Cary Prince Organizing Blog Organizing Your Shoes closet shoe shelves

You may be a sneakerhead, gym buff, or a fashionista of fitness shoes. Organizing your kicks can be a fun exercise, and we’re going to show you how to do it!

We like to organize sneakers by using the “three c’s” — collect, clean and contain.

Step 1: Collect

Collect all of your sneakers. Grab them from the front hallway, the deep recesses of your closet, wherever they may be hiding and lay them out in pairs. If you want to get fancy, you can group sneakers by brand or activity (walking, running, going out). Now take a good look at each pair. Ask yourself:

  • Are they still wearable?
  • Have they seen better days?
  • Have you not worn them since the early aughts?

Put the definite keepers in one group and set aside any shoes for possible retirement in another.

Step 2: Clean

Unless you are obsessive about sneaker upkeep, it’s likely that your kicks could use a freshening up. For sneakers that can be submerged in water (please make sure to read the care tag), we like to hand wash our sneakers with a teaspoon of laundry detergent or dish soap and cold water in a plastic tub. Sneakers can also be thrown in the washing machine on a gentle cycle with warm or cold water (again, please read the label.) For stubborn stains, try scrubbing the area with a mixture of 1 part bleach and 4 parts water and a toothbrush (we recommend doing a small spot test first and wearing rubber gloves.) Rinse the sneakers thoroughly when finished.

We like to air dry our sneakers – out in the sun if possible. A blow-dryer can help to dry the insides.

For spot cleaning, there are some great shoe cleaning kits out there. We are fans of Jason Markk and Reshoevn8r which are truly the gold standard of sneaker care. Sneakerheads also love grab-and-go wipes for easy maintenance.

Step 3: Contain

Now that your shoes are looking spectacular, let’s give them the home they deserve. There are many great options for storing sneakers depending on your space, price point and size of collection.

We love the clean look of West Elm’s Industrial Shoe Rack.  The GregLoft Sheet Metal & Wood Shoe Rack is another elegant solution that comes in black and white to match any space. And if you have the room, Yamazaki’s streamlined shoe rack holds a lot of sneaks.

If you like to keep your shoes by the door, a shoe bench is a stylish and comfy way to go. Pottery Barn’s Maison Leather Entry Shoe Bench makes it easy to lace up and head out. And this ultra-sleek shoe bench by CB2 is a chic addition to any entryway.

For devoted sneakerheads who like to admire their collection, here are some of our favorite ways to show off that footwear. If you like to see your sneakers… and have a lot of them, these stackable Container Store boxes are a great solution.

If your shoes are display worthy, then Sneaker Throne with its many case options is definitely the way to go.

Sneakerheads, rejoice! For those who really want to spotlight their collection, LG is coming out with a lighted shoe case that has a 360-degree turntable and UV and humidity protection.

So there you have it – many ways to organize and showcase your sneakers!

Remember the old and less than beautiful sneakers that you set aside? Consider giving them away. Sneakers that are still wearable can be donated to Souls 4 Soles and Goodwill, and those that aren’t can be recycled through programs like Terracycle and Got Sneakers.

And finally! If this sneaker organizing project sounds amazing but you don’t have time to dive into it, we’re here to help! (We can also offer our trade discounts on organizing products and decor!)

For added inspiration, check out my video on organizing your closet, where—in Zone 2—I walk you through shoe organizing tips and share more of my favorite shoe organizers.

Do you have other ways to store and celebrate your shoes? If so, I’d love to hear about it! Drop me a line on Instagram or Facebook.

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