You love your shoes but you only get to wear one pair at a time. If you've got a great shoe collection, you've probably have most of your shoes in boxes all over your bedroom, even multiple rooms. So what's the best shoe storage solution when there's limited space?
It's hard to find the shoes you want and you don't get to enjoy them as much as you'd like. That's why this inexpensive, hanging shoe storage might be perfect for your closet, or even a wall in your bedroom so you can enjoy your favorite shoes every single day!
We'll walk you through the steps involved in creating this fun hanging shoe storage. As long as you've got accessible wall space, you can hang your shoes anywhere. It's easy enough (with a few tricks) that anyone can add crown molding to their walls.
While I thought this would be easy, it wasn't because I've already filled my closet with custom shelving, drawers and more, leaving too little space anywhere. So I went next door to borrow wall space in my husband's closet to make this story as realistic as possible as it wouldn't take much time to swap closets. You have many more options to consider in a large bedroom too as there's no rule that says shoes can only be stored in a closet!
For example, I don't recommend hanging shoes on the back of a door because they could fly off a door being slammed shut. The space behind doors though is perfect for displaying your collection of dress shoes (sneakers and flip flops not invited).
Calculating Wall Space for Shoe Storage
Before you head to your local building supply store, you need to calculate how much molding you'll need to hang all your shoes. The number of shoes you can hang might not be as big as you think. You won't be able to hang wedges unless they've got a heel attached that will catch on the molding. Many new shoes also have molded, one piece heels so you can't hang them unless you put something like a small nail on the inside to catch the molding (but I didn't try this).
In my closet, I put the first row of molding at 16 inches, to line up with the drawers, and each higher row is 12 inches. Starting at 16-18 inches is probably a good height so you can vacuum under the shoes but if space is tight, you can start at 12 inches. Unless space is at a premium like my friends who live in shoe boxes in New York City, then leaving space between the shoes will reduce the chances of knocking extra shoes off the molding when you're grabbing the pair you want.
So using 8 inches for each pair of shoes, 24 pairs of shoes = 192 inches, divided by 12 inches/ft = 16 ft. That's a nice round number and especially helpful as most molding will come in 8 ft lengths. Now you know how many pieces of crown molding to buy. My closet needed 2 pieces but you could need more pieces (assume each is 8 ft long). And if it were that easy, we'd be done but keep reading for more tips.
Wondering why I'm recommending this?
- Some homeowners don't have the space to set up and cut large pieces of wood, like my city dwelling friends.
- Other homeowners don't have the right tools to cut wood, and while you could cut molding with a hand saw, it would take time to cut and sand smooth.
- Most homeowners simply don't have enough time (that's me), so why not bring your molding home cut to the exact sizes you need.
Your goal should be to get the project done as quickly as possible, so you can start enjoying what you've accomplished. With tips like these you'll also be able to tackle more projects to make your home work even harder for you, saving you time to relax.
So for this project, the molding that needed to be cut wasn't as simple as it might seem. That's because most walls aren't perfectly straight so while one piece of crown molding fit easily, the other one was more challenging.
- The molding closest to the floor fit snugly between the drawer and the wall on the right. It also fit snugly between the door trim and the wall on the left. It was 36 and 1/4 inches. You should leave yourself a 1/4 inch of wiggle room and use caulking for a clean finish if needed.
- For the second row up, the molding was too deep to fit into the cavities between the drawer and wall … or between the door trim and the wall. I cut the molding to 35 3/4 inches to save time, although you could sand and/or plane the wood down until it fit into these cavities.
Time to Buy Your Crown Molding
When shopping, don't get overwhelmed by all the molding choices. Ask for help, especially if you don't have the time or patience to spend a few minutes browsing through all the different moldings you find at the store. Don't be afraid to ask questions and get all the information you want, and if the person working with you doesn't answer your questions satisfactorily, find someone who will!
For this project, there really are only three decisions to make … and I'm giving you the answer to one of them, along with a recommendation for the other decision. This project is about being functional, not pretty – the shoes are what you're going to focus on and I'm sure they're beautiful, well maybe not the black pumps that go with your work suits (I don't miss my days wearing suits in corporate America).
- Decide how many linear feet of molding you need, based on the number of shoes you want to hang (and spacing).
- Pick one of the crown moldings (typically you'll have several choices) as they leave a lip at the top which your shoes can hook onto.
- Decide whether to use wood or a synthetic material which may be easier to work with. (Read: Home Tips for Buying Molding)
Installing Your Crown Molding
First you'll need some basic tools, and if you're really not comfortable installing the crown molding yourself, then it's time to put together a list of small projects including this one, and scheduling a visit from your local handyman (remember I ran a handyman business for 8 years). You'll save money by calculating how many pieces of molding to buy (if you're not sure, get one extra piece) and having everything there for the handyman so they don't have to go shopping on the clock.
You might notice there's no photo of my nailing. That's because I've only got 2 hands and they were full holding the hammer, nail and board. I could have set up a tripod but working in a closet is already a challenge, so I think you can figure it out from here.
All of the molding will come white (wood has a primer coat) so you can wait to paint the boards until you're painting other trim, or skip painting as you won't see much of the wood.
The second photo shows an alternative configuration for hanging your shoes more securely if you're worried about the shoes falling off the wall. It shows the crown molding installed vertically the way it's used to cover the corner between walls and the ceiling. For added strength you should glue the crown molding to another piece of wood, in addition to using the same finish nails described above. Then the entire heal of your shoes will slide behind the crown molding, versus only the tips of the heels.
Have Fun Hanging Your Shoes
Now you can have fun organizing your shoes so you can enjoy them each time you go into your closet, or pass by the wall where they're hanging. If you recall I borrowed my husband's closet to write this article, and there were hooks for his ties and belts above the shoes, so I hung up some of my scarfs … as that's what I love to collect.
And to be totally honest, when I looked at all my shoes, I found several wedges and only one pair with heels but they're the molded kind so they can't be hung like the shoes shown here. So for fun, I went to Macy's in Portsmouth, NH and bought these shoes yesterday … so I could show you what your shoes will look like, and now I'm off to return the shoes (LOL).
Thanks for reading and hope you liked this “how to” story. Hope you'll share your stories and photos about shoe storage solutions you've used. You can do this by leaving a comment below (we love these) or share more so we can share your story in our collection of savvy homeowner stories.