In Desperate Need Of Closet Organization (Plus, My Dumbest Design Decision Ever)

This past weekend, I came to the realization that I may have to turn my attention to our guest bedroom sooner than I had anticipated. The situation in here (specifically, the closet and storage situation) has reached a point where I just can’t deal with it much longer. Or rather, I don’t want to deal with it much longer.

On Saturday night, as I was trying to find something to wear to church the next morning, I was becoming more and more frustrated, kicking shoes out of the way, tripping over hangers, digging through a pile of clothes, etc. Something definitely needs to change, and I need to find time to implement those changes very soon.

You may remember that I finished this room almost exactly three years ago in January 2021. If you missed the before and after, you can see that here. Here’s what it looked like then…

guest bedroom - finished - closet and headboard wall

Because I had removed the one tiny original closet in the room, I needed to add storage somewhere else in the room. So I decided to build these two closets flanking the window.

In deciding what kind of doors to put on the closets, I opted to do sliding doors. I was afraid that swinging doors may require too much space in this small room, and they wouldn’t be able to fully open. So the sliding doors seemed like a clever solution.

finished closet - 3

We’ve lived with these closets for two years now (since this guest bedroom is currently being used as our main bedroom until our addition is built), and the closet situation just isn’t working out. The closets aren’t organized well, and the sliding doors aren’t helping the situation at all.

Here’s the situation. I don’t have enough shoe storage. As you can see in the photo above, that one shelf unit is all I have for shoes. Since all of my shoes don’t fit on those shelves, and I really don’t have anywhere else to put them for now, I tend to toss the shoes that don’t fit inside the closet in front of the closet. And then they pile up like this…

And since the closet opens by sliding the door to the right over the window, and I’m only five feet tall, that pile of shoes in front of the closet (which I tidied up before taking the picture 😀 ) makes it very difficult to reach and slide the closet door open to access clothes.

So, as people usually do when dealing with a consistent pain-in-the-neck challenge like that, I started taking the path of least resistance. Instead of fighting the pile of shoes to open the door and hang my clothes up, I started tossing and piling my clothes onto the top of the desk between the closets (the desk where I actually used to sit and read every night, so now I can’t do that anymore, either). But the desk isn’t that big, so as the pile gets bigger, some of the clothes fall off the back and onto the floor. Others start getting piled on the little stool.

And once the pile starts falling to the floor and spreading to the stool, I can no longer push the stool all the way under the desk, which means that even on those occasions when I do stretch over the pile of shoes to try to open the closet door, it only opens halfway because now the stool is blocking the door from opening all the way.

It’s an absolute mess, and trying to live with this for much longer is simply not going to do. The bottom line is that I need to pull everything out of these closets (both of them…the other one is almost as useless), and just start over. And it all needs to start with more shoe storage since that’s the first domino that leads to all of this other mess.

I kept thinking I could just live with it, and trying to convince myself that it would be a waste to spend time working on this room when we’re going to have a bigger, better, more organized bedroom in the future. But it could still be a year before we have our new bedroom…or more. I just have no idea right now.

So I need to get this under control. It’s not just about aesthetics. I mean, yes, it looks terrible and messy. I don’t like having to look at this mess all the time, or live with it. But it’s also about creating peace in our home. And if I’m having to fight this mess every time I need to get ready to go somewhere, that affects my attitude and my mood (like when I search and search for a particular black sweater for 30 minutes and can’t find it anywhere in the pile), and that affects the peace in our home. I’ve got to get this under control, and soon.

I may have to find a temporary storage solution outside of the bedroom (perhaps in the sunroom) for my shoe storage. If I can move all of my shoes out of the bedroom, that would temporarily solve the problem. It wouldn’t be very convenient to have my shoes in a completely different room, but there’s nothing convenient about having them piled in front of the closet and not being able to use the closet, either.

