Organize Your Life: Choosing The Best Shoe Storage Containers For Your Closet

Shoes taking over your life? Read these quick tips on how to choose the best shoe organizer for your closet and your life.

You may not be Carrie Bradshaw, but suddenly, your shoe collection has hit critical mass and has spread out of your closet and all over your bedroom. Getting all of your shoes organized will not only make you room look neater, it will make your shoes last longer because they will be properly stored. And coordinating the perfect outfit will be a snap, because all of your shoe choices will be readily accessible.

There are tons of ready made shoe organizers on the market, all you need to do is decide what type will work best for your particular closet. The easiest way to narrow down your choices is to first decide where you want to put your organizer - on the floor, on a shelf, or on the back of the closet or bedroom door. Each style has its pros and cons, so let's look at them one at a time.

The most common shoe organizers sit on the floor. They come in a variety of sizes, you don't have to worry about rogue shoes landing on your head if they fall off the rack, and your shoes will be easy to reach. The drawbacks to floor style racks, are that the floor of you closet may not be the most well-lit area in the world, so you may not easily be able to tell which pair is the cream pair and which is the pale green. You also have to consider the cleaning factor - dust may gather under an open style rack, so you should think about whether you will have to move the whole rack out of the closet occasionally to mop underneath it.



Shelf racks offer another option. On the plus side, they are usually eye level or a little higher, so you have a great view of what you have and where you have it. On the other hand, many of us have very limited shelf space in the bedroom closet, and may need to allocate that space to sweaters, handbags, or other bulky items. If you have a linen closet in your hallway that is under-utilized, consider moving some of the shoes you don't wear every day to a shelf rack in there.

Last, we have shoe organizers that attach to the back of a door. Most of these are made of canvas or plastic, and have rows of pouches that can hold one or two shoes depending on their size. When you are considering one of these types of organizers, first check out how they need to be attached. While most have hooks that slip over the door, making set up a 60 second affair, some require hardware or hooks to be screwed into the door. If drilling holes in your door is going to make you crazy (or you live in a rental and ever want to see your security deposit again), look for the over the door hooks. If seeing the front of the hooks from the outside every time you close the bedroom or closet door is going to disturb you asthetically, consider drilling the holes.

The more hooks across the top, the more stable the organizer is likely to be - a piece with four hooks is going to swing around less when the door is opened than one with two hooks. Many door organizers now come with straps or hooks near the bottom of them that also attach to the door - these are great to prevent the organizer swinging about when it is full whenever you open and close the door. The key to successfully balancing the weight on a door organizer so it doesn't want to swing too much or fall down, is to place the heaviest shoes on the bottom row, and to try and balance the weight it is bearing evenly from side to side.

Now that you know where you want to put your organizer, decide whether you want an open style rack, or a closed one. The closed racks look like little cubbyholes or divided bookshelves, the open ones are generally rows of pipe or wooden dowels. The closed racks are better at dust prevention, you wind up dusting the top of the rack rather than having to dust under it (and the shoes that are in it), but the open rack styles tend to be more flexible as to the number and size of shoes it can hold. If you are pressed for space and have a lot of shoes, try the open style; if are more pressed for cleaning time, or have things other than shoes to put in there (handbags, belts and other accessories), the closed racks will probably be a better choice.

Now that you have decided exactly what type of shoe organizer you need, the only thing left to do is to choose one that most closely matches your room d├ęcor and your budget. Organizing your shoes does not have to be an awful chore, and who knows - once you get all the shoes you already have in a space of their own, you may find you have the room for even more.

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