Organizing shoes….more reader mailbag

Updated below.

Dear Laura,
I have greatly appreciated your ideas about organizing the house. My pressing problem is SHOES at the front door. I have trained everyone to take off their shoes as they walk in, but this means we always have this mess. The space is very narrow. Do you have any ideas for me? I’d really appreciate your help.

Let’s talk shoes! This reader needs somewhere to “contain” all their family shoes. Containing these shoes will reign them in and keep them from spreading out all over the floor. They need a designated space. I think I’ve come up with a variety of practical solutions that just might work in this limited space. As I don’t know all this reader’s preferences or budget, I’m hoping one of these will meet their needs. Clicking on the link under each picture will take you to where I found the item online.

First up. A quick and easy solution is this shoe caddy that can be placed by the door and the shoes thrown in. It doesn’t hold a lot of shoes though.

Wood and Canvas Shoe Bagger

Width 30″, Height 12″, Depth 13″


Next option is a shoe organizer that holds many shoes but does generate some visual clutter.

25 Pair Stackable Shoe Storage

Width 24″, Height 31.5′, Depth 12″


This one below holds 12 shoes with a bonus bench for sitting on to put those shoes on. Because the doors close, the visual clutter is minimized.

Fold Out 12 Shoe Cabinet

Height 19.5″, Width 29.5″, Depth 11.5″


If more room is required then a cabinet similar to the one above but with two drawers is an excellent choice with double the amount of shoe capacity.

Double Shoe Bureau

Height 34″, Width 29.5″ x Depth 11.5″


Or, for even more shoes, we have the 3 drawer shoe cabinet. Notice that with this choice, as well as the one above, she will have the top shelf to use for a key basket, mail basket, purse, etc…

Triple Shoe Cabinet

Height 48″, Width 30″, Depth 11.5″


Finally we have the narrowest of all the choicest but it also doesn’t hold as many shoes as some of the choices above. However since space is of a premium here, this might be the best fit with only a 6″ depth!

 4 Drawer Shoe Cabinet

Height 53.5″, Width 19 3/4″, Depth 6″


As always there are so many different solutions to one organizing dilemma. Many questions need to be answered by this family in order to help determine and narrow down which solution will work the best for them. Questions such as:

1. How many pairs of shoes are required to be stored?

2. The width of the space and what will comfortably fit.

3. Is visual clutter a problem?

4. Anything else need a home at the entryway?

5. Ease of use?

6. Budget?

This is a picture of the shoe storage I use for my kids. It is what I call their backpack station. As you can see I’ve added another shelf from the original picture and now also store the bike helmets there for quick and easy access. I myself would prefer something with doors on it but I find with kids, the less steps the better.

I’m anxious to hear what works for this reader. Hope it helps someone else as well.

Finding a shoe solution was the easy part, getting the kids to actually use it is a whole other problem all together….lol. I’m still working on that one with my kids.

Filed under: Organizing Solutions


29 Responses to Organizing shoes….more reader mailbag

  1. 1
    Twisted Cinderella says

    in my house, number two would be best, because although it creates visual clutter, it is the one most likely to be used by both Prince Charming and Princess. And at the end of the day, it is the easiest one to train them to use. If they have to open a drawer it ain’t gonna happen. LOL

  2. 2
    Anonymous says

    Guests are allowed to keep their shoes on but us family usually discard the moment we walk in the door, just for comfort. We have a shallow plastic container located just under the coat rack a few feet from our front door that hold the shoes we use all the time.

  3. 3
    Lorri says

    We found an inexpensive solution for our shoes. Our actual entryway is too small for shoe storage, so we moved it just out of the way in the adjoining room. These are cheap pressed-wood stacking shelves that you can buy at any StuffMart. Here’s a before and after picture in my house: Shoe Storage. We’ve since added one more set of shelves to the side. One of our children’s evening chores is to straighten up the shoes and make it look like that picture every night.

  4. 4
    Mrs. Incredible says

    We have a large basket near the door, all the kids use that. Adults are pretty good at putting them neatly somewhere inside.

  5. 5
    [email protected] says

    I love what Lorri has. I need something like that. We have a plastic laundry basket right now but the kids have to dig through it to find what they want. Plus we have two college kids living with us and I swear the one guy brought 15 pair of sneakers! LOL. I’m going shopping TODAY!!!

  6. 6
    Org Junkie says

    Great suggestions ladies, keep them coming.
    Lorri, I have no idea why I didn’t include that option since I use the exact same one myself! I also love that you have made that one of the evening chores for your kids. I’m going to start that as well.

  7. 7
    texasblu says

    Those are cool ideas. I perfer shoes ON. All the time. Then we don’t have to look for them. But then, that’s what comes of having 7 kids. 😀

  8. 9
    Org Junkie says

    Anonymous, that is very cool!

    I’ve never heard of that site, thanks for letting me know about it!


  9. 10
    mistihollrah says

    I have a big Longaberger basket sitting by my front door, mostly shoes that we wear all the time are in that basket-that away when the kids are getting ready for school etc, they know where their shoes are!

    I love some of the other ideas that have been shared!

  10. 11
    Michelle says

    Once again, I click and here’s a solution to one of my problems! LOL. I have to move your link up on my sidebar from “Links” to “Sites I Love”. Seriously!
    I was having problems this summer with gloves and hats and things being layed over our easy chair closest to the front door. I placed a small wicker basket next to the chair (between the chair and the front door) and miraculously these items stayed contained all season. Now I’ve removed the basket, and have the problem with the shoes. I had this same problem over the winter. Would any of your ideas work for boots as well when the winter months roll back around? I have a limited budget, so whatever idea I use must work for all seasons.
    Thanks for all your great ideas and creativity!! 🙂

  11. 12
    Munchkin Land says

    LOVE it, LOVE it! We have a closing date and I’m already trying to picture how to contain the clutter of shoes by the front door. Yikes!