So I want to get this done soon, but I also don’t want to stop working on the studio. I especially don’t want to waste days like we’re going to have this week, with the temperature in the upper 60s and low 70s. This would be the perfect week to be outside and get the rest of my studio cabinet doors and drawer fronts trimmed out, primed, and painted! So I don’t exactly know when I’ll be able to work in the closet organization, but hopefully I can find a time in the very near future.



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  1. 1. What about cleaning it all up, putting everything away, overflow shoes neatly elsewhere for now, and committing to keep putting everything away for 2 weeks? See if you can do it and move on to more fun things before ripping it out for PAX? The neatness may make you happy enough.

    For me, I must have tidy spaces before I can begin a creative project — so I can feel free to take as long as I want creatively. I let the only mess be the project, so I’m not looking around and feeling I let the house go down the drain for my spouse. Sometimes organization just needs to be “good enough for now” so I don’t hyperfocus on organizing and rob myself of my big creative project that I’ve been looking forward to.

    2. Would love to get an update on how you like your Behr painted floors for those of us who have been planning to try it.

    You’ve got this!

  2. I don’t know what you do in your parts of the world, but in a lot of places shoes are stored near the entrance, so that you enter the house and get your shoes off without walking through the entire house and getting it dirty. Plus, air and smells, particularly in hot weather… Perhaps it’s less common there, because you have bigger houses, I don’t know. But if you made a permanent, dedicated shoe storage somewhere, it wouldn’t have to change when you move rooms.
    If the “near the entrance” isn’t a thing you would do, how about using the cabinets in the corridor right outside your bedroom? As far as I recall, you don’t have a lot of things in there… Alternatively, if you are not using the desk anyway, put all the shoes under it; at least you would be able to find your things! (Minimize your losses, basically).
    At any rate, shoes and clothes don’t necessarily belong together, especially day-to-day shoes… to me, they shouldn’t really be together, if you have just one piece of furniture/built-in as a wardrobe, like you do here.

    1. How do people do this when they are in platform or high heeled shoes that are providing the added height needed long flowing pants or skirts? My clothing hems would be instantly dragging the floor and if I was at a social occasion I would look sloppy. Shoe height influences the proportion of an outfit

      1. Hi Brenda, I am not sure if you were asking me or if you replied to the wrong comment, but if I assume it was me, I think I need to clarify… I’m talking about storing your own shoes, in your own house. I am not talking about visiting a place for, say, a party, and the host demanding you take off your shoes. I know that some people in some places do it (usually with more casual visitors, like going over to a friend for coffee), but it is not done in my country, and tbh, I find it rude as hell! Guests should be made to feel (reasonably) comfortable, and stripping people off their shoes and into badly-fitting-worn-by-everyone slippers is NOT making them comfortable! (Not to mention that if a person was walking in the streets rather than driving, they might not feel very fresh and comfortable about taking their shoes off…)

    2. My thoughts exactly! Where I come from (Europe, Slovenia), we would normaly have a closet or a cabinet for shoes, coats etc. near the entrance. We would never store them in our bedroom, next to other clothes.

  3. A few suggestions…I also love shoes and have many pairs, get racks that hold 30 pairs of shoes each (they are not hard to find) and put them in your entry way to the studio or in the small storage room and put in a stool, bench or whatever and take your shoes off and on in that room. Once you get a closet, you can put the 2 racks in your closet if you prefer your shoes to be in your room. I have a very, very comfortable pair of sandals I wear in the house. So, I always take off my shoes when I get home and put on my sandals if I’ll be staying at home. Take out your desk and put your shoes there with a tall see through rack. You could also put shoes under your bed with the oblong plastic bins with wheels, I do that up at a very small shack I have in the woods. It all works. I know the shoes in front of your bedroom window may seem messy…however, I think you realize it would look organized and better than clothes piled up. (My opinion only…seeing what you have done in the past, you will come up with something wonderful…just remember as you have said in the past, you need something that works for you. I personally could never have clothes on top of things unless they were folded and neatly stacked…LOL!

  4. How about under the bed shoe storage. Hate see you spend time and money remodeling closets that are just temporary to you, when they are perfectly functional for a guest.

