IKEA HACK: 20 Ways to Organize With an Ikea Shoe Cabinet

I don't think I've ever met anyone who said they have too much storage in their home. Quite the opposite! No matter the size of your home, I am willing to bet you have at least a few problem items that are a constant source of clutter or that you just can't find a good place to store. 

We recently bought an IKEA shoe cabinet to organize the piles of shoes that are constantly piling up in our kitchen. But after assembling the cabinet for our entry way, it occurred to me that it could also provide a perfect storage solution for tons of other items as well. 

At only 11 inches deep, and with two tilt-out doors, a shoe cabinet like this could fit just about anywhere from the entry way or mudroom to the office or even a kids room. The organizing potential is pretty much limitless! I came up with a crazy long list of ideas, and I managed to photograph 20 of them. So today I give you 20 Ways to Organize With a Shoe Cabinet that Don't Involve Shoes...

If you're not familiar with the IKEA Hemnes shoe cabinet, be sure to watch the video above for some context of what the cabinet looks like and how the tilt-out doors work. Now let's take a closer looks at some of the ways you could use this versatile piece of furniture to organize just about anything in your home.

*This post contains some affiliate links.

First up are three solutions that solve problems I hear most often from readers: electronics overload; an overflowing coat closet; and no space for gift wrap supplies.

Electronics are a constant source of clutter! There was a time when there was a computer on the desk in the office, and that was that. But now we have multiple laptops, tablets, and portable keyboards floating around the house all the time. Add to that cameras and video cameras, headphones, and other small electronics. These are all items that we want to keep close at hand and easily accessible, but they too often wind up piled up on the kitchen counter.

I recently created a stylish solution for storing our cords, cables and chargers on the kitchen counter, but the bigger items are more challenging. I gathered up all of our gear and was amazed at how easily it all fit in one tilt-out section of the shoe cabinet, with room to spare.

Many people struggle with a too small coat closet, or simply want to store their winter gear closer to the back door where they more frequently come and go from the house. In addition to keeping shoes from piling up on the floor, the tilt-out doors of a shoe cabinet can also provide a great space to store umbrellas, rolled up scarves, hats, gloves, and earmuffs.

I use one side of our guest room closet for storing gift wrap supplies, but I've heard from a lot of readers who say they need a more compact solution for wrapping paper, bows, and gift tags. I decided to test out the shoe cabinet for this purpose and was pleasantly surprised to find that a standard size roll of wrapping paper fits nicely at an angle, allowing the door to still close with no problem. A narrow shoe cabinet in the hallway, guest room, or office would allow ample space for wrapping paper, gift bags, rolls of ribbon, bows, greeting cards, and gift tags. 

Here are 17 more ideas broken down by category...


My boys have started to get really into games and puzzles lately, and I'm looking forward to many family game nights in our future! Our closed storage space is at a premium, and I don't love the way game boxes look stored on open shelves, so I decided to test out some games in the shoe cabinet. Even our biggest board game boxes fit easily!

Ok, so I'm probably dating myself here by showing you that we have a DVD collection. We typically stream the new movies that we want to watch, but I just can't let go of my old favorites that I enjoy watching over and over again in the background while I work. Plus the kids have their own collection of animated movies now. The shoe cabinet has plenty of room for all of our DVDs, as well as the remotes.

And what's a family movie night without some cozy blankets to curl up under? I tucked two of our favorite blankets in the shoe cabinet, but I could have easily fit two more just in this section alone!

Our Wii hasn't seen much action in the last five years, and my husband rarely finds time to play XBox football any more... but I know the days of video games will soon return to our house as the boys get older. And when they do, the shoe cabinet will provide a great option for storing all the games and controllers neatly out of sight.


The hallway linen closet {if you're lucky enough to have one} is often bursting at the seams! A shallow shoe cabinet would be the perfect solution for storing extra sheets and towels. You could even add one of these space saving cabinets in a small bathroom for towels and toiletries.

When I lived in a small apartment during grad school, I found cleaning supplies to be one of the most challenging things to store. I had no room to spare in the kitchen, the one bathroom cabinet was too small for anything extra. I decided to test out the shoe cabinet and found that it could hold extra rolls of paper towels, toilet paper, boxes of tissues, napkins, dusting rags, and more. Bottles of cleaners would also fit nicely in one of the tilt-out doors.

Try as I might to use fabric shopping bags as much as possible, I still wind up with lots of paper and plastic grocery bags in the house. I take most of the plastic bags to the bag recycling bin at the front of Target about once a month, but I need somewhere to store them in the meantime. And that paper bags are always good to have on hand for reuse. I typically store mine under the kitchen sink, but I love they way they fit in the shoe cabinet as well! 


As a addicted DIY and crafter, spray paint is one of my favorite tools. But storing it has always been a challenge. Our garage is detached and unheated, so it's not an ideal spot for paint. And our small utility room is ok for storing extra water-based paint {like latex wall paint}, but it's a no-no for cans of spray paint and other paints that are flammable or combustible. I was easily able to fit my entire rainbow of spray paint in the shoe cabinet. The tilt-out doors would also be great for storing other painting supplies, like drop cloths, paint brushes and rollers, and painter's tape.

