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How to Organize Closet Accessories

Shoe Storage Basics

how to organize closet space
©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
The traditional floor rack wastes space and doesn't hold as many shoes as other methods.

If your shoes are in a giant pile on the floor of your closet, you are wasting valuable space and valuable time sorting through the mess. Perhaps it's time to invest in a shoe rack. Shoe racks come in a wide vareity of styles to suit every closet shape and size. To begin, we will look at an old favorite -- the over-door shoe rack.

The over-door shoe rack resolves shoe storage in a practical, space-saving manner. This type of shoe rack will often work effectively on sliding doors as long as it is installed on the inside surface of the innermost door. This rack can also be hung on the back wall of the closet (behind the hanging clothes) or on the sidewall of the closet (if you can spare five inches of clearance).

This basic idea was streamlined and its versatility improved by reducing the rack to a single compact strip that can fit in even the tightest wall space. You can arrange one, two, or more strips in whatever configuration suits the wall space and the number of shoes to be stored. Several strips of this shoe storage rack can hold many more shoes than other, more traditional methods of storage.

The simple molded plastic floor rack for shoe storage has probably been purchased more than any other type of shoe storage rack. But most of the time it is left sitting on the floor unused, with shoes in heaps around it. Even more distressing, its existence prevents you from doubling the hanging capacity in your closet because it occupies the space where a second, lower closet rod could be installed. And these racks don't store shoes in the least amount of space.

Simple Strips
©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
Simple strips of shoe racks can be
arranged in any configuration and
number you want.

If you kept your shoes in their cardboard boxes or in transparent shoe boxes on the shelf or floor, the shoes occupy less space. The secret for the successful application of this method lies in how the boxes are stacked, aligned, and combined. If the stacks are more than 3 or 4 boxes high, the system will be too awkward to handle. The exception is with a self-supporting system of shoe boxes that has a structure surrounding the boxes. Then the boxes can be slid in and out without disturbing the other boxes.

Consider your own set of variables -- the space available for shoe storage and the number of shoes you must store -- and keep the following guidelines in mind.

  • how to organize closet accessories
    ©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
    Transparent shoe boxes in a self-supporting system also work well for shoe storage.
    First target the places in your closet that are unused and unproductive. These areas can usually handle shoe storage well but can't handle other items, like sweaters. Don't use rod space for shoe storage, even if you own a perfectly dandy shoe bag designed for the clothes rod.

  • Never use more space than necessary unless the system is so efficient it warrants extra space or your closet is so spacious it can afford the luxury. Never choose a system based only on its beauty or uniqueness.

  • Allow a little extra room for new acquisitions. Sometimes you must recognize that you don't have enough space in any one area of the closet to store every pair of shoes you own. In that case, divide your shoes into separate categories, such as casual, sporty dressy and the like, and select spots that will accommodate these smaller groupings.

Now that you've stored a traditionally-bulky item like shoes, it's time to move on to another closet item that just seems to take up space and get in the way: sweaters. In the next section, we will cover the basics of sweater storage, including how to properly roll and hang a sweater.