    1. EXACTLY!!!!!! I was thinking the same thing! Put the shoes in under bed storage and hang your clothes more easily. This is a “guest” room again in a year and it’s beautiful so don’t put anymore effort into doing a project in this room that’s not needed. It’s a temporary problem that will be solved before you know it!

      1. Exactly! You can build some ‘trays’, put them on rollers, and slide under the bed for an easy pullout when you need your shoes.

  5. I wouldn’t waste time redoing the guest room (they won’t need shoe storage). Just find another area in your house and put your shoes there (a TEMPORARY, prebuilt shoe rack). You’ve gone this long, one more year is doable.

    1. Scrolled down to find this. This is the way. One or two inexpensive shoe racks that you can put together in five minutes (from Amazon or some home store — but not expensive fancy racks). Put one with your frequently used shoes against the wall right in front of your closet, and if you still need more space, put the overflow rack out in the sunroom. It may not be the perfect, sleek, permanent solution you would like, but it sure as heck is better than the hot mess you’ve got going on right now. And in a year or so you’ll have all the storage you could want in your addition, and you can toss the shoe racks or break them down and store them for future use.

  6. Okay, some tough love here. And I say this from personal experience. The only way I was able to get out of this situation was to reduce the amount of clothes, shoes and handbags I had. It took a couple of tries but I reduced my clothing by half and went from 50+ pairs of shoes to 25. It is still a lot of stuff!!! I still see things I feel I could get rid of. But everything fits easily into the space I have. And it is such a joy to open my closet or any of my drawers.

    So I think you are going to have to get rid of some stuff.

    One other tip, I reduced what I had so much that I have a free drawer and some extra closet space on one side. I reserve these spaces for “worn but not dirty enough to put in the wash” items. Instead of creating a “pile” somewhere, I tuck these clothes into these spots. I make sure these are the first places I go to look for something to wear, too.

  7. My suggestion is to buy a couple of 9-rack shoe racks for the sunroom and move all of your shoes to them. Maybe also buy a cheapie “enclosed clothes wardrobe” for out-of-season/rarely worn clothes in the sunroom, too, and just have the clothes you wear often in your bedroom closet. I think this would be a quick and easy solution, to tide you over until you have your master bedroom storage you need.

    1. I agree, I think the sunroom is the best idea. I’m sure you won’t want shoes in your entry or out in the open anywhere, but the sunroom is more of a “ rough space” than you don’t showcase so for now I’d put clothing there. And I also agree with reader said to whittle down your collection. Not easy by any means but it’s the same feeling as losing 20 lbs!

  8. I think the problem is your shoe storage and not so much the sliding doors.

    The sliding doors have become a problem because of the clothing on the desk and the shoes on the floor. Perhaps you could put some open shoe storage where the desk is instead and move the desk elsewhere in the meantime – that would keep your shoes where your clothes are and allow you to configure the storage in your closet to accommodate more clothing.

    IKEA has some very inexpensive shoe thingies that allow you to stack one shoe above the other on the shelf – which would let you get double the shoes on whatever shelving you decide to use.

    This one is a bit more expensive and a bit more attractive – but you might want to leave these until you have a permanent location.

  9. I haven’t tried them personally but I’ve been curious about the IKEA shoe cabinets with the tilt drawers so they look more like a piece of furniture but don’t stick out into the room as much.

  10. Could put a clothes rack, the tall metal kind, in the gym until you get your addition built? Or clean out the studio closet and add a clothes rack in there?

