Step 1. Throw out all shoe boxes! Keep some really special ones or if you think you’ll sell some of the high end pairs, keep those boxes but preferably in the attic or the basement, not on the shelves of your closet where they just take up space and make it look more cluttered.
Step 2. Group like with like. All flip flops can go live in a cute basket on the floor. Flats together, heels together, open toe together etc. This way you can also see whether you are missing some shoes or have too many black pumps etc. If you have the space, remove the bottom shelf, get a tension rod and boot inserts and hang your boots up there. Your rain boots etc can go live in the mudroom, of course.
This is a picture of my client’s old nursery which I turned into a closet. It was a narrow room, so the carpenter built a small window seat and added some shelving to the right of it maximizing the angle of the ceiling. I snapped the photo as we were putting outfits together hence the mess!
Step 3: find a good space for your shoes. If you have a walk in closet, then end of the room is usually ideal with thin shelves. Shelves should be spaced 7″ apart. You could even go get simple white shelves from Ikea (see below) and hang them or get a bookshelf if you can find one that fits.
My genius carpenter Dave Bartlett came up with this creative solution for small closet space for shoes. A pull out shelf much like you would have next to the stovetop for spices etc.
Here’s a few more inspiration photos.
Please remember not to put shoes on top shelves over clothes and to toss/donate/sell any your haven’t worn for awhile.