution
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Suggested materials:

  • Shoe boxes  (Organizing store)
  • Self laminating cards  (Dollar store)

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4 of 50 comments
  • Mrshouse33
    on Oct 24, 2017

    I did the same thing years ago but when I went to get a pair of sandles out to wear, the leather/pleather was cracked and started to crumble in my hand. I though it was just one pair, that may have been too old, but after further looking in containers a lot of my shoes were in same condition. I talked to a shoe repair guy and he said that plastic holds moisture when the weather changes and that’s why my shoes fell apart. He said this is why high end shoe and purse selllers provide cloth bags for storage. That made sense since after a while some of my plastic containers had a foggy look and I had wiped the out. It should have clicked in my head what was causing the fog....moisture. Luckily the shoes I lost were not my favs, but I was still disappointed. Hope this doesn’t happen to anyone else 😊.
  • Val
    on Dec 30, 2017

    I drill several good-sized holes in each box. Leather needs to breath.
    Thanks for sharing
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