  11. My first thought is can you do a seasonal shift? Keep spring/summer clothes & shoes in the sunroom and swap as season changes. I also get in fits of pique and will donate items that are too snug or that I haven’t worn as much as I thought I would, though in that case maybe they could go in the sunroom but NOT back in your main closet. Your closets aren’t useless they’re just not meant for master bedroom use. They’re perfect for a guest room and I think that room is just so lovely. You did a fantastic job on it! Your whole house too for that matter!!! Kristie, you’re far from being the only one who has this mess so don’t fear, I’m sure a ton of followers can help

  12. Kristy, love your honesty! I actually laughed when I saw your photos, all too familiar
    Currently, I’m having to occupy our guest room and it looks almost the same! A pile of shoes and another pile of clothes, both taking up too much room and a source of frustration
    Think we have the same mind-set. When I’m working on a project, I become so totally focused on it that I struggle squeezing in the time for must do everyday chores.
    Perhaps, you temporarily put metal storage shelves in your gym. (Still close to the guest room)
    Put all but 2-3 pairs of shoes on it and maybe some baskets for sweaters etc.
    It’s just temporary and you can always use the shelves later, maybe on the back covered area.
    Ultimately, you will need to downsize shoe collection, a chore that I need to do too, but it can be done when the season changes.
    You’re still an inspiration and you made me start my day with a smile

  13. I use large baskets from TJ Maxx or Ross. Just toss them in. I have 3. One for flip flops and sneakers. One for errend running shoes and the 3rd dress shoes.

  14. It sounds like the shoes are the biggest problem so I’d find a different spot for all of them for now so that the clothes can fit in the 2 closets. Like others have said no use redoing the guest room closets to accommodate your shoes bc that will be addressed in your new bedroom. I also have many pairs of shoes but only wear 2-3 on a daily basis so I’d keep those in the guest room closet and move the others out. When you need a special pair you can go look for them.

  15. Hello Kristi,
    I’ve been reading your diy column for several years. The reason I’m writing, has nothing to do with design. Our styles of design and preferences are very different. But that’s not the point. I kept reading your columns because I admire you. And I want you to know that you were a huge help (along with my therapist) to me in putting my life back together. Without publicly disclosing my personal situation, I identified in you a strong, independent woman, who never gave up. I wanted to be just like you. Nothing to do with diy and design. So today, as I write, I wanted you to know that. Unbeknownst to you, your column helped me see than any woman, including me, can keep going, no matter the adversity. So thank you Kristi. By way of your column, you were a great teacher.

  16. I feel your pain! My closet is always a mess and I have a walk-in (shared with my husband – he actually gets half of the closet :/ ). It’s kind of a pain in the butt to have to go to another room to get to your clothes and shoes (I tend to forget the shoes I have in another closet and definitely forget the clothes that are in the drawers in that room). I’m eyeballing your alcove with the window. Could you get a double-row rack that would work to hold skirts, shirts….anything short enough to hang there and not hit the floor….maybe with two levels? Or one level and the bottom could hold a rack that would hold a few rows of shoes?

  17. Oh how I can relate! Another “shoe girl” here with the same problem of too many shoes in a small closet. I have several suggestions which are basically ones you have already been presented with, or probably thought of yourself. Purge your shoes. If you are like me, you have shoes you haven’t worn in several (or more) years but still hang onto for various reasons. Get real about the high probability of never wearing those again and then get ruthless and let those go. (I have to force myself to do this periodically or I would be buried in shoes!) If your bed is high enough, get some under-the-bed rolling shoe storage bins for off season or less frequently worn shoes, or store those shoes elsewhere. The space under the desk could temporarily be used for some overflow shoe storage, or purchase a “shoe shelf” to take advantage of wasted vertical space on the wall where your shoes are currently in a pile (or somewhere else in the room). I bought this one that can be configured to the vertical and horizontal space you have and love it. Depending on the style of shoe, I can get 2 pairs in one slot, which further maximizes storage.

    Having shoes on display is not optimal or aesthetically pleasing but in your case, perhaps you can resign yourself to it as a temporary solution until your new primary bedroom is built or you lose interest in shoes, whichever comes first. LOL.

  18. Your shoe pile looks just like mine except that mine is actually inside the closet. You do have a storage problem. Move the normally not worn shoes to the sunroom. Buy one of those big clothes racks to hang your normally not worn clothes on in the sunroom. That is not ideal, but it solves the immediate problem. If it takes a trip to the sunroom to get dressed, so what. Finish your studio. You need to take advantage of the nicer weather while it is here because as you know, here in Texas there is no telling what tomorrow will bring.

