Pinterest Found A Genius Shoe Storage Solution (& It's Sitting In Your Garage)

Whether you've just minimized your shoe collection or purchased a fourth pair of kelly green pumps (they were on sale!), it seems like there's always too many shoes and never enough shoe storage. A 2023 survey conducted by Kuru Footwear discovered that the average American will own around 256 pairs of shoes throughout their lifetime — a lot of shoes to maintain and organize! If you're struggling to make all your favorite footwear fit in your closet, there's no need to rush out and purchase more storage racks or shelves; you might already have the only item you need. If you've got a seldom-used ladder just sitting in your garage, consider giving it a second chance as a shoe holder in your wardrobe. 

An old wooden ladder may be retired from your home maintenance routine, but it can find new life in your closet. Ladders are designed to hold the feet of people climbing them, so it makes sense that they're also great for storing shoes! Here's how you can create a simple storage solution with this easy-to-follow DIY ladder shelf

Step up your shoe game with a ladder

There are a couple of clever ways to repurpose a ladder as a shoe rack. The first method is the easiest; simply close the ladder and lean it against the wall for a slim shoe rack! Adding rubber grips to the bottom can help keep the ladder from sliding if needed. The thin rails of an old wooden ladder are great for hanging pumps by their heels, and the space between rungs will allow you to store most boots without folding or creasing them. When you lean the ladder up against a wall, it may also be slim enough to fit behind a door or inside a shallow closet. Plus, it can still be unpacked and reused as a step ladder when needed to reach the upper shelves of the closet. 

If you're looking for more substantial shoe storage, you can also open the ladder and turn it so the rungs face the wall, setting up a triangular "frame" to work with. Add boards to create shelves going through both sides of the ladder, using longer boards at the bottom and shorter boards up top for a modern, tapered look. This method will give you wider shelves, perfect for supporting chunkier boots, men's dress shoes, flats, and sneakers. Of course, you won't be able to easily reuse the ladder as a stepping tool if you use this method, but the shelves will be sturdier and more roomy. 

A ladder shelf can suit any style

A ladder may make awesome, functional shoe storage, but is there a way to make it look more stylish in your closet or hallway? Vintage wooden ladders may be better for this hack, as they have a more natural, neutral look than modern ladders made from metal and plastic. Wooden ladders can also be sanded, refinished, or repainted to match your home's aesthetic or blend in with your closet. To give a wooden ladder a fresh look, start by sanding away any stuck-on paint or plaster. Thoroughly dust off the ladder before applying an oil-based stain, varnish, or paint color of your choosing. Allow the ladder to dry completely before adding your shoes or shelves as above. 

If you have a metal or fiberglass ladder, making it blend in with the space can be a little trickier, but it's not impossible. For example, you can spray paint the ladder in a color that matches the inside of your closet, or spraypainting the ladder in a bold, monochrome color can make it look like an art piece in your home! Alternatively, you can add wood board covers to disguise the ladder steps, hang scarves over the top of the ladder, or use baskets on the rails to hide the steps and provide accessory storage.