I've talked a few times recently here on the blog about my Cricut electronic cutter being one of my favorite craft tools. I love all of the ways I can use it to create decor and to make beautiful labels for my organizing projects, but storing and organizing my growing collection of rolls of adhesive vinyl has become a challenge. I discovered that the shoe cabinet is the perfect size for my vinyl, as well as my oversized cutting mats, paper and paper cutter. This would also be a great solution for scrapbooking supplies or other craft supplies!

Our recently organized garage is where we store all of our big tools, but I like keeping the small tools that we use on a regular basis {like nails and picture hangers, measuring tape, hammer, screw drivers, and small cordless drill} inside the house where I can grab them quickly when I'm hanging a piece of art or assembling a piece of furniture. All of these items fit neatly in just one half of one of the shoe cabinet tilt-out doors. I filled the other half with extra light bulbs - another of the items that we never seem to have a good place for in the house.


These last few ideas are all about the kids. Whether you're a parent or a grandparent, you know how quickly kids stuff can take over a room {or a whole house}. Books, games, legos, trucks, dolls and action figures...  just so much stuff! 

Our kids have a play area in the basement and keep more toys in their rooms, but they also like to have some books and toys on the main floor of the house. I don't mind them playing in the kitchen and front room, but I'd rather the toys in these spaces be stored out of sight when not in use. I was impressed by how much I could fit in the shoe cabinet, and the boys thought it was so fun to tilt-open the doors to find their treasures inside! This would also be a great way to keep library books separate from other books in the house so they can be quickly located when the due date rolls around.

My boys have really gotten into art lately, so our collections of kids' art supplies is quickly expanding... construction paper, coloring books, stencils, paint, crayons, markets, colored pencils... so much to keep track of! But the shoe cabinet is up to the challenge, and the large space is perfect for storing the over-sized items, like my boys' favorite Melissa and Doug reusable sticker pads.

And where there's art supplies, there's bound to be loads of precious artwork! Between the art they create at home and all of the drawings and paintings they bring home from preschool, I needed a way to store our favorites. A while back I shared my solution for filing and protecting kids' art work in these archival storage boxes, and it turns out that they fit perfectly inside the shoe cabinet!

We've been a diaper free household for about six months now {hooray!}, but anyone with little ones knows the pain of running up and down the stairs for every diaper change. I preferred to keep some diapers, wipes, and cream on each floor of the house, rather than having to trek from the basement playroom to the nursery hour after hour. I filled the shoe cabinet up with the extras we had around, but it could easily hold way more than you see here. This would be a great way to keep a supply in easy reach for quick changes away from the nursery.  


Paper clutter seems to be the number one challenge in most households. It piles up and gets out of hand so quickly. If you struggling to get your paper problem under control, consider adding a shoe cabinet near the front door. It's a great place to drop the day's mail, the newspaper, files, calendars, and planners. The tilt-out doors are wide enough that you can easily give each it's own dedicated space.

Where are my fellow magazine and catalog hoarders? Do you love to hang on to them so you can flip through them again later? Yep, me too! But I hate having stacks of them piling up around the house. Shoe cabinet to the rescue again...

I use these translucent storage boxes to contain all of the instruction manuals, organized into a few categories to make it easier to quickly find what we need. But the boxes are a bit too deep to fit on the shelves of our entry table or in our cabinets. But one of the tilt-out doors of the shoe cabinet is the perfect size to hold all four instruction manual storage boxes. 

Whew!! How's that for the most functional IKEA hack around?! Would you believe me if I told you that's just a small portion of the list I came up with for ways to organize with an IKEA Hemnes shoe cabinet? I bet by now you would believe it, and I bet you've even come up with some new ideas that I haven't thought of yet. 

Be sure to pin these 20 ideas for later {I've got an easy pinnable image for you below} and then leave me a comment to let me know how else you'd organize with a shoe cabinet! A "Part 2" may be in the future...

Organize with Ikea Shoe Cabinet

My friend Melissa, over at Polished Habitat, also compiled a list of 14 genius ways to use a shoe cabinets to add extra storage in the kitchen. If you're tight on cabinet or pantry space, you won't want to miss her tips!


  1. I kept my laptop in ours the years I teleworked from our dining room. Such a great clutter buster for a tiny space!

  2. I actually JUST bought one (still in it's box) and happened to run into your article today. I will be using mine to hold the dog leashes and I may use the lower level flip out for instruction manuals because OMG never thought of that one. Love the bags one too, may end up with the triple decker one, and store bags and cleaning supplies and get rid of the bulky shelf they are on now. Thank you SOOOO much!

    1. You are so welcome! Dog leashes are a great idea too! We don't have pets, so I hadn't thought of that one!

    2. that *doesn't* involve shoes

    3. *don't* is grammatically correct because it is "20 ways". *doesn't* would only be correct if it were used in the singular.

  3. How about fabric storage?

  4. Kids backpacks and school papers!

  5. These are fabulous ideas! You have inspired me to get some for our house! Likely the entryway and master bedroom closet! :)