Happy weekend, friends ~ as some of you may have seen in this post, we’re moving this week which has been exciting but bittersweet. We gradually outgrew our small space (having shared a bedroom with Nori for nearly 2 years!), but are incredibly thankful for all the memories and “firsts” this home has housed. While our next place is slightly roomier, it’s still a city condo, so I’ll continue to utilize almost all of the small space tips from before!
Today’s post is about storing shoes and handbags, as I admittedly have quite a few in my collection and often get questions on how they’re kept! And for easy reference, below are my previous blog posts on small space organization and storage:
5 Small Space Tips: Clothing Storage & Organization
- Utilizing behind the door space
- Creating & maximizing under-the-bed storage
- Saving hanging space with multi-garment hangers
- Keeping drawers divided & tidy
- Gadgets like my slim laundry hamper
Storing Seasonal Clothes & Shoes
- Cleaning & packing shoes and boots
- Managing pests, humidity, and odors in clothing storage
- Bins and bags that I use for storage
Now, onto how my beloved bags and shoes are stored and organized!
1. Bookcases for Dust-Free Storage
For storing items that I don’t reach for everyday but want to view clearly, I love the good ole Billy bookcase system from Ikea. It’s modular, so is easy to customize and suit your space – in the photo below I have 1 double unit + 1 single unit + extender top units. The optional glass doors (sold separately) are my favorite feature for helping shield items from dust! You can also change up the handles to further customize the look.
My most-used handbags are typically kept out on my dresser for easy access, while the rest are in this bookcase along with more special occasion or designer shoes. This system has worked out so well that I’ll continue to use it in our next home! One note – the depth is on the shallow side under 11,” so depending on your shoe size (I’m a size 5), some shoes especially flats might not fit within the glass doors.
2. Garment Racks (DIY or buy)
Garment racks can be a great option if you have limited built-in closet space. I’ve also found them to be helpful for keeping my most frequently worn pieces more accessible.
Ours was a DIY project by Nick using metal plumbing pipes + wood from any major hardware store, and my dad even made Nori her own mini version! You can follow similar DIY tutorials like these by One Thrifty Chick or this video tutorial from Apartment Therapy. Nick did a double shelf on the bottom of ours for additional handbag and shoe storage.
A few affordable options available for purchase:
- Wayfair rack in white or dark brown (on sale for under $40)
- Rack with multi shelf combo (on sale for $72 with great reviews)
- Industrial pipe rack with wheels on Amazon (on sale for under $100)
- UO pipe rack in black or white
- Compact rolling garment rack (under $55)
Corner rack option
I also wanted to share this alternative idea that I had bookmarked for small spaces. It takes up just a corner of your wall, and seems nifty for multiple purposes (see the customer review section for ideas)! This comes in a set of 2 bars that you can use either together or in separate rooms.
3. Shelves + Flats Basket + Boot Tray
For our most worn everyday shoes, we added narrow shelves in our entryway. I would’ve loved to use free-floating style shelves for a completely clean aesthetic, but we couldn’t get them to mount sturdily, thus ended up using shelves with visible support brackets. I left enough height on the bottom for a boot tray, and use a wire basket (from Target) to store my flats and sneakers.
To maximize space on shoe shelves, store shoes with the toes facing in opposite directions (instead of all facing forward). This lets me fit at least 1 additional pair on each shelf, sometimes more!
4. Other Shoe Organizer Options
Prior to adding wall shelves, we used a large behind the door hanging shoe rack at our entryway closet. Mine was pretty old, but here are some similar currently available options!
- Behind the door: 26 pair shoe organizer with fabric compartments.
- Behind the door: 36 pair shoe rack (also at Walmart). Similar adjustable option.
- Open cabinet style: 25 pair Wayfair cabinet, 8 cubby Target cabinet
- Hideaway cabinet style: Wayfair 21 pair shoe cabinet, Mistana 20 pair wood cabinet