How to Create A Shoe Closet Organizer With An IKEA Bookshelf

This shoe closet organizer has been one of my most popular posts for years, and I’m constantly told by friends and on social media how much they love this (beautiful) solution for storing shoes. For those of us who do not have walk-in closets, this shoe closet organizer is the perfect alternative for storing shoes in a way that allows you to see every pair while also keeping them protected and away from dust. One trip to IKEA and this shoe closet organizer can be yours, too!

Shoe Closet Organizer from IKEA

Start with the Ikea Billy Bookcase

The backbone of this shoe closet is the IKEA Billy Bookcase. It’s sold with a variety of options for doors, including full-glass, half-glass, and full-door. I used the full glass option, but I also think the half-glass option is great if you have other items to store that aren’t that pretty to look at (like maybe some sneakers or flip-flops, etc.).

Click here to see all of the door options.

Maximize Your Shoe Storage Space

Purchase extra shelves

I purchased additional shelves for this closet system to give me even more storage options. The original unit comes standard with five individual shelves. I purchased four additional shelves to go inside my shoe closet, which really allowed me to maximize the storage space.

Store shoes toe-to-heel

Storing your shoes toe-to-heel will allow you to fit more shoes on each shelf, and also provides the benefit of seeing both the front and the back of the shoe. This is especially helpful for quickly seeing heel heights and widths.

Use top shelves for lesser-worn shoes

Be sure to store shoes that are worn less often at the top of the closet. There’s no need for these items to be easily accessible, since they’re only worn for special occasions. When assembling your shelves, you’ll want to plan your shelf heights with the most-worn pairs towards the middle and bottom of the closet.

Organizing Your Shoes on Shelves

Sort by category

Just like your main wardrobe, you want to organize your shoes into categories so that, depending on your outfit, you can easily direct your focus to the appropriate shoes. This is so helpful when getting dressed for work in a hurry, and quickly knowing where all of your office-friendly options are.

Color code

Color-coding is another tip that helps for easily locating a particular pair of shoes. It also allows you to see if you have any wardrobe holes. Are you in need of a pair of neutral flats? Or maybe you’re missing black pumps for the office. The color-coordination makes it super fast and easy to identify any missing pieces.

More Options for Shoe Organization

If you like the idea of seeing all of your shoe options in one place, but aren’t keen on the idea of a whole closet–or if you simply don’t have space for one–then these back-of-the-door and inside-the-closet options are also great for storing your shoes in a way that keeps them neatly organized and easily accessible. Most of these options are under $50, and some are even under $20, so there are options at every price point to keep your shoes tidy!

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  1. 8.22.16
    Lauren said:

    Love this!!! One question, where did you put the tall boots that were on top of the shelves in the ‘before’ picture?

    • 8.22.16
      Lauren said:

      I actually got rid of them, but I do keep my tall rain boots near the entrance of the apartment on a separate shelf, along with running shoes, just because they’re usually dirtier. But, this shelving unit would allow you to adjust the height for tall boots if you wanted. Hope that helps!

  2. 10.15.17
    Tamara Maddux said:

    Where did you get the extra shelves? I know this IKEA unit only comes with 5, your picture shows 9. Were you able to order additional or did you just make them. If you made them are the pegs a standard peg so I won’t have any problems adding additional shelves?

    • 10.15.17

      Hi Tamara, IKEA actually sells the extra shelves for this exact unit so you can get them right from them at the perfect fit! I bought a few of them with this unit.

  3. 11.2.17
    Akeelah said:

    Did YOU have to buy extra pegs as well? Do you happen to know the size of the PEGS and shelves that are needed? I’m HAVing a HARD time finding extra shelves and pegs

    • 11.15.17

      I️ think that the extra pegs must have come with my extra shelves? I️ did not have to boy anything separate from the extra shelves? I️ did buy 2-3 extra shelves though!

      • 6.7.19
        Linda said:

        Do you have the link to this shelf?

  4. 3.21.18
    Maria said:

    Hi Lauren, I love this idea. Did you have to secure the furniture to the wall so that it doesn’t fall over?

    • 3.22.18

      Thank you, Maria! It’s honestly been one of my favorite organizing solutions. To answer your question, yes it is secured to the wall with the anchors it cane with. I would definitely recommend doing so.

  5. 9.13.18
    Anna said:

    Thank you for this brilliant solution for shoes. I feel so organized and “fancy” now, like those big homes with walk-in closets that have open shelves for shoes. Was easy to build but I definitely need to purchase more shelves since I have a lot of shoes. Love the glass doors to keep the dust off yet can see everything at once. This has changed my life!!

    • 9.13.18

      Awe, Anna, I’m so glad to hear that! I felt the same way when we put this together. Keep shoes dust free makes a huge difference! It was such a game changer. And I agree, it feels so fancy. 🙂

  6. 9.16.18
    Doris said:

    Thank you love reading @ seeing what u have done

    • 10.3.18

      Thank you, Doris! This was a really fun organizational project!

      • 8.4.20
        Brenda said:

        Love this idea! Do you have the link of this bookcase or know what exactly it’s called so I can look it up on the ikea website?

        • 8.4.20
          Lauren said:

          Hi Brenda! Thank you! It’s called the Billy bookcase with glass doors. I love it—it’s made it through two moves and still going strong!

  7. 8.3.19
    Rosangela said:

    Love love your ideia of the bookcase for your shoes!!!

  8. 6.29.20
    Katie said:

    Did you add extra shelves to the bookcase?

    • 6.30.20

      Hi Katie! I did purchase extra shelves for the bookcase. I want to say I had gotten 2-3 extras? I truly don’t remember at this point exactly how many but I definitely did get extras!

  9. 6.25.21
    Christine said:


    I love the idea of using the Billy Glass Bookcase for your shoes. May I ask how many extra shelves did you have to purchase? Thank you!

    Kind Regards,


    • 6.25.21
      Lauren said:

      Hi Christine! Thanks for reading! This shelf came with five shelves, and then I purchased 4 additional shelves. I hope that helps! Have a great day. -Lauren

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