I’ve received another reader request–this one from my good friend Kadi–who writes: “I’ve been trying to think of a way to store guests’ shoes neatly when they come over (especially in the winter or spring when they NEED to take off snowy or muddy shoes). Well, when we have more than a handful of people over, there is a pile, no – MOUND of shoes by the front door where people kick them off. Any ideas of how to store guests’ shoes at a party neatly and where they can easily find them?”
So, for the sake of learning from one of the greatest educational tools of our time–Sex And The City–and preventing another missing Manolos saga, here are some ideas for keeping that shoe pile under control!
This Large London Low Console from Ballard Designs, which comes in 4 different colors, is one option. At 54″ wide it could hold 7 pairs of the shoes I’m wearing today on each shelf. And at only 14.5″ deep it won’t take up too much space in your entryway. The low height makes it perfect for placement under a window or for mounting coat hooks above it. And the drawers below provide storage for hats and mittens. Kadi could assign one drawer for each member of her family! And for those wet and muddy months, putting down a clear plastic shelf liner will protect the wood from moisture. Another option for those wet and muddy shoes are boot trays. At 24″ wide and 14″ deep, two of these trays could slide (side by side) under the unit to be pulled out and set along the wall for wet and muddy shoe storage when needed. Need even more wet and muddy shoe storage? Buy 4 boot trays, stack them, and slide them under the unit to be pulled out when needed.
Looking for something a little less spendy? A shelving unit, like this Folding Bookcase from The Container Store can also serve as shoe storage–just make sure the shelves are deep enough to hold your shoes. To protect iron units like this one from moisture damage, simply spray paint with a clear protective sealant before use. This particular unit can be easily folded and stored away–taken out for use only when expecting a lot of guests. Or you can keep it up all year long for personal use. The lower shelves can be used for your own shoe storage, and baskets or trays placed on the upper shelves can hold incoming and ougoing mail, keys, and other items handy to have by the door. When you’re expecting a lot of guests, just temporarily move the baskets to another area of your home so the entire shelf is free for shoes.
For an even more economical option–check out these shoe racks from IKEA. Pic 1: The BABORD shoe rack is 31″w x 10″d x 12″h and holds 8 pairs of shoes. Place two units side-by-side for double the storage. Pic 2: The FRAN shoe rack can be placed on the floor, or mount units in a column on your wall for unlimited storage potential (using vertical space instead of horizontal space–one of my favorite tips!). At 23″w x 11″d x 6.75″h each rack holds 6 pairs of shoes. Pic 3: The TJUSIG shoe rack holds 10 pairs of shoes and can be stacked for double the storage.
And check out this other neat find! The 7 Bin Storage Tower from The Container Store. How cool is this? Made of scratch-resistant steel, each storage bin swings out and could hold a pair of shoes, or other entryway items. For those with more contemporary tastes, a couple of these lined up in your entryway would make for not only some great storage, but some great eye candy, too!
Hopefully this solves your shoe storage dilema–or at least gets the wheels turning for some additional solutions that might work for you. If anyone has any other great ideas Kadi and I would love to hear them! What works for you?