5 shoe storage ideas for small spaces - handy and efficient solutions to declutter your home

No more tripping over your shoes on a daily basis…

White shoe storage compartments
(Image credit: The Cotswold Company)

If you’re tired of tripping over shoes every time you walk through your front door, you’re not alone. This can be especially infuriating when you have a small home and very few places to hide them, but these shoe storage ideas for small spaces can help you with that. 

There are so many amazing shoe storage ideas out there, but not all of them work when you live in a small home. With limited space at your disposal, buying a large shoe cabinet or bulky storage boxes will simply add more clutter to a house that already seems cluttered. Instead, you need to work on streamlining your storage - but how do you do that when you have a household’s worth of shoes to contend with?

To answer that question, we’ve consulted with the experts to find the best shoe storage ideas for small spaces. All of the options below will allow you to store your shoes neatly and efficiently in your small home without having to downsize your shoe collection. 

Shoe storage ideas for small spaces

Having somewhere to properly store your clothes can make a real difference to your small home. You can streamline your hallway ideas by investing in size-appropriate furniture, you can upgrade your small bedroom ideas by incorporating nifty shoe storage options and even make use of space you may have never considered before. 

1. Use an over-the-door shoe rack

door with shoe storage rack attached, pairs of shoes

(Image credit: A Place For Everything)

While doors are a great way to create a barrier between yourself and your noisy children, what many homeowners don’t realise is that doors offer a wealth of storage opportunities. In fact, the inside of your doors can very quickly and easily store dozens of your shoes - especially when you employ the use of an over-the-door shoe rack. 

There are two different types of over-the-door shoe racks, and it’s down to you whether you’d rather have an actual rack or a fabric organiser. Both will keep your shoes neat and tidy and out of the way when you’re only working with a small space. 

Of course, these over-the-door shoe racks aren’t the most attractive things in the world - so you might want to consider hanging them on the inside of doors and rooms that you don’t use on a regular basis. Personally, I’ve put mine in my cupboard under the stairs, so it’s still readily available but doesn’t encroach on my actual living space. 

2. Choose modular shoe boxes

Picture of IKEA shoe boxes stacked on top of each other

(Image credit: IKEA)

No, we’re not talking about the old cardboard shoe boxes you continue to hoard ‘just in case’ you need to take them back to the shoe shop months after you’ve bought them. In fact, you should definitely add getting rid of those shoe boxes to your decluttering checklist

What we love about modular shoe boxes is that they can be tailored and built to your specific space. All of the boxes lock together, but they’re also completely separate entities. This means that you can build them in a way that makes sense in the space you’re working with. 

Jonathan Clark, Space Saving Expert and Creative Director at Shelved, comments, ‘Shoe storage needs to be functional and accessible so that it can complement your lifestyle for when you leave the home and for when you come back. Modular storage systems are designed with flexibility in mind, they’ll allow you to adapt and customise the storage configuration to suit your specific needs.'

'For example, you can adjust the number of compartments or shelves, allowing you to categorise your shoe collection. You could also put the shoes you use the most on the top shelf so it’s easier for you to access.’ 

3. Invest in a shoe storage cabinet

White shoe storage compartments

(Image credit: Future PLC)

If you have a small space, adding another cabinet into the mix probably sounds like a recipe for disaster. However, a shoe storage cabinet isn’t like a regular cabinet. It’s much thinner, which makes it a perfect shoe storage option for those with limited space. 

Poppy Duffree, Founder and Director of Organised Interiors, says, ‘Purchase a slim shoe storage cabinet that doesn't intrude on walking space in your hallway. These clever units store shoes at an angle, allowing the unit to be up to half the depth of a standard shoe cabinet.’

Not only that, but the top shelf can also become a real feature in your small home. You could top it with fresh flowers, photo frames, your best candle or reed diffuser, or it could just be somewhere to dump your keys when you get home from work! 

4. Store them under the bed

Cream under the bed storage box in a bedroom

(Image credit: Dunelm)

Unless you’ve chopped off the legs of your bed to make a floor bed (which, bizarrely, is what my husband had done when I met him), there’s a high chance that you have some kind of storage space under your bed. This is the case, no matter if you have an ottoman bed, a divan bed with drawers, or a platform bed frame. 

But how many of you actually make the most of this under-the-bed space? Of course, you could simply shove your shoes under the bed willy-nilly, but when you’re working with limited space, it won’t take you long to have shoes sprawling out the sides. Under-the-bed storage boxes and bags can help you with that, though. 

Interiors Expert Stephany Aubrey from Zinus comments, ‘Under bed storage (when organised neatly) can be a great place to store shoes. We recommend utilising an ottoman bed or boxes to put away shoes which won’t be needed for a few months. This way, they are neatly out of sight and safe from damage whilst keeping the rest of your home clutter-free.’

‘To keep this space tidy, we recommend investing in slimline storage boxes which fit under the bed with enough space to be pulled in and out with ease. For added organisation, we suggest clearly labelling each box - so you know exactly where to find the pair you need!’

5. Add more shelves

built in show storage around doorway of a bedroom

(Image credit: Future PLC / James Balston)

When you don’t have a lot of floor space, aim higher! Most of the time, your walls are left as unused real estate. But when you live in a small space and are crying out for some more storage options, you need to make use of these blank and empty canvases to store things like your shoes. 

These shelves can come in so many different forms, and Ava Wilson, Chief Editor at Unclutterer is particularly fond of floating shelves. She says, ‘Floating shelves are elegant and space-saving. They give a clean, minimalistic look and are perfect for storing and displaying shoes, especially high heels.’

However, you could also use shelves on top of hanging coat hooks or even add extra shelves to your cupboards. 

Yes, it may be that you have large cupboards in your bedroom, office room or utility room that you can split up with shelves to re-think and repurpose the storage space you already have. These shelf inserts can be bought cheaply and installed relatively easily, and are a great option for those who want to store their shoes out of the way. 


How do you organise shoes in a small space?

The best way to organise shoes in a small space is to invest in space-saving storage solutions that will work with your home rather than against it. 

Using modular storage boxes allows you to build and tailor the finished piece of furniture to your room, and over-the-door shoe organisers allow you to make use of unused space. 

When you have limited floor space, you should also do everything you can to maximise vertical space, which you can do by using extra shelving or hanging shoe organisers in your closet. 

How do you store shoes when you have no space?

Sometimes many people overlook storage space in their homes, which can lead to shoes sitting on the floor and getting in the way. But it’s important to think outside of the box when it comes to storing shoes when you think you have no space.

Think about all of the empty areas of your home, from under your bed to your bare walls and the corners of your rooms. Then, find shoe storage solutions that will fit into these spaces. 

So, how will you be storing your shoes?

Lauren Bradbury

Lauren Bradbury is a freelance writer and major homes enthusiast. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in English and Creative Writing from the University of Chichester in 2016, before dipping her toe into the world of content writing. After years of agency work, writing everything from real-life stories to holiday round-ups, she decided to take the plunge and become a full-time freelancer in the online magazine world. Since then, she has become a regular contributor for Real Homes and Ideal Home, and become even more obsessed with everything interior and garden related. As a result, she’s in the process of transforming her old Victorian terraced house into an eclectic and modern home that hits visitors with personality as soon as they walk through the door.