By Lara Sargent, Houzz Contributor
If you swoon over gorgeous shoes in every possible shape and heel height, shoe storage is probably a big challenge for you. If you don't have the space, don't worry: the solution doesn't always include a large, walk-in closet. Check out these 10 top storage hacks and make your home a shoe-happy haven.
1. Hang up your heels. Your pretty vintage stilettos and color-blocked heels are just too gorgeous to hide from view, don't you think? So display your fabulous footwear for all to see. This hack requires a few strips of molding (painted in the same color as your wall to be "invisible") so you can hook on your heels for a dazzling display. And what better excuse for going out and buying some more shoes than to add to your growing "installation"?
2. Display cute footwear. This is possibly the best hack for keeping little ones' sandals and sneakers off the bedroom floor -- and it ingeniously repurposes a piece of furniture. Seek out a vintage partitioned wall cupboard or set of cubbyholes and squeeze a teeny-weeny pair of shoes into each box. It's wall art and wonderful storage in one.
3. Tidy up the hallway. Hallways tend to get clogged up with a mountain of kicked-off school shoes, trainers and pumps, making a serious mess of our entrances. This straightforward solution requires investing in a slim shoe storage unit (which you can pick up at lots of big retailers these days). Then tailor the unit to your space by having a cabinet built around it, with doors you can shut to hide the entire stash.
4. Layer with shelves. Let's face it, if you're the proud owner of a prized collection of Jimmy Choos, Christian Louboutins and Manolo Blahniks, you'll want an efficient and organized storage hub to neatly stock your investments. This owner has more than 200 pairs of designer-label lovelies to her name (eat your heart out, Sarah Jessica Parker), so she had a custom shoe wall made to accommodate the exact dimensions of her footwear.
For an easier and less expensive DIY solution, fit out an alcove or cupboard with rows of white shelving and get those shoes off the floor.
5. Transform a cupboard. This idea is straightforward and does the job so reliably well. A large linen closet or wardrobe has been overhauled into a huge shoe storage cabinet, thanks to rows of slanted shelves, allowing enough space underneath for taller boots.
6. File them away. This is a tried and tested shoe hack, and one guaranteed to bring peace and harmony to a pile of unruly footwear. Either use the box the shoes came in or splurge on matching, uniform boxes for an enhanced sense of file-it-away efficiency in a system where no dust or dirt can ruin your precious purchases. Don't forget to take a photo of the shoes inside so you don't end up rummaging around, tearing open box after box (and being left with more mess than you started with!).
7. Clear it up. If labeling white cardboard boxes is too time-consuming, try stashing your sandals, sneakers and power heels in clear acrylic boxes. That way you'll be able to see what's in each box at a glance, and your shoes will still be protected from everyday dust and grime. See-through plastic tubs are also easy to get a hold of and come in a range of sizes to suit your needs.
8. Fill a narrow gap. Skinny, underused wall spaces can be maxed out with special shoe holders, which will allow you to display your collection with ease. If you don't have a walk-in closet, no worries -- you can overhaul a hallway space, an unused cupboard or an understairs area just as well by taking the same tack.
9. Make use of a rail. Tall boots are notoriously difficult to store, as they can get bent and crumpled when shoehorned into a box or the bottom of a wardrobe. This clever idea uses a simple midheight rail and a few sturdy metal hangers with clips for hanging up boots in perfect order. With your prized footwear hanging neatly in twos ready for the taking, there will be no more rummaging around for a matching pair.
10. Disguise storage in a step. OK, so this storage hack needs to be built and installed from the outset -- but once you've got it, you've got it for good. Pullout stairs are a fabulous storage addition to any home and can fit in an unbelievable amount of footwear for the whole family.