    1. It helps me to choose my outfits the night before, then its all ready to go no matter where you have to get things from.

  19. First, you need to dispose of the shoes that don’t fit, ones you don’t like, etc. I would suggest selling on Marketplace, but I myself don’t want strangers coming to my house! We are in a private subdiv., and I try to not bring “I don’t knows” in here. But getting rid of the no can wears is the biggest. What about the entry dresser or the one in the tv room? Are they open for storage? Under the bed? (I store boxes of shoes under the bed if I only wear them occasionally.) Go through the clothes and purge them, fold as much as possible and find drawer space or shelf space – is there any room in the hallway? If you have seasonal things, put them in a tote or two and store in the sunroom.

  20. Honey-Can-Do 30 Pair Chrome Rolling Shoe Tower SHO-09691 Silver sold by Amazon – holds 30 pair of shoes and rolls. I would move shoes into something like this and roll into the bathroom, exercise room or such as a stop gap solution- even if a year or so. You probably have a pair or 2 of shoes you wear at home and spend most of your time in. That pair or two could fit in the closet or even under edge of bed (as I do). Taking a couple hours to get this temporarily solved would help your mental health and allow you to be more creative when it is not bothering you so much.

  21. Here’s a great solution: Get a couple of the flat plastic bins that are about 3-4 feet long and about 20″ wide, and about 7″ tall that slide under the bed.They would each hold about 20 pairs of shoes. My Mom has an adjustable bed and we have three of them under her queen size bed that hold a ton of things.

  22. Have you looked at the shoe storage options that IKEA has? They are narrow & fit closely along the wall. Maybe in your entry?

  23. This is why it is called a guest bedroom. Guest are not supposed to bring all their clothes and shoes and stay indefinitely. Buy some shoe racks that you think you might be able to incorporate into your future bedroom closet. Sort through your clothes and put seasonal items in storage bins for now.

    Once the addition is completed you’ll have plenty of storage space. Hang in there

  24. Turn the closet on the right for shoes and purses/bags. Remove hanging space and add shelves for shoes. This might become useful solution even after the master is done since you have a lot of shoes. Go thru clothes to only have winter clothes in the left closet and keep the summer ones elsewhere or find a way to use the dresser drawers.

    Perhaps use some space in the right closet for some baskets, keep underwear in one, bras in another, socks in another…

  25. Haha you are so funny! Love your writing! So to the issue at hand – what about a big shoe rack in your master bath, temporarily anyways? Or put one in the tub in the hall bathroom and shut the shower curtain? That might be kind of silly since you host folks at your home and I assume that the hall bathroom might be the one they use.

  26. Why do women buy so many shoes I never had more than 2 pairs most of time I wear pair until I them out than I would buy pair

  27. I would remove the desk and put a large storage bench, change your nightstand to a chester drawer with deep drawers and use under bed storage containers which could hold a lot of shoes etc.

  28. Just a thought after reading lots of comments–when you start on the master bedroom addition, you will have to clean out the sunroom! Everything you put in there will have to come out and find a place to stay till the addition is completed. Purging will help more than moving everything somewhere else.

  29. Perhaps you could put together some shoe storage stacks or metal shelves and r able to use them later when you build your new closets. Maybe for the meantime you could put them in the master bath or the closet in your studio you plan to organize soon.

  30. Hey from NC, Kristi! You may already know this but Ikea has some wonderful shoe storage cabinets. Most aren’t very deep so…just a thought…maybe you could move out your desk and place one or two (depending on the width) under the window. You’d still be able to easily open your sliding doors since the units would be inset a bit. They also have the Kallax line of cubbies with many drawer and door insert options. Not having the shoes in the closet would give you space for a lower rod for pants, etc. You would still have a little “tabletop” surface under the window for cute things. Maybe instead of the desk chair, a fabric covered storage ottoman somewhere in the room would work. That would give you somewhere to sit down for putting on shoes as well as a container for some accessories too. If you aren’t really feeling the units, a storage bench under the window would be another great option. Utilizing ready made pieces would give you an immediate solution without taking time away from the studio. And this solution would be inexpensive and can be moved down the road if you wanted since you’ll be eventually moving to your new master bedroom with the amazing wall of cabinets.

