How to Create a Custom Shoe Closet Organizer On A Budget

What woman does not want a beautifully organized closet, dedicated solely to her shoe collection? Okay, I’m sure there are lots of women out there who couldn’t care less about this but, for my organization-obsessed self, it’s practically porn (yes, I did say that).

This shoe closet has been a reader favorite for years, and it’s easy to see why: it’s beautiful, functional, and totally customizable. Here’s how you can re-create this affordable shoe closet in your home.

I found this bookcase at IKEA, and knew it was perfect for several reasons:

  • Shelves are adjustable to account for differing heel heights
  • Doors keep everything contained and clean
  • It works double-duty for handbags and accessories
  • Clear doors allow for easy visibility

Note: the Billy bookcase comes with 5 shelves included. Additional shelves can be purchased separately for $15 per shelf. I’m using 4 extra shelves in my shoe closet for a total of 9 shelves.


shoe cabinet shoe organizing | Shoe Closet Organizer: The Ultimate Solution for Shoe Storage featured by top Pittsburgh fashion blog, Wellesley & King: before picture
Before

shoe cabinet shoe organizing | Shoe Closet Organizer: The Ultimate Solution for Shoe Storage featured by top Pittsburgh fashion blog, Wellesley & King: after picture
After


HOW TO CREATE YOUR OWN SHOE CLOSET ORGANIZER

After you take out all of your shoes and remove those that you no longer wear, use the below tips to create a beautifully organized new home for your favorites:

You can see each of these in play throughout the photos of my own shoe closet organizer below. I think this is one of my favorite organizational projects today; it’s such a great solution for keeping shoes tidy while also functioning as a pretty piece of decor.

shoe cabinet shoe organizing | Shoe Closet Organizer: The Ultimate Solution for Shoe Storage featured by top Pittsburgh fashion blog, Wellesley & King: after picture

Organize by category.

It’s helpful to organize your shoes by the use (e.g. casual shoes together, evening heels, casual heels, work heels, boots, flats, etc.) That way, when you’re getting dressed for the occasion, you know exactly where to find the perfect shoe.

shoe cabinet shoe organizing | Shoe Closet Organizer: The Ultimate Solution for Shoe Storage featured by top Pittsburgh fashion blog, Wellesley & King: after picture

shoe cabinet shoe organizing | Shoe Closet Organizer: The Ultimate Solution for Shoe Storage featured by top Pittsburgh fashion blog, Wellesley & King: after picture

Organize by color within each style.

Organizing by color will help to create a visually appealing look to the overall closet. I like to keep all neutrals together and then keep colorful options stored on the same shelf.

shoe cabinet shoe organizing | Shoe Closet Organizer: The Ultimate Solution for Shoe Storage featured by top Pittsburgh fashion blog, Wellesley & King: after picture

shoe cabinet shoe organizing | Shoe Closet Organizer: The Ultimate Solution for Shoe Storage featured by top Pittsburgh fashion blog, Wellesley & King: after picture
shoe cabinet shoe organizing | Shoe Closet Organizer: The Ultimate Solution for Shoe Storage featured by top Pittsburgh fashion blog, Wellesley & King: after picture

Store most-worn shoes within closest reach, and least-worn shoes at the top and bottom.

This is a really useful tip! There’s no need to give that prime real-estate middle shelf to a pair of shoes that you rarely wear. Instead, store evening shoes on the top shelves so that they’re available for special occasions but don’t necessarily need to be within arm’s reach.

shoe cabinet shoe organizing | Shoe Closet Organizer: The Ultimate Solution for Shoe Storage featured by top Pittsburgh fashion blog, Wellesley & King: after pictureshoe cabinet shoe organizing | Shoe Closet Organizer: The Ultimate Solution for Shoe Storage featured by top Pittsburgh fashion blog, Wellesley & King: after picture

Arrange shoes toe to heel.

The toe-to-heel method allows you to store more shoes on the shelf, while also giving you the ability to see the “entire” shoe. This makes the selection process much easier (and it looks pretty, too)!

shoe cabinet shoe organizing | Shoe Closet Organizer: The Ultimate Solution for Shoe Storage featured by top Pittsburgh fashion blog, Wellesley & King: after picture

Did you like today’s shoe closet organizer post? Would you like to see more organizational solutions like this? Let me know in the comments below.

Loving this shoe closet organizer? Click here now for more closet organization tips!!

Thanks so much for reading and have a great week!

welcome

I'm Lauren, a wife, mom, and corporate manager turned entrepreneur. I'm obsessed with organization, love a great vintage mid-century find, and only cook no-fuss meals that take under 30 minutes. In a world of excess, I'm doing what I can to have less and enjoy the simple parts of life. If you're a modern woman who wants a simplified, yet beautiful, life, you have come to the right place. This blog is meant to inspire you, the modern woman, to have a "fewer, better" mentality, and to live with style in all areas of your life.

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18 Join the Conversation!

  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!

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