A 2011 study by the Consumer Reports National Research Center reported that the average American woman owns 19 pairs of shoes. Add my three kids to the mix, and that equals some pretty big shoe piles. How do you create a family-friendly shoe storage and organization system that really works?
Start by getting to know your options. The five most popular shoe storage solutions are shoe shelves, shoe cubbies and shoe racks for closets; shoe storage cabinets and over-the-door shoe racks and organizers. Considering the price of the unit based on the number of shoes it stores can help you best evaluate your alternatives.
Once you've got an idea of your choices, inventory everyone's shoes, bearing in mind available household storage spaces, from bedroom closets to mudrooms. Next, ask how each family member wants to view their shoes: on a floor rack, in a hanging organizer or even in cubbyholes. (You can also store them out of sight in clever furniture solutions, like an ottoman made to hold shoes.)
For a smart budget option for kids, try two-tier shoe shelf on the closet floor – it's easy to reach, easy to clean and is affordable enough to replace after a couple of years' worth of use.
Built-in shoe shelves are more expensive but longer lasting; consider them if you've got the closet space and you know you'll be in your house for several years. A kitted-out closet can help increase resale value, as well.
Finally, consider hanging a shoe holder over the door you use most frequently, like the one to the garage. Taking off your shoes when you come in not only reduces piles, it reduces dirt and pollution in the house – which means less cleaning. And couldn't we all use a little more of that?
See Also: Five Steps to Organizing Your Closet
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