8 Amazing Tips for Storing Shoes in Your Closet

Whether you're clearing out your closet or just organizing, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed. There are so many shoes that need to be stored!  I've compiled 8 amazing tips for storing shoes in your closet and they work just as well in a wardrobe, plastic shoe boxes, and/or storage bins.

Shoes are expensive, and most people don’t know how to store them properly. Most people like shoving all the shoes in a closet in a big pile. However, if you want your footwear to last longer than one season, it’s important that you learn how to store your footwear properly so they remain supple and wearable for many years to come.

Before you even store your shoes, remember to clean and polish them. You can now make shoes easy to store by taking their inventory, buying organizers, shoe boxes, and racks. These things will help keep the shoes organized in your closet, preserve their quality and make it easy for you to access them.

Follow these simple steps and keep your favorite boots or heels looking brand new for years in the closet.

1.  Take Inventory of Your Shoes

Before you start storing your shoes in a closet, check your shoes first. Empty your shoes and take a good look at the soles of each pair. If you have any pairs with worn-down or cracked soles, it’s time to retire those shoes permanently. Try to sort your shoes on different occasions.

A clean blue shoes.
Always inspect your shoes before storing them in a closet.

You can also sort your shoes by season to save your room and make them easier to find. Give away those pairs that you don’t wear, or you’re uncomfortable with. Get rid of any worn-out shoes that are beyond repair. Keep the remaining pairs in your closet organized to make it easier for you to find them later. After donating or discarding your worn-out shoes, count the remaining pairs. This will help you know the type and the number of organizers you’ll need in your closet.

2.  Clean, Polish, and Repair Before Putting Them Away

Ensure you clean and polish your shoes before putting them in your closet to maintain their appearance and protect the leather. You can use a soft brush to dust off the dirt from the surface of the shoes. Then, apply some neutral shoe polish on a cloth or an old cotton t-shirt and rub it gently over each pair of shoes until they are clean.

Use the required cleaner to clean your shoes. For example, use talcum powder, a brush, and a dry towel to clean boots. Use water and a soft brush to clean your sneakers. Do not submerge them in water because this can cause damage to the leather.

Rubbing alcohol will remove scuff marks on light-colored shoe surfaces or polish stains from patent leather shoes. Use a toothbrush and some rubbing alcohol on light-colored ones, and use baking soda to keep your kicks looking fresh after a long walk. Remove those simple stains by wiping them down with a cloth. After cleaning, polishing, and repairing, stuff your shoes with enough material to create a little bulge to keep the shoe box upright.

When you’re not wearing your sneakers, leave them out in the open rather than tucked away in some dark corner of your closet. Sunlight will kill germs and dry those moisture-prone rubber shoes out.

3.  Choose a Shoe Organizer that Makes sense for you and Your Shoes

When it comes to storing your shoes in a closet, where you store them matters a lot. But before storing, you need to consider how long you’ll go without wearing them and how many pairs you’ll own. if you have a few pairs of shoes that you don’t wear very often, store them in the original shoe box. Storing them up on shelves makes it easier to retrieve whenever you want to wear them.

A pair of shoes on a shoe box.
Store your shoes depending on how often you are going to wear them.

But for shoes you’ll be wearing more often, store them in open storage. Open storage will keep both leather and fabric stay fresh. If you like to store them in the original shoe box, make sure that it’s not too tight. Also, never let your shoes face each other for long periods. This will cause them to be smelly and eventually fussy.

4.  Use Shoe Racks and Cabinets for Short-Term Storage

If you have too many shoes that are not in daily use, it is better to store them with shoe racks or cabinets. Buy a good-quality shoe rack or cabinet so that your shoes will be protected from extreme temperature changes and other factors that may cause damage to them, such as dust and dirt.

Make sure there is air circulation around your footwear by having an open front rack or cabinet. The open front also helps in keeping your closet organized. Also, place your shoe rack in a convenient place like a garage, entryway, and mudroom for your friends and family members to quickly put their shoes in.

There are many types of shoe racks you can choose for yourself depending on your budget, style preferences, and requirements. Nowadays, you can find shoe storage cabinets with lockable drawers so that no one will disturb your footwear. Your mudroom and entryway are a great way, especially if you want your shoes to be in good shape.

