A century ago shoes were little more than functional footwear that kept you from injuring your feet when you walked from Point A to Point B. If you were lucky you maybe had a pair of shoes that was kept in a box for special occasions like a wedding or a night out dancing. In those days very few people thought of shoes as having any sort of artistic or intrinsic value.

Today shoes have evolved into true works of art that can be as beautiful as they are functional. Many women have dozens if not scores of shoes to fit just about any occasion. This might be something as simple as some daily wear flats, running shoes, walking shoes or even a sexy pair of high heels. Then there are some women whose shoe needs taken on an artistic flair that need to go on display to truly be appreciated for all their beauty.

One thing is for sure, whether you have a collection of functional shoes or you have some true high value pieces of exciting footwear, you need to have a good way to get them organized and keep them organized. If this sounds like a challenge that you are looking to step up to, then you might want to consider a few of the following tips to maximize your shoe closet space.

Separate Shoes By Function & Seasonality

If you just need to get your daily wear shoes organized and you don’t care about displays or the esthetics of organizing your shoes based on a color scheme, then you should try to group them by function.

Having all your daily wear flats, athletic shoes and high heels grouped together makes it easier to choose the right pair of shoes for the occasion. While you are sorting them out, try to consider downsizing or putting some shoes away for temporary storage. If there’s a pair of shoes you don’t like to wear, consider donating them to make more functional storage space. If it’s summer, take all those cold weather winter boots and stuff them away in a tote bin under the bed or up in the attic until the snow flies again.

Install Shoe Cubbies

Shoe cubbies are one of the most popular and functional ways to store a lot of pairs of shoes in a relatively compact space. You can also group shoes how you want them. This might mean grouping shoes by color to match specific outfit combinations, or grouping them by function.

In-season shoes can be stored at eye level, whereas out-of-season shoes can be kept on lower cubbies in their original boxes. You can then swap out cubbies quickly as the seasons change.

Adjustable Shelves With Dividers

Another way to elevate the cubby concept with a little more versatility is to use adjustable shelves connected via heavy-duty wall brackets. This lets you alter the height of each shelf for the predominant type of shoes. The shelf divider then helps to keep things separated to mimic cubbies while optimizing the available vertical space.

One of the nice things about using shelves for shoes is that you can set them close enough together to help prevent dust from settling on the lower pairs. This can be handy for keeping lesser worn pairs clean and ready to wear at a moment’s notice.

Door Shelves Or Pockets

If you aren’t blessed with a large walk-in closet, you can maximize your total storage space by hanging shoe racks, shelves, or pouches on the back of the closet door. This is a great way to keep popular daily-wear shoes on hand while making use of what is typically wasted space in a closet. Some systems mount directly to the door, while others hang over the door on narrow metal strips.

Hanging Mesh Shoe Bin Cubbies

Mesh shoe bins are very much like fabric cubbies. Many can be attached directly to a closet rod or a robust coat hanger. Simple cardboard or plastic flats can make the floor of each mesh cubbing rigid enough to hold a pair of shoes without slumping or changing the balance.

They are a great way to keep daily wear shoes organized. You could even keep one or two in your reach-in or wardrobe closet to stock with everyday shoes. Then keep your more important pairs and special occasion footwear in your formal show

Bench Storage For Boots & Sandals

Boots, sandals, flip flops, and other functional pieces of footwear really don’t need to be on display. At the same time, a lot of shoe closets also have some sort of bench or a seating area to let you sit down to tie your shoes or pull up a stiff pair of boots.

A flip-top bench is a great way to store away functional footwear, while also doubling as a convenient place to sit down to tie laces. The interior can be split up with dividers or seasonal items like snow boots and flip flops can be kept in their original shoe boxes at the bottom of the storage bench.

Creating A Shoe Display

A lot of shoe closets have some sort of display cases for high-value or otherwise esthetically pleasing shoes. Especially if you are a true shoe “Collector.” Of course, display areas are as unique as the individual. This might mean using a pedestal or a raised platform for your prized pair or perhaps creating a display case with a clear glass front to prevent dust buildup.

Ultimately the physical support for the displayed pair of shoes is just as important as the lighting used to accent it. Recessed or “Canned” lights take up virtually no overhead space and have different casting characteristics. Track lighting takes up more overhead space but allows for more directional lighting, which can diffuse unsightly shadows.

LED lights offer a little bit of the best of both worlds. They can be used directionally to create the ideal lighting characteristics. Many are available in different shades and finishes, which can enhance the ambiance of your shoe closet. They also generate little heat and are energy-efficient enough to be battery-powered.