Hopefully, by now you have realized it's time to retire the flip-flops. The cold weather has suddenly sprung upon us, meaning it's time to reach into the depths of your closet to pull out the boots, and with that comes to seasonal struggle of how to store them so they don't topple over.
By this point, you probably have a system for your chunky knits and puffer jackets, but want about the ever-impossible-to-store boots? Every year I end up with an awkward pile of boots in my closet. Not only does it ruin the aesthetic of my otherwise organized space, but it also damages the boots in the long run.
Whether you store yours in your closet, or in an entryway or mudroom for easy reach, there are professional organizers around who know exactly what to do. We've tapped into their years of experience to discover the best solutions to fix the unsightly issue. There's something for everyone here, including some nifty DIYs, and the last one on this list might really surprise you.
1. Under bed storage
If you store your footwear in your bedroom, under bed storage is one of the most underutilized organizing solutions out there. 'When storage space is limited, under the bed can become a good option,' says professional organizer Ben Soreff. It's a particularly useful storage solution for small spaces.
Making the most of small space is all about utilizing every space by putting infrequently used items in remote locations, and Ben suggests under the bed for boots. 'Under-the-bed bins can work well for the winter/summer swap,' he says. 'It can be a great place to store off-season shoes and boots especially.' Even in winter, keeping your boots in an under-bed storage container lying down is a great solution. That way not only are they out of sight, but they'll keep their shape, too.
2. Boot rack
If, like me, you're an avid boot wearer in winter, you probably want more accessible storage. 'If you have several pairs, I recommend getting a boot stand, on which the boots rest inverted,' says Amelie Saint-Jacques, a professional organizer at Amelie Organizes. 'This is a good way to keep them corralled and mostly dust-free while allowing them to keep their shape.'
This is a good solution if you have a lot of boots, however, some organizers warn they can take up excessive space in your mudroom or entryway and end up creating more clutter if you don't require all of it.
3. Pool noodles
We were skeptical too, but hear us out. 'The most cost-effective way to store tall boots so that they don't fall over is to buy pool noodles,' says Amelie. 'Just cut them to the right length, and stuff them in the boots so that they stay upright.'
As a hallway shoe storage idea, you might think it sounds a bit mad, but Amelie isn't the only expert to recommend this method of storing your boots. 'My favorite spatial solution for tidy boot storage is to use pool noodles,' says expert Amy Bloomer from Let Your Space Bloom. Using average pool noodles, which you may even have at home already (sorry kids!) is a simple and affordable solution to storing boots.
'These are economical and customizable storage solutions for tall boot storage,' explains Amy. 'Foam pool noodles are only a few dollars each and are the perfect way to keep taller boots well-shaped and stored in a tidy, upright position.'
This might not be a permanent solution to the problem, however, it is a great interim option to try before investing in something more substantial.
Mistakes to avoid when storing boots
Boots are difficult to store, so here are a couple of mistakes to avoid to ensure the best care for your footwear. 'Always avoid keeping the boots in direct sunlight for long periods of time,' says professional organizer and owner of Living Simplified, Lauren Saltman. The light and heat can damage all fabrics, especially leather which has the tendency to fade and dry out.
Lauren adds that you should always clean your boots before storing them. It can be tempting to chuck them off as soon as you are done outside but take the time to brush off any debris and dried mud, or use a brush and water if you have been on a big hike. This will ensure you aren't dragging in muck into your house and makes your storage look more polished.
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Amy recently completed an MA in Magazine Journalism at City, University of London, with experience writing for Women’s lifestyle publications across arts, culture, and beauty. She has a particular love for the minimalist aesthetic mixed with mid-century furniture, especially combining unique vintage finds with more modern pieces. Her previous work in luxury jewellery has given her a keen eye for beautiful things and clever design, that plays into her love of interiors. As a result, Amy will often be heard justifying homeware purchases as 'an investment', wise words to live by.
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