5.  Keep Your Closet Organized with Shoe Trees

Trees and pegboards help you keep your footwear off the floor, which helps keep your closet organized. But before you think of using trees and pegboards, consider how long you’re going to store your boots. If it’s for the long term, then shoe trees are ideal. This is because anything that fits inside the shoes can distort its silhouette, stretching the fabric and leather over time. So only use trees and pegboards for long-term storage.

A woman looking at huge shoe collection.
Make your closet look even more organized and maintain your shoe shape by using shoe trees.

If you have running shoes, flat shoes, and casual shoes which you frequently wear, then use shoe trees to maintain their shape. The trees also help in keeping the inside of your shoes dry and help to absorb moisture. Nothing beats a fresh pair of shoes. Tree inserts can also be used for long-term storage.

This is because they are not as hardy and will eventually degrade over time. Even the ones made of cedar wood will lose their shape and structure over time. Also, switch the way you hang and put these shoes in your closet.

6.  Store the Shoes You Rarely Wear at the Top of Your Closet

There’re shoes such as dressy high heels that you’ll wear rarely. Even if you’re going to wear them daily, they won’t easily fit in your closet with many other shoes. And given that they’re more delicate, you can easily knick their bins for cubbies. So use the top shelf of your closet to store them.

Store them up there using shoeboxes. Don’t forget to make them visible by putting tape on the boxes front. This way, you’ll easily pick the pair you want. Also, if you have many shoes to store in your closet, consider buying shoe organizers so that everything will be more organized and sorted out.

Avoid hanging shoes by the laces or ankles. Fragile parts of your shoes, such as high heels, are often dented when hanging them by their laces and ankles. Yet, you may be used to this practice, especially if your parents have been doing it for years.

A heel hanging on a finger of a woman.
Never hang your shoes by the laces or ankles as you will damage them, especially those with high heels.

7.  Use Clear Shoe Boxes with Lids to Store Your Shoes

This tip not only applies to storing shoes in a closet, but it’s tough to pick an item that you don’t know in any storage solution. So it’s not possible to get to the shoes you want when you staff them together. So make sure you keep your shoes visible when sorting them out. As mentioned above, there are bags and boxes for shoes, but they can be quite expensive. However, you can buy a clear shoebox with a lid to keep them organized at a low price. Use sticky notes to label your shoes if you store them in a closet or cabinet.

If you decide to reuse the shoeboxes, you already have, stick a picture of the shoes on each box. This will help jog your memory and prevent you from displacing your closet while looking for your outfit options. You can also get stackable shoe bins. These transparent bins can store much of your shoes in a way that you can easily see them.

8.  Use Over-the-door Organizers to Store Lightweight Shoes

Shoe organizers behind the door offer great storage for lightweight and casual shoes. These pockets are often sturdy enough that they can support high-heeled shoes. The pockets also make it easy for you to grab your favorite pair of sandals and head to a nearby party or picnic.

You can use a slim vertical organizer that ties over the closet if you don’t have a sliding closet door. Hanging rails made from hooks look stylish while helping save space. They can also work well for you.

Related Questions

How can you store your shoes in a closet without smelling?

To prevent your sneakers from smelling in your closet, sprinkle baking soda in each shoe and let it sit overnight. Then dump the powder out in the morning to make your shoes feel fresh and look new.

Is it good to store shoes in their boxes or outside?

It is better to store your shoes in their boxes rather than outside of the box so that they do not get damaged. Boxes help keep shoes saved from dust and moisture as well as keep the closet organized at all times.

Pair of white shoes on a box.
Boxes help keep shoes saved from dust and moisture as well as keep the closet organized at all times.

How do you keep shoes from molding?

To prevent your shoes from molding, it is best to lay out a clean pair of socks with each pair of shoes and store them in an airtight container. Don’t allow mold to get to your shoes because that will mean irreversible damage.


Opening the closet and seeing a bunch of shoes piled together can be overwhelming. Organize your shoes with these tips for storing footwear in your closets or drawers to save space, reduce clutter, and keep things looking neat. Keep your shoe collections separate instead of cramming every pair of boots, heels, boots, dress, and accessories.

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