Stop tripping over your shoes!
We live in a temperate country, so we have different seasons to contend with. We also live in a consumerist society in a relatively wealthy nation, so we have lots of different things to do and places to go…
So it’s not really our fault that we have too many shoes, is it? Granted, it can be a bit of a surprise when you gather all your shoes together (in an effort to organise them) and see quite how many pairs of black pumps you own, but still: we need them all!
It’s just such a nuisance that they seem to end up all over the house; a multitude of trip hazards just waiting to make us swear under our breath.
Decent shoe storage could sort that, but it would have to be accessible and easy. Face it - nobody is going to put their shoes away if it takes anything but the bare minimum amount of effort.
‘Decent’ shoe storage can be pricey, though, and it can be extremely difficult to find something that fits the dimensions of the space in your hall (or wherever you’d like people to leave their shoes) and has enough space for all the household’s shoes and boots.
You might need to get creative with your shoe storage, and make something that works for you all.
- The dimensions of where you want to store the shoes,
- How many shoes you have to store,
- How large the shoes are (length and width, but also consider whether you need larger storage for boots).
Then … Is there a DIY shop nearby? Are you feeling brave? Well then, rather than muttering rude words under your breath when you encounter stray shoes, have a look at these DIY shoe storage ideas and make this the Year You Didn’t Trip Over Someone’s Shoes.
1. PVC drain pipe shoe storage
This is relatively easy, and it can easily be extended as and when more shoes appear in your house. Simply use a hacksaw to cut PVC drainage pipes into lengths a little longer than the length of your shoes. You could cut different lengths if you have lots of different shoe sizes to accommodate, with shorter ones for children’s shoes (but remember they tend to grow…), and choose pipes of a larger diameter for larger boots.
Sand the cut edges so you don’t scrape your hands when using the pipes as shoe storage, and decorate them to match your decor using:
- Multi-purpose paint, or
- Primer and gloss or eggshell, or
Lay out however many pipes you can comfortably fit along the bottom row and use strong adhesive (suitable for plastic) or epoxy to glue them together. Add as many rows as you need, securing each row to the one beneath it, and each piece of pipe to its neighbour.
2. Fabric shoe storage
You don’t have to wield a hammer or hacksaw to DIY. If you’re handy with a sewing machine or a dab-hand at hand-stitching, you could create fabric storage pockets for your shoes that you can then hang over the door, or on the wall like a modern-day tapestry!
Just make sure you allow plenty of fabric for each pocket as they’ll need to be deep enough so that only the very tips of the shoes will be visible (or they’ll fall out). Also, bearing in mind that the shoes might be dirty, choose a dark-coloured fabric that will dust or clean easily.
3. Novel use for a cube storage unit
This is cheating, really, because you don’t have to make this. From this idea, though, you might be able to start thinking of how to repurpose other items of furniture (like bookshelves) you already own or could buy cheaply secondhand. If you’re keen to make it your own creation, you could always paint the units to match your decor.
Cube storage units like KELLAX by IKEA can be stored vertically or horizontally, with as many rows as you have room for. There are loads of options for what you could slide into each cube space, from wicker or fabric baskets to inserts with drawers and shelves. For shoes, wire baskets or wicker baskets might be the best option. Perhaps assign everyone in the household their own basket (or row!) so that your shoes don’t get jumbled up in each cube.
4. Build your own shelves
Buy some brackets and use them to affix pre-made shelves, or cut wooden planks to fit the space you have available. For instance, you might have empty space at the bottom of your wardrobes or in a storage cupboard - measure the width of the space, cut the wood to fit and screw it onto the walls of the wardrobe/cupboard with the brackets.
If you want your shoes to be more readily accessible from the hallway, fit shelves in the standard way using the brackets directly to the walls. Make sure they’re at a height that everyone can reach, and that the corners aren’t going to jab anybody in the shins/elbows/faces by ensuring there’s plenty of space around the shelves.
Simple shelves aren’t ideal for shoes, because shoes tend to topple over or get muddled up and they can look a bit of an eyesore if everyone’s intent on just throwing their shoes on there. If that’s likely, perhaps give each person their own box, crate or basket to sit upon the shelves, in which to keep their own shoes.
5. Pallet shoe storage
You can pick up pallets for free or next-to-nothing online, and they’re easy to sand and paint however you like. Check that each pallet is dry and there are no signs (teeny holes) of woodworm before you bring it into your house!
Once prepared and decorated, you can affix your pallet to the wall by drilling holes into the wall and securing with Rawlplugs and screws. Shoes can be stored on your pallet by pushing them into the gaps between the slats. This isn’t the most elegant solution, but it’s easy and it takes minimal effort to use, so it’s probably the most effective solution here!
Of course, if you have loads of winter shoes that you simply have no room to store in the summer (and vice versa), you could use a small self storage unit
to keep them safe and dry until you need them again. They’ll be out of the way and not taking up valuable storage space at home. You could also store other seasonal items like Christmas decorations, camping gear or bulky winter clothes in your self storage unit.
We have units in all sizes starting at 10 sq ft lockers (about the size of a car boot) and you can keep yours for a week at a time for however long you need it.
Storing excess shoes might solve the problem of tripping over them all the time, and you won’t even need to build your own shoe storage!