A DIY Shoe Storage Upgrade

Before this house, I’d never lived anywhere that had a real mudroom.  And although our mudroom is small, I just love it.

But its best feature is also its biggest drawback:  The large windows.

Mudroom windows

All the wonderful natural light means very little wall space to work with.  As you can see from the photo, the limited wall space makes it difficult to keep things organized  – not that I’ve been trying very hard.  The room is a haphazard mix of random storage baskets and bins.  I’ve never really made it a priority.

Well that is about to change.  I’m in the process of reworking the mudroom – starting with the taming of the shoes.

Invasion of the Shoes

My husband, Chris, likes to keep the shoes he uses most near the back door.  The problem is, the shoes seem to multiply when no one is looking.  And yes, he really uses all of these.

Boot bench

A while back, in a half-hearted attempt to get organized, I added a flimsy thrift store rack to the top of the boot bench.  It doesn’t look good, and now we can’t sit while putting on shoes.

The small wooden shelving unit near the door was too shallow to house his shoes.

Mudroom shelving unit

A New Angle

What to do?  My mom suggested a shoe rack in place of the shelving unit.  It should have angled shelves, she said, so that the shoes would not interfere with the door swing.

It was a great idea, but most angled shoe racks I found were more suited to a closet than a mudroom.

And then I wondered about our little shelving unit:  Would it work to simply reposition the shelves at an angle?

plywood shelving unit

I asked Chris to give it a try.  He repositioned each shelf at about a 30-degree angle and used screws to secure them.

And it worked!  The shoes would be nicely contained on the newly-angled shelves.

DIY Shoe Storage

Now we just needed to make this basic unit a little prettier.

A 99-Cent Upgrade

A reclaimed wood top would elevate the look.  I checked the nearest salvage shop and found all kinds of beautiful wood – all of it too shallow in depth.

The next salvage shop was way across town, and I started to wonder if I was on another one of my fool’s errands.

While deciding whether it was worth the drive, I stopped at my local Goodwill.  There I found a piece of fir in the right depth – with a nicely finished edge.  And it was 99 cents!  I could not believe my luck.

Fir panel

All we would have to do is shorten the length a bit.  Reclaimed wood at Goodwill: Who’d have thought?

Adding More Character

Then I got it in my head that, since the mudroom is next to the kitchen, the exposed side of the shelving unit should be attractively paneled to match the style of our kitchen cabinets.

I tease Chris for keeping all kinds of scrap wood pieces, but it came in handy for this project since he had just the right scraps onhand to create the panels.

Then I painted the bench the same white as our kitchen molding – a color custom-blended to match our kitchen cabinets.

And here is how it turned out.

DIY Shoe Storage Unit for a Mudroom

A DIY Shoe Storage Unit

It’s perfect for the overflow shoes, and it frees up a lot of space in the boot bench.  There is even enough room for some of my shoes.

DIY Shoe Storage Unit for Mudroom

And for 99 cents out of pocket, it’s a nice upgrade for a plywood shelving unit that once looked like this.

Plywood storage unit

This small change is already improving the flow of the mudroom, but there is more to come, including a snazzy upgrade to the concrete floor.  So stay tuned!


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28 thoughts on “A DIY Shoe Storage Upgrade”

    1. Thanks Becky! It was hard to find anything else to fit in that space by the door, which now I think was a blessing in disguise since it forced us to get creative. Glad you enjoyed the post, and thanks for stopping by today!

  1. I was skeptical this would work but again your mother was right. It looks great. We need shoe storage too so this has my wheels turning…

  2. Love your shoe storage. Wish I had some space to do something like that. By the way. that blue stone in the backyad is really great. Nice inspiration.

    1. Thanks Wendy! It’s nice to be able to use our back patio, shed and greenhouse without slogging through wet grass and mud like we used to do. Glad you enjoyed my shoe storage upgrade too.

  3. What a great idea. It looks nice and it’s functional now. I love finding new ways to update old items for little money. Thanks for sharing at Snickerdoodle. Pinning to my upcycle board.

  4. I have the same problem with my husband… aren’t women supposed to have an arsenal of shoes? He uses all of his too! Your mom is smart and you did a great job with that beat shelving unit.
    Thanks for sharing it with us at Sweet Inspiration, I plan to feature this tomorrow.

  5. That’s a wonderful shoe rack. I can’t believe you found that piece of wood at Goodwill for 99 cents, amazing!! The shoe rack looks awesome and will be such a space saver.

  6. That was so smart and I just love the finished look! I adore the mix of white and wood, and you solved a problem. I am not fortunate enough to have a mudroom, even a tiny one, so I must make do with an icky old boot tray by the kitchen door, with a coat hook above. Oh well, it is what it is!

    1. Thanks Debbie. I like the white with the wood too. Sounds like you have a nice little system set up by your kitchen door – even if it’s not a separate mudroom. Thanks for visiting!

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