best bet

A Shoe Organizer That Takes Up Practically Zero Space

Photo: Bobby Doherty/New York Magazine

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.

“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 ceilin