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photo: iStock

When moving out of my airy apartment into a space less than half the size, one of my biggest concerns was where I would store all 46 pairs of shoes I own. On average, women own twenty-one pair of shoes — nine of which they never even use due to the fact that they were impulse buys. What I would like to know is: How does the average woman store her shoe collection? Some lucky ladies have bigger closets while others pile on pairs upon pairs in small nook within their tiny homes. Either way, the experience of figuring out how to optimize your space to fit your beloved footwear can be daunting. Most shoe styles vary in size and shape, and unfortunately, organization systems come in universal sizes that may favor flats over those motorcycle boots. This method just doesn’t work for the average woman if you ask me. Here are five ways I’ve gotten organized my shoe trove under control that can likely help a fellow shoe addict out.

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Put Them On Display

Get creative and gather your favorite pairs to put on display like art. Highlight your stilettos next to a coffee table book and a candle or place a pair of booties on a stack of books. Think outside of the box and look at it as a new way to redecorate your space — utilize shelves in the living room to display your most unique pairs.

The Classic Shoe Rack

The most standard and obvious way to organize is using the store-bought shoe rack. While it may not lend itself to all of your shoes, it’s great for sneakers and flats. Ikea sells minimalist racks that will house a solid amount of kicks. It’s size allows it to quietly live in the back of your closet or or in a hallway nook.

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Behind the Closet Shoe Organizer

If you’re out of floor space, this inexpensive organizer is the perfect go-to. This was the solution to my tiny apartment woe in a very big way. The space in these organizational pockets lets you layer up sandals, flats and gym shoes alike while its design allows for it to hang on just about any door in your home.

Shoe Box Storage

If you’re all about having things neatly symmetrical, then this is the organizational tool for you. Getting clear boxes that are the same size not only makes finding the pair you want a breeze, but being able to neatly stack them seamlessly up will keep your closet looking pristine. Pro tip: take a picture of the shoes and tape it to the box so that it makes your shoe-picking a walk in the park when your stacks get sky-high.

Get Rid of Some Shoes

You might not want to hear this, but you know there’s a pair or two in your collection that you have not worn in years. During the move I got rid of twelve pairs of shoes — that’s right, twelve. It seems impossible to do, but if you haven’t worn that pair for over a year, donate them to a good cause like Soles4Souls. You’ll clear up a lot of space, make room for new shoes and will help out somebody who needs a pair.

photo: iStock