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How to Organize Kids Shoes {So They Stay That Way}

If lost, mis-matched and disorganized shoes are wasting your time and driving you crazy you’re in the right place. Today we are sharing the best tips and tricks to organize kids shoes so you can find them quickly and easily…and get out the door on time. 

How to organize kids shoes.

Let me guess, it’s time to head out the door and your kids can’t find their shoes.

Or maybe they’ve found plenty of shoes, but none of them are actually a pair.

If that sounds familiar, you’re not alone. It’s a common phenomenon that takes place in households all over the world everyday. 

The Shoe Struggle

We all know kids are messy, and they definitely aren’t sticklers for organization.

And shoes are often even more challenging for kids to keep organized because they come in pairs.

If your kids are constantly losing shoes or making huge piles of them, you definitely need a plan to get organized.

To be successful, an effective kid’s shoe organization system should:

  • 1) Keep the shoes easy to access.
  • 2) Be easy to maintain.

To make it work, you need to be sure your kids can quickly and easily locate shoes when they need them and that putting them back in an organized manner is low effort. 

This is not the time for fancy or complicated systems. You need something that the kids can do on their own after just a bit of practice (and probably a few reminders).

So what are your options for achieving success when it comes to keeping the kid’s shoes organized? Below we’ll share some tips, tricks and products to make your shoe storage dream a reality.

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Have a Shoe Declutter Session

Before you start organizing, I strongly suggest you minimize the amount of kid’s shoes floating around the house.

In fact, the main reason it is so difficult to keep kid’s shoes organized is because they have so many.

And having a lot of shoes is easy to do.

We all know that kids grow like crazy! Every time you turn around your kids have outgrown the pair of shoes you could swear you just bought like two weeks ago. So you head out and buy the next size up.

Kids are also hard on their shoes, so what they don’t outgrow they wear out pretty quickly, which results in more unused shoes that end up in the pile.

The best way to deal with this is by taking the time to go through the shoes and letting go of any that no longer fit or are completely worn out. #holesinthesoles

You can even turn decluttering into a game. My kids love to toss their shoes into the donation box and earn points if they make it.

If you have multiple children of various ages you may want to keep slightly worn but outgrown shoes as hand-me-downs. Shoes that no longer fit, but might be used by a younger sibling later should be stored in an under-the-bed shoe organizer until they’re needed.

If the shoes aren’t worth saving for another family member you’re going to want to donate or toss them.

Donate all the shoes your kids have outgrown but are still in good condition, and throw away those shoes with the massive hole! You will be amazed at how much that shoe pile decreases when you get rid of shoes that your kids no longer need

Now that you have decluttered the shoes, it’s time to work on storage and organization. 

A bench for storing and organizing shoes.

Keep Everyday Shoes Easily Accessible

Have you noticed that kids always make big piles of shoes right inside the doorway or in the middle of the living room floor? 

If you really want to create a system that your kids will actually follow, you need to make them easy to access. To do this, consider where the kids are putting their shoes on and taking them off. 

Mudrooms, hall closets and entryway benches all make for great options when it comes to deciding where to create your shoe storage system.

This is because they make the perfect place to catch your kids’ shoes before they end up randomly scattered around the house.

But be careful! Whatever spot you choose, should only be for the shoes they wear most frequently. Limit this to just one or two pairs.

Keeping their everyday shoes in a basket under the bench or in the hall closet ensures that they always have a pair when they are running out the door and that they immediately have a place to put their shoes when they come inside.

Shoes that are worn less frequently can still be stored in individual rooms, but having a family shoe rack for everyone’s two favorite pairs near the front door can help everyone to do their part.

Kids Shoe Storage Ideas

Although it may seem like the closet floor is a great place for your kids’ to keep their shoes, this almost always turns into a messy pile.

Not only that, but I am pretty sure there is a closet monster that eats one shoe from every pair.

The first thing you will need when setting up your storage and organization system is something that will prevent them from piling up. 

Organize Kids Shoes | Kids shoes on rack in mudroom.

Our Favorite Shoe Organization Solutions

The first option is to just buy a shoe organizer. That being said, the options can be overwhelming including racks, over-the-door hangers, and cubbies. Here are some of our favorites.

