DIY Closet Shoe Storage

July 21, 2014

I am no Carrie Bradshaw when it comes to shoes. In fact, until this weekend I didn't even know I was really a shoe person. Sure I like shoes, but I am hard on my shoes and go for more affordable pairs making Sole Society and DSW some of my favorite stores. Over the past few years my shoe storage has been focused on space saving versus function - shoes piled into a dedicated laundry basket.

In New York, I could get away with an over the door shoe bag and laundry basket for the extras, but with a real sized closet I wanted a bit more structure. With it raining all weekend, it turned out to be the perfect time for this project. I headed over to the Container Store on Saturday with plans to use their Elfa system. 5 shelves later and that system would have cost me over $200. So we turned to The Home Depot to see if we could build a similar set up ourselves for a lower cost. We found the same kind of track system that the Container Store has and planned out our shelving unit for $100 less!

What's Needed
2 brackets for every shelf -We did the 11.5 inch brackets to support 12 inch shelves and got 10 for 5 shelves
5, 12 in x 36 in shelves - We choose the gray shelves since they were the same price as the white and won't shoe wear and tear as much.
Rubbermaid Hardware Pack -We needed two due to the size of our track
- Drill
- Drill Bits -1/8" drill bit and a Phillip Screwdriver bit
- Hammer
- Pencil
- Level

First things first, we measured the wall. which was 7"8' tall and 3"4' wide. We ended up choosing a system that was 2 ft. shorter than the wall and 4 inches smaller than the width of the wall. This meant a 70" tall track, which I really picked because if it was any taller I would need a stepping ladder to get to the shelves. The 3" shelves we're an eyeball guess that turned out well.

Once we had the materials, we measured out the track placements following the instructions on the shelf. For our shelves the tracks needed to be placed 16 inches apart. We then used a level to make sure we were lining the tracks up appropriately. Make sure you check the level on the top, but also parallel to each track.We measured the 16 inches from the top to the bottom and checked levels using a pen to make in each drill hole in the track.

The hardest part of this project were the dry wall anchors. This may be obvious to other people, but it took us a good 5 minutes or so to figure out how these things should work. Most anchors I've used before squeezed the other direction. For these, you take the points and squeeze them together in the direction the arrows in the below show.

To get these in the wall, we used a 1/8" drill bit. The you kind of have to wiggle the anchor into the hole and hammer. Once the anchor is in the wall, you use the black piece in the above picture to expand the anchor out so it holds. We then halfway screwed in the 4 points we choose to secure (they were about 7-8 holes, but we didn't feel we needed to secure all - we're apartment dwellers after all).

After the tracks are up you hang you brackets so that two brackets support each shelf. I left 8 notches in between my shelves, but this is customizable.

And here is the after shot once all the shelves were hung and all my shoes we set up. The closet is pretty tight, so getting a good shot was a bit tough. The great thing about this system versus the Container Store besides the price is that these shelves could be used for storage besides shoes depending on your preference where the angled shoe shelves really lead themselves to shoes.

I can't even say how happy I am with the outcome, who knew a girl could love a shoe wall so much. Not only do I love the organization of this, but it also gives me a good overall look at the shoes I have. As you can see, when it comes to colorful shoes I go for red heels. Otherwise, nude and black shoes are a must for work.

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  1. Good work Corley!!! :) Who knew you had so many shoes.

    1. Haha this was a team effort! I know, right. I honestly has no idea how many shoes I had, and these are just for summer.


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