  31. They make under bed soft storage boxes that store multiple pairs. You could get something like that to store shoes you don’t wear that often. Take a picture of them in the storage box so you know what is each box. Since you have several pair of boots, you would need at least two of the soft storage boxes. Or if you have room for a big wicker basket with a lid that could be an option too. Just a couple of ideas.

  32. I got a big kick out of your storytelling and the photos. The struggle is real!
    I am with the idea not to rebuild the closets since future guests won’t need that much shoe storage. If you could purge some things, put off-season clothes and shoes in bins in the sunroom (?) and maybe get some stacked shoe racks and line them up in your home gym?? There’s a mirror in there so you can try them on and look at your outfit in the mirror. I know you would prefer not to junk up other rooms, but we know this is all temporary. (You have such cute shoes it would look like artwork!)
    I’m just trying to keep them close to your bedroom where you’re getting dressed. Good luck organizing!

  33. I would put a temporary shoe stand against the wall outside of the closet, so the shoes are not piled up in front of the closet. AT least they would be out of the way till your addition is built. Love your Blog!!!!

  34. If the problem were mine I would buy enough of those shoe racks that can be found in stores. Put all of my shoes on the racks and scoot the racks against the bedroom walls. Looks like there may be room on one side of the bed side night stand for one. Don’t worry about how the racks will look. Then I would tackle the closets by taking everything out and evaluating each article….dresses, coats, purses, etc. Put everything you definitely need back into the closets in an orderly fashion. Clear the clothing on your window table to include in all of this evaluating. Your window being cleared of the pile of clothes on the table will be 100% better. Things in the closets will be easier to get to and the shoe problem will be out of the closets. Of course it’s not going to be the best look for your shoes to be out in the open, but for one year this way will clear things up so you can back to work finishing the studio and getting on with the new additions to be built. Taking time to redo the closets would only take away time spent on your future goals. That big bedroom with lots of storage space sounds so good.

  35. I have trouble posting
    Walmart Fancyqube $12.88 and another one $8.69 shoe hanging rack
    I have about 7 of them for shoes. Check them out

  36. Ok maybe I’m missing something (or didn’t read everything) but that bed looks like it sits up quite a bit off the floor can you not buy storage containers that will slide or roll under the bed for shoe storage? If this is temporary also what about the shoe holders that hang over a door? It seems to me there are several options…..unless again I’m missing something. Still….love reading your blog 🙂

  37. I would encourage you to think of the Dana K White principles–what is your shoe container? Is it your closet, the sunroom, something else? If shoe storage really is the issue, take an hour, kick the shoes out of the way and put the clothes away. Go through the shoes and get rid of any which are not 100% comfortable. Then move the desk stool out of the bedroom (you’re not using it now anyhow) and store your favorite shoes under the desk. Whatever you have left, move them to the sunroom for now. This doesn’t have to derail your current projects and turn into a huge build. You’ve got decent storage for your things that was working before the shoes got out of control.

  38. Dear Emelda, (for those too young to know who Emelda Marcos is, search her name and shoes), first, you probably need to decide if you really need all the shoes you have though I do see lots of cute ones. I personally set a limit of 40 pairs so I better love the new ones because another pair has to go. The shoes I do have on shelves go in shoe slot organizers so that I can put twice as many pairs in the same space. This is usually my various athletic shoes for the gym and hiking and a few regularly worn day shoes or house shoes so things I really want to air out after wearing. The more expensive ones, less frequently worn ones, and off-season shoes go in Container Store clear stackable shoe drawers. As an ADHD person, I have to have everything pull out so I can get what I want and put it back without having to move other shoe boxes or items. It’s not cheap but what price sanity? If you got the shoe drawers, you can put them wherever you want now and then restack them in your closet one day.