  • Over The Door Shoe Organizer: This over-the-door organizer features a design with tiered shelves rather than pockets. At around $40, it would make a great family shoe rack for a mudroom or hall closet door. The kids shoes can go on the bottom rows while the adults can take over the top.
  • Simple Houseware 4-Tier Shoe Rack: If you want to get rid of the pile, but not move things completely off the floor, then a simple freestanding shoe rack is an excellent solution. This option from Simple Houseware can easily hold 20 pairs and only costs $20. A smaller shoe rack would work in your kid’s rooms or a larger one would make a great family rack.
  • Rolling Wire Underbed Cart An under-bed shoe organizer takes advantage of available space. This option has enough room to keep 8-10 pairs of kid’s shoes while preventing a huge pile of shoes at the bottom of the bedroom closet.

DIY Kids Shoe Organization Ideas

You can also get crafty and make your own shoe organization system! You also might be surprised to find some great solutions that you already have lying around that can be repurposed to help you store and organize the shoes. 

Here are a couple of ideas to spark your inspiration.

Kids shoe storage ideas: Wire basket with cleats and socks
  • Labeled Baskets: This is a deceptively simple yet effective idea that could be especially beneficial for families with multiple kids. Give each child a wicker or plastic basket with their name to keep their most frequently worn shoes. Remember not to overload the basket with too many pairs as it will make pairs harder to find!
  • Pegs: Who says you have to buy something specifically made for shoes? Hanging some wooden pegs will give your kids’ shoe storage they can see, and putting the shoes away could not be easier. You can also expand the peg storage beyond shoes to give your kids an all-in-one organization system for jackets, book bags, and shoes.
  • DIY Cubbies: With a little imagination you can make a shoe cubby that will both organize your kids’ shoes and make a nice piece for your home. You can repurpose paint cans, crates, PVC pipes, and even cardboard to make a system of cubbies to hold shoes.

How Do I Keep My Kid’s Shoes Organized?

Suppose you spend the money or the time getting a cute and functional shoe organization system set up for your kids only to discover that a week later your kids have stopped using it.

Now you are back to finding shoes in random corners of your home and in the middle of the floor again. How do you prevent this from happening?

As with all systems that you expect kids to use it’s going to take explanation, structure and routine to be maintained.

If you give reminders and make the system easy to use, keeping their shoes organized will become a habit and keeping their shoes organized will become second nature. 

However, there are also some things you can do to make sure your effort pays off and that the kids get onboard.

Accountability

The great thing about cubbies, racks, and over-the-door shoe organizers is that you can see at a glance what you have or what you don’t have. 

Now that you can easily keep track of how many pairs of shoes your kid has, you will also notice pretty quickly if something is missing.

Requiring your kid to keep all of their shoes on the rack or in the organizer is much more practical when you can easily count.

This is another great reason to limit the number of shoes each child has. In our home we aim for 5 pairs of shoes. This includes tennis shoes, dress shoes, play shoes, and shoes for sports like cleats and boots for horseback riding. 

You can even have a rule that your kid’s shoe organizer be filled before bed to ensure nothing gets left laying out.

Make it Foolproof 

We all know that just putting a shoe organizer in your house isn’t enough to solve the problem.

Providing additional structure is key to making sure your kids know exactly what to do and how to be successful.

There are several different ways you can go about keeping your organizers neat and tidy. 

For a family shoe rack, you could designate a tier for each family member. You can also group shoes by type, by color, or even by use (sports shoes in one section, dress shoes in one, everyday shoes in another, etc).

The important thing is to make the process as effortless as possible. Your kids should not have to think about where their shoes are or where they go.

Conclusion

Keeping any of your child’s items organized is a challenge, but shoes present a special difficulty. Having a designated space that makes it easier for your kids to find and put away their shoes correctly can do wonders in cutting down the clutter.

You can make things even easier on yourself by storing out-of-season boots and shoes in an out-of-the-way place so that the shoe pile is even smaller.

Remember to take the time to sort, declutter, and organize your child’s shoe collection regularly so that the system is easy to maintain.

If you follow these steps and create a simple system that is easy for kids to follow you will be able to organize your children’s shoes and keep them that way.

More Storage and Organization Ideas:

How to keep children's shoes organized.

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