  12. 13
    Sheryl says

    We have the second option in our laundry room (which is right off the garage…and where we go in and out)
    It really doesn’t give the visual clutter that you’d think it would, and it is easy for everyone to use…which means they actually use it 😉

  13. 14
    mcgrigor says

    We have a very small entry way and each child has their own shoe basket/bin with their name on it. In the summer time shoes go right in their bins when they come in from outside. In the winter, wet boots sit on a mat infront of the baskets until they are dry. The threat here is that the shoes that don’t make it to the bins get taken away – seems to work!!

  14. 15
    Gretchen says


    We have a version of #2. We keep it in the garage by a bench. However, we have what Flylady would call “hotspots” on the top of the shoe organizer, and on the bench. There isn’t a lot of sitting going on at the bench. 🙂

    The only step this family needs is: FOLLOW THROUGH. *sigh* We are all major works in progress, I’m afraid. 🙂

  15. 17
    Kili @ Live Each Moment says

    Another option is to just have something big enough to hold a few pairs of shoes and every couple of days have everyone put their shoes back in their closet. That’s waht we do. Well ours is still on a pile on the floor like your readers, but after a day or so I put them all where they go and we start over. Then we do not get an overabundance.

    So storage for just minimal (like your first one) would be great for me because I’d be willing to move them every so often.

  16. 18
    Qtpies7 says

    I love the 25 pair cubicles! We have no storage areas at either door to our home, and with 9 of us, the shoes just multiply like you wouldn’t believe! I think 25 pairs at each door would do the trick, but it would be kind of ugly, either at the front door, or blocking a window in my kitchen.
    And do you know how BIG teen boys’ shoes are??? I don’t remember my brothers’ shoes being so big.

  17. 19
    Twisted Cinderella says

    Oh I love your solution. It is one that I could actually use. I am going to put one like that on my list of purchases!

  18. 20
    Christine says

    What great answers to the question! You’re awesome!

  19. 21
    Cathy from Australia says

    Laura I really appreciate the effort you have put into my dilemma! Will let you know what I end up doing. Thanks to all your commentors too – what fabulous ideas. Thanks so much again – I am overwhelmed by your kindness in helping me out.

  20. 22
    Steff says

    i have some of those plain wire shelving units and have 2 sitting side by side next to our sliding door. boys 3 and 4 are able to put their shoes on their shelf and happy to know where they are regularly. this will also definitely work for boots.
    for the gloves etc i got an over the door shoe bag thingy and hung it on the laundry room door…
    my hubby gets two rows and each kid gets one and that keeps hats, gloves, and one pocket each for misc junk. this is also where the stuff they leave in pockets prior to laundry gets dumped…
    and in the off season i just moved it to a closet door in the storage room

  21. 23
    Chelsea says

    We have #2 by our garage entry. The kids are usually pretty good about depositing their shoes in there, and when things get out of hand I can assign it as a chore.

    Also, we play a shoe game at our house. If anyone finds someone else’s shoes on the floor, stairs, or anyplace other than the shoe shelf or a closet, then we steal their shoes. You can get your shoes back by either paying for them or trading for them if you already have a pair of the thief’s shoes. It’s lighthearted but a great training exercise. We’ve only had one meltdown when eldest daughter didn’t have “the right” shoes on a Sunday morning.

  22. 24
    Anonymous says

    Has anybody found a shoe cabinet that accomodates size 14 mens shoes? Most only go up to size 13.

  23. 25
    Melissa says

    We have a four shelve shoe rack in the coat closet right infront of the door where the shoes set on it. Then the kids each have a hoook on the back of the door to hang there coats and backpacks it has taken up a lot of reminding but they are starting to automatically put there coats, backpacks on the hoooks and shoes on there shelve. There is a shelve for everyone but my daughter uses hers and half of my husbands. Dad doesn’t need as much room right.

  24. 26
    Billie says

    I have a question….is there a reason why everyone keeps there shoes by the door in an organizational sense? I grew up keeping my shoes in my bedroom closet and I just put my kids shoes in their bedroom closet too.

    I am starting to feel silly because I’m thinking that maybe I’m missing out on a huge benefit of having the shoes in the garage or by the door…is it for dirt? Please share!

  25. 27
    Darcy says

    I finally just made the transition from shoes to boots in the closet by our front door. They don’t make those cute organizers for winter boots, so we will just keep ours on the floor of the closet. The trick is keeping it to ONLY winter boots, and not letting the shoe storage creep back in. The shoes are in the bedrooms, at least for the winter.

  26. 28
    James says

    None of these work for me. Our shoes can be dirty/muddy or full of snow. We had one of these storage units and it was a mess. and I was wiping it out all the time. I think I’m leaning toward a storage bench unit with indidivual plastic containers so you can put the shoes and boots sole to sole inside. Then if there is one that’s a mess, you just have to take that one out and it’s not running everywhere in the cupboard.

  27. 29
    Joanne Iannuzzi says

    I actually like the look of the first option for shoe storage at the front door – the canvas one. That’s the one I think my family would most use, but we would need at least two or three of them. They can just ‘toss’ their shoes in, and even in the winter, the water would move to the bottom and away from the shoes and boots, and I could just remove the canvas to wash it whenever it needed it. The other racks and shelves won’t work in our house, my family won’t put their footwear neatly on a shelf – but I do think they would be willing to toss them into a ‘wood and canvas shoe bagger’ as seen at the top of this page.


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