  39. Love the wire shelving racks for hanging clothes – Heavy Duty Garment Rack, Portable Wire Shelving Clothes Rack for Hanging Clothing with Double Rods, Wheels and Side Hooks, Freestanding Metal Wardrobe Storage Rack.

  40. I’m a shoe gal too and since this is a temporary situation I would go with the under the bed storage for shoes. The shoes I wear on a regular basis in the closet, the rest under the bed. I personally would not want to have my shoes in another room because sometimes after I get dressed my first choice of shoes might not be the ones I want to go with. I also notice you have the white plastic hangers in your closet. I went with the thin velvet hangers and it’s amazing how many more clothes fit in my closet. You might also want to consider removable command hooks to put on the outside of your closet doors (or walls next to the desk) to hang your handbags, etc. You have done a great job on all of your remodeling. Hang in there and before you know it your master bedroom will be complete!

  41. First, just ignore these folks that just say “ditch the shoes” as a immediate remedy. Perish the thought. I got heart palpitations just reading it. We all know that shoes wear out, are determined to be uncomfortable, etc. and need to be culled. You need a quick, short-term fix, not an extra heap of anxiety right now.
    As others suggested, get shoe racks, stacking boxes, whatever you think will work best for you to stash your overflow in the sunroom. I do recommend you get one’s that are enclosed. See through is good or you need to put photos of the shoes on the box ends.
    While you’re at it, order some sturdy, rolling clothing racks. And get the clear, plastic covers with enclosed bottoms and zippered openings at the top for the racks. You can use these racks to keep your extra, non-seasonal clothes in the sunroom. If you need, get the fabric, hanging shelves to use on the clothing racks for excess folded (lightweight) things. This will also give you an idea of how much closet space you are really going to need in your room addition. You always need more than you think.

  42. Oh my gosh, I just had to read all the comments. Mention shoes and we get pretty worked up! Yes, purging shoes would be great but let’s get real. Am I the only one who looked at the picture and said, “I have to have those zebra print boots!” or “I would wear those leopard pumps all the time!” My daughter actually displayed her prettiest shoes and boots as part of her decor. Matt probably wouldn’t be on board with that. But I do like your idea of temporarily storing them out of the way except for the everyday shoes. Personally, I put mine in photo storage boxes that I purchased on a sale at Michaels and then placed a photo of the shoes on the outside. And sandals went in a storage bin under the bed for the winter months. I swap them out with the boots in the spring.

  43. I have to chime in, those pink boots, girl….I need those!!! Don’t purge the shoes!!! I agree to find a place to put them other than that closet. This is a temporary issue, so you just need a temporary solution. The velvet hangers as someone else mentioned are definitely a great investment. I have been using them for years, because I had two closets in my whole house before we finised the remodel and sold. They will take up way less space.

  44. Great post; thx for the reality. Made me laugh and sympathize.
    I would love to know where to purchase that gorgeous rayed sun mirror above the bed

  45. We live in a small mobile home and as you can imagine, storage is at a prium. I found a really nice rolling flat basket that fits under our bed. It holds about 8-10 pairs of my shoes and sandles. It works really great. Would that work for you?


    You need to listen to her podcasts-it’s not about the amount of shoes you have;
    it’s more about changing the mindset of you being OK to live in a constant mess.
    Once you change that ideal, you’ll put your ( manageable amount) shoes away in a place that makes sense for now-and not make the excuse of having to rebuild a new closet to fit them all in as the reason you can’t clean up after yourself.
    I appreciate your DIY chutzpah but ADHD can sometimes not be our friend LOL.

  47. Can you store the ones you don’t use right now – summer types and extras in a different room for now, and just keep those that you use the most in the closet? I can’t see, but can you fold some sweaters for your dresser, and just hang what really needs to be in the closet? Perhaps that would make it easier to find some things, and have less in the closet overall. We keep our PJ’s and some of our everyday work clothes in the drawers in our bathroom so we can just grab after our showers…saves some room in our dresser as well. I’m sure it is very frustrating, but if you eliminate some of the summer season stuff for now you could have more space for what you really need? I know you will think of a great way to cure the chaos!

