12 Life-Changing Ways to Organize Shoes and Accessories

Having to organize your seemingly endless collection of stuff can be a task that’s, well, less than thrilling. Especially if you, like us, have a penchant for hoarding hanging on to things you might not need or wear anymore. As we find ourselves on the cusp of transitioning into spring, we think it’s the perfect time to take stock of your closet and find ways to corral your belongings with aplomb—and we’re here to help!

To get your started, we’ve listed 12 life-changing ways to organize shoes and accessories. Read on and let us know which tactics you use to keep your stuff in order!

1. A vintage china cabinet
It might seem like a big commitment, but bear with us. The trick to organizing is keeping your clutter contained, and there’s no chicer way to showcase bags or shoes—which both can be an organizational nightmare—than by placing them in a china cabinet. This not only allows you to showcase your gorgeous items, but also keeps your larger items in one place, and adds a chic decor touch to your bedroom (or any other room!)

In the interest of keeping things low-cost, check out local thrift and vintage stores, which almost always has a selection of china cabinets, or check sites like Craigslist. Choose the cabinet style according to the theme of your home (some are plain and square like the above, while others are rather ornate—you can’t go wrong either way.)

Still not convinced? Oprah.com featured Brooke Cundiff, divisional merchandising manager at Gilt Groupe, who showed the site how she contains her fabulous footwear. See below!

 12 Life Changing Ways to Organize Shoes and Accessories

Photo: Bjorn Wallender/Oprah.com

2. Mason Jars
Line up a row of Mason jars on a countertop or a shelf and fill them with various loose ends. One for hair ties, one for thick bracelets that won’t tangle, one for watches, etc. If you’d rather not see what’s inside, paint them cool colors and label the bottoms. This also works in your bathroom vanity for beauty products you don’t reach for every day. Just be sure to separate them by type (lipsticks with lipsticks, eye shadows with eye shadows, etc.)

3. Shoe bags (but not for shoes)
Have tons of products but a tiny bathroom? Try hanging a shoe bag on the back of your bathroom door to hold things like shower caps, cotton balls, headbands, eye makeup remover, lotion, face creams, and other items you reach for after a shower or in the morning/evening. This also works inside a linen closet for cleaning supplies!

4. Ice cube trays or tackle boxes
While we’ll admit these aren’t the most attractive solution, ice cube trays or plastic tackle boxes can work wonders when placed inside a drawer to hold rings, earrings, pins, loose beads, spare buttons and other small accessories you’d like to keep track of.

 12 Life Changing Ways to Organize Shoes and Accessories

A tackle box is a smart way to store jewelry.
Photo: Weekend File

5. A painted frame and wire.
Looking for a smart way to corral all your sunglasses? Try a frame and some wire. This DIY project takes barely any time to complete, and looks super-chic hanging in a foyer or bedroom. Head over to Cupcakes and Cashmere for a full tutorial. 

 12 Life Changing Ways to Organize Shoes and Accessories

Photo: Cupcakes and Cashmere

6. A towel rod and shower curtain hooks
This is a killer way to store—and see—all your necklaces, scarves, or other accessories that hang. Affix a towel rod to the back of a door, above a mirror, or anywhere else, and drape accessories over shower curtain hooks, which hang from the rod.

 12 Life Changing Ways to Organize Shoes and Accessories

7. Empty beer bottles
It might sound odd, but using empty glass beer or soda bottles can be a really useful (and unique) way to organize your bracelets. Add the thickest one first, and pile on from there. This looks especially striking when several are lined up in a row on a shelf.

8. Statues, busts, and dishes 
Another organization trick that doubles as decor: Pick up a cool small bust or statue and hand your necklaces around the neck or your rings on the fingers, like the above photo. Likewise, grab pretty small dishes or bowls to hold items.

 12 Life Changing Ways to Organize Shoes and Accessories

Photo: Weekend File

9. Bamboo baskets.
In order to make your bathroom function, get a set of baskets and place essentials within their own basket, either under the sink or on hung shelves. Keep the hair dryer with the brushes and the curling iron and straightener. Use another bin for the cleaning supplies and paper towels. Perhaps place the toilet paper in another and keep it towards the front so guests can easily find a spare roll. This idea also works in an armoire without drawers—toss in your socks, hats, scarves, or other items that don’t need to be hung.

10. Simple nails.
Hammered into the wall, nails can be an effective solution for containing thins like hats, necklaces, or bracelets. In order to make it look purposeful and not like a mess, choose a section of a wall that makes sense to hold such things (above a dressing table, on a small wall next to your closet, etc.)

11. Use furniture.
Another great way to store shoes: Use an ottoman that has a removable top or a vintage trunk. Not only will the pieces look cool in your apartment, but they’re also a tidy way to keep off-season shoes hidden.

12. Paint Cans.
To create an interesting shoe rack, spray-paint old paint cans the same color (we like silver or gold) and nail them into the wall. These are a great way to store thinner, flimsier shoes like sneakers, flats, and sandals.