When Old Man Winter comes to town and the white stuff starts to fall, most folks repeat their annual search for stored boots and shoes. But after seven or eight months in exile, it can be difficult to locate them, especially since they rarely stay in the same place. Why is this?
Simple: They are big, bulky and are only worn for a few months each year. As a result, most homeowners do not like to take up valuable closet space with seasonal footwear. More often than not, they simply pile them in a plastic storage bin, which is then put in some out of-the-way place. Then, after several months, they try to remember where they stowed them. Fortunately, there are ways to organize your footwear.
How to Organize Winter Boots
If at all possible, it is often best to keep boots with other shoes, in personal closets, rather than in common areas, such as mudrooms or hall closets. This reduces the risk that a pair will get misplaced or lost. It also cuts down on clutter in areas that are prone to it. Not to mention the fact that boots and winter shoes are fairly easy to organize, if you follow a few simple tips.
By Height : Lining boots up by height is the easiest and most popular way to organize them. Most pairs are either ankle or mid-calf footwear whose height depends on the wearer’s shoe size.
By style: Not all winter shoes and boots are designed for trudging through the snow. Some pairs are made mostly for show, to capture and reflect the spirit and colors of the season. Winter boots and shoes range in style from casual to dressy to everyday, and some folks choose to organize them that way.
Color: The two most popular colors for boots and winter shoes are brown and black, perhaps because they stand out against the pure white snow. Grouping footwear by color is a time-tested technique that makes them easier to find, especially if there are only two of them, colors that is.
Space: No matter how small or large your closet may be, it is almost always possible to free up some space just by jettisoning things you no longer use. When it comes to boots, because of their size and relative bulk, most people store them in the back of their closets until needed. Remember, storing all of them in the same place year round will negate the need for an annual winter boot hunt.
Bins: It’s not ideal, but if you have a large collection of boots, it is possible to store them in plastic bins in the back of your closet and still save space. Just make sure the container is only as deep as your tallest pair. Otherwise, the bin may be more trouble than it’s worth, since the unused space cannot be replaced.
Racks: Although not specifically designed for boots, most shoes racks can accommodate them, at least on their top shelves. Look for small adjustable racks that will fit your bedroom closets. There are also over-the-door organizers that feature either wire holders or pockets made of fabric that should be able to safely store smaller pairs of boots.
Cubby Holes: Although the small compartments are designed for shoes, it is often possible to fit at least one boot into each. There is also more than enough room on top of the popular storage device to line up several pairs of boots and winter shoes.
Boot Storage Rack: From cradle tall to mid calf to ankle boots and shoes, adjustable boot storage racks can hold several pairs of rugged footwear in a compact and secure device. The models we reviewed held up to 6 tall boots and three shoes at the same time! The advantage of purchasing a rack that was designed specifically for big, bulky boots is that they can all be kept together. There is no need to separate them or place them on different racks or compartments.
Shelves: If you don’t use them to store sweaters or other winter apparel, shelves are the ideal place to keep your boots after winter ends. The top one above the closet rod should leave more than enough room between itself and the ceiling of the closet to store boots of any size. Putting in a shelf solely for boots, however, is probably a waste of time and money. It is often cheaper and more convenient to simply buy a good organizer.