  48. Why not get a large basket to put your most worn shoes in? Put the least worn in the closet. You could thin out your clothes with your least worn clothes to a hanging stand with a cover & move it to the laundry room. If you’re like me you have things you barely wear but aren’t ready to part with. Those things are taking up space. You may even find things you know you won’t wear. Those you can donate. This could buy you time on getting closer to your addition.

  49. What a dilemma! I moved from 3600 sf home to 1400 and I feel your frustration. I am constantly browsing online for storage solutions, the best I have found is on Amazon for under-bed shoe storage. The one I have is zippered and has sections for each pair. I know you will find a solution for you. I had forgotten how beautiful the guest room is!

  50. Hi, Kristi!
    I feel your pain! I have been there. I have a few small suggestions, no all-encompassing big ideas though:
    1) Store your off-season shoes in a separate location or in a piece of storage furniture. I use a round upholstered storage ottoman for this purpose.
    2) Try different solutions *cheaply* before you splash out on THE answer that will work for you. I tried shoe racks on the floor (nope), on the wall (nope), and landed on two long, single-width organizers that hang from the curtain rod. (I prefer single width because they’re easier to move and less… visually imposing.)
    3) Do you know your organizing style? “Clutterbug” (on Youtube) offers a quiz that can be very helpful to making organization and design decisions. See (I suspect you are predominately a “Bee” organizer.)
    4) Not directly related, but have you tried skinny hangers? They are wonderful! They save/gain so much space in your closet. “Velvet” ones are more common, but be warned that clothes *cling* to that flocked coating. If you want clothes to just slide off a hanger, go with the uncoated skinnies.
    I enjoy reading your blog so much; I check it nearly every day. I appreciate your openness in your posts and love seeing the works in progress and completion. And your love of color–color is a NUTRIENT.
    I’m sure your perseverance will pay off well with this organizing project.

  51. A temporary solution is to use tension rods to create shelves. You can have two rods and lay a lightweight board across them (such as the corrugated plastic they sell at the hardware store) or you can just use two or three rods per “shelf.” Most efficient use of space is to organize by total shoe height. My sister did this as a temporary measure and it is still in place seven years later.

  52. Kristi, I love how you keep it real and your sense of humor. The only thought I have to add here is that interior design is about problem solving, and we’ve all enjoyed watching your problem solving process. You’re really good at it and explaining how you arrived at that solution. Oh, and your shoe collection is really pretty! Enjoy them!

  53. Check out The Minimal Mom on YouTube. She sure created a mindshift for me! Maybe what you really need is to reduce the amount of inventory you have to manage. More closet or storage space won’t bring you peace; fewer items to manage will.

  54. My question is: How long will it take to accomplish this task???? I have been extremely ill with flu, pneumonia, and coughing, plus FOUR visits to the emergency room so I have been home All of January. One thing I have learned is NOT to look at a project in its ‘wholeness’. I had four big projects planned for January and decided to break down the jobs into “smaller” pieces. For example, since all I’m doing is coughing and sitting on the couch, I chose my nightstand drawer, pulled it out, sat it on my lap and organized the mess. I then chose another cabinet in the kitchen and rearranged it. By breaking down something large and NOT looking at the whole thing, I accomplished so much more than I thought by breaking it down into smaller chunks, pieces, tasks. Looking at the whole thing/project can be overwhelming sometimes. I’ve done this my whole life and it really works. I certainly didn’t accomplish all my projects, but at the end of the day, I can look back and see that I did Something and that’s good for me. I can rest knowing that I DID something. Don’t be overwhelmed by the WHOLE thing…that will stop you in it your tracks. Two hours will accomplish a ton, maybe not all, but you will have accomplished SOMETHING. You are so good at that. Good luck!!

  55. I have a walk in closet an always wind up with a pile of junk in the middle so nothing else can be put away. Throw the shoes in a laundry basket for now – at least then you can move a single basket out of the way instead of 20 shoes while you’re working out a better solution.