Where To Put Your Shoes In A Tiny House

ShoesThere are so many details that go into tiny house living. Or should I say so many details we take for granted. Things like:

  • Where does the juicer go?
  • Where do I hang my keys?
  • What do we do with this extra set of bed linen?
  • I want to keep all 8 of these plates….but where?

It seems to be a matter of personal preference, certainly. But it’s all in the details as our friend Logan can tell you.

I seem to remember Jay Shafer talking in a video about his shoes or his shoe storage or something similar. It was a couple of years ago and left little impression on me. But as we prepared to move into our own tiny home and I realized that our family of three has nearly 10 pair of shoes (5 of them for our daughter, mind you) we needed to think about where to store them.

It seems to be an unwritten rule of tiny houses that shoes are left either on the stoop/porch or at the door. No soles should touch the flooring. It adds dirt and grime. The collection of shoes alone adds clutter and disarray. But with 10 pair of shoes (and 1 pair being a pair I have worn once in 18-months but have to have them for work when I am required to wear *gasp* dress slacks or a suit) we needed a solution.

Our home has a little garage or a pimple or a bump out or whatever you want to call it. We call it the garage because it houses a number of different things but primarily some touch-up paint, fire ant killer, outdoor bubble containers, and our work clothes. But on the left hand side neatly organized and stacked in seven plastic, lock-seal, “shoeboxes” are our shoes. With this level or organization we know where our shoes (save the ones on our feet) are. We know they remain in good condition. We have them when needed without having to hunt for them. And at just $1.50 per box at the Family Dollar they are an affordable way to get organized, stay organized, and keep your front entrance clean.


  1. says

    I appreciate the issue but I hope others can come up with a better solution than proliferating the use of cheap plastic boxes, all of which will end up in the trash within a few years.
    Family Dollar and stores like it are mostly just short conduits to landfill.
    How about wooden boxes with labels? or wooden boxes with little windows. What other simple solutions are there without resorting to unsustainable plastic?

    • says

      Assuming they will end up in the trash, eh? May I then assume that the saw blades possibly used in wooden box construction are either taken to a scrapyard and recycled or rather repurposed into some other usable product until filed away to literal dust in the wind?


      I get what everyone is saying about the plastic. But wooden boxes are not as simple for most as they sound to be for you daltsguy. We all have to keep in our budget and skillset.

  2. 05FJR1300 says

    After reading the last post about short trip from dollar store to landfill, it just got me thinking in general about this plastic tote method. Other than the previously mentioned ‘landfill problem’, I was wondering about ventilation for the shoes. You may have already mitigated this circumstance with holes in the plastic tops or perhaps you make sure they have air dried sufficiently after you doff them. Either way it is a consideration I would think with shoe storage in plastic. I might worry a little about bacteria building up in the shoe causing the ever popular ‘athletes foot’. Wood could be better but only if properly ventilated as well, I would think. Thanks for your article and you are giving me considerations when I set out RVing and leave my spacy hunters cabin in East Nashville.

    • says

      We have a few methods in place to keep our shoes in good condition.

      * our garage stays about 71degrees
      * we use the silica packets from the purchase boxes in the plastic boxes
      * we put newspaper in our shoes when storing
      * leather shoes have cedar inserts
      * we never put wet shoes away

  3. kelly says

    I just don’t like this option. The plastic solution is not ecofriendly, and I would hate to have to go to the bump out every time I needed shoes. Why not a clothing hanging shoe organizer, which can be hung on the closet wall?

    • says

      I’m sorry you don’t like this option Kelly. And please don’t take my frankness as rudeness but fortunately for you you don’t have to use this option. The plastic option is not the most eco-friendly, no. But that wheel was set in motion even at the purchase of the shoes since most shoe companies do not use bio-degradable shoeboxes or even cardboard boxes made of post-consumer recyclables. Much like a shoebox I can reuse the plastic boxes over and over. A number of people have to consider their budget, availability of product(s), and their available space and recycled plastic totes or other products do not always fit into that process.

      As for going to the bump out, we store our shoes out there. We always have at least one pair (be they flip-flops, sandals, or even my work boots) at the door to be worn most immediately. Tis sort of action also keeps us very intentional about our shoes. It makes us ask if we really need this pair or that pair or if they are even worth storing.

      Our closet is 23″ wide which hardly allows room for a shoe organizer inside and I am not sure of a tiny house closet that has more than that thus giving them a hanging option either.

      Thank you for the suggestion though.

  4. Suzannah Kolbeck says

    Okay, how about a canvas storage option then? You could spray with Camp-Dri if you were so inclined.

    Link: http://www.spacesavers.com/Storage/Stackable-Shoe-Storage/Large-Canvas-Vision-Shoe-Boxes-by-Household-Essentials-Set-of-4_2

    The upside of plastic lasting so long is, well, that plastic lasts so long. So you could make one purchase, keep it forever and be done.

    And if you are wearing cotton anything that is anything but organic, you are one of the biggest polluters on the planet, so the plastic storage bin issue is the least of your worries. I’m just sayin’.

    (here’s a little support for that last paragraph; yes, it’s an old report -2007- but there was another abstract from a different report from 2012. Nothing has changed. http://www.watershedsentinel.ca/content/deadly-chemicals-cotton)

  5. sunshine says

    I saw a great option in a tiny house…the couple built a little cubby into the entrance with direct access outside the house. Think of the tumbleweed fencl design with its little window/sitting nook next to the front door…well they built a small square cubby hole into the wall at the base of the porch (right before you walk through the front door inside) that filled up only a small part of their storage space under the nook seat on the inside. stick a little lift up door on it that you can lock if needed and you have a simple solution that has easy access to your shoes where you need it. best yet it provides a great place to put your shoes before you go into the house, so no one needs to ever bring their dirty shoes inside :) In fact their “duck chalet” gave me a lot of other great ideas too…


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