The Goal: Find a hanging shoe organizer, in the spirit of spring cleaning, that takes up minimal room. Small-space specializing professional organizers guided us away from those long canvas shelves that hang on clothing rods (too bulky; collect dust) and toward options that occupy the unused area on the back of closet doors.
The Verdict: Whitmor’s over-the-door shoe rack is the rare hanging option that doesn’t involve any pockets. While that means this requires a bit of assembly (though not more than ten minutes; no tools required), the benefit is that it comfortably carries both heels and flats, and it won’t suffocate shoe leather, a material that requires sufficient breathing room to stay fresh. When similarly tilted racks sit on the floor, shoes without heels will often slide off, but here your door will prop up anything (like ballet flats) that can’t grip onto the coated metal bars. The rack carries 36 pairs; or, as the organizers advise, alternate the direction of every other shoe and you can fit an extra pair per shelf.
More Expert-Recommended Shoe Organizers
“You just snap one on top of the other, so it’s really easy to assemble and disassemble. I love systems that give you flexibility.” — Nancy Heller, Goodbye Clutter
“If you’re worried about something scratching your ceiling, this shoe bag easily nails into the back of the door with picture-frame hooks. It’s clear, which I love because you need to see what you’ve got; and it’s mesh, so leather shoes can still breathe.” — Sharon Lowenheim, Organizing Goddess
“My go-to are cubbies because they utilize the unused space on the closet floor, and you can custom design them — getting as many as you need and just stacking them. Each cubby holds two shoes, but you can also use them for accessories.” — Stacey Platt, DwellWell
*This article appears in the April 3, 2017, issue of New York Magazine.
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