Let’s talk boots. You own them, you love them, and you need some ideas on how and where to store and organize them.
In the colder months, your boots are necessarily bigger, bulkier, and regularly come into contact with snow, ice, rain, and mud. Which means that you don’t want to be plopping these down directly onto your floors or carpet the minute you walk in the door. Salt and sand are especially bad for wooden floors, and mud stains are difficult to get out of most carpets and rugs.
Instead, try a metal bin: That’s right, a simple galvanized metal bin. Look for one with wheels on the bottom so that you can easily roll it under a hall table, or install the wheels yourself. The galvanized metal won’t let any moisture leak out onto your floors.
You can also repurpose a baking or cookie tray: Look for one with raised sides so that water doesn’t drip out. (You can paint or spray paint it for an extra touch of color.)
For both of the above solutions, you can also go a step further: Place large stones across the bottom of the bin or tray, which will allow all water to drain towards the bottom, letting the bottom of the boots dry.
And if you have an existing ottoman or bench where you’re storing your boots, you can adapt it to cold weather boot solutions by popping a baking/cookie tray into the bottom. Same goes for a flip-up bench, which is a wonderful addition to an entryway since you can sit down on it comfortably while removing your boots. Since this has a closed lid, add some baking soda or lavender sachets for a little bit of extra freshness.
For boots that don’t need to drain or dry before you store them, let’s talk closet solutions. But we don’t mean trying to make those boots that are in a pile on the closet floor stand straight up again for the nth time. Instead, take your boots off the floor or shelf and hang them up. That’s right: Use a boot rack that you can hang from whatever rods already exist in your closet. Won’t it be so nice not to have to look at that pile of crumpled boots ever again?
If you want to try your hand at a DIY project, a wall boot rack is a good idea: All you’ll need is a few pieces of scrap wood and some dowels. You can position the dowels so that each boot is inverted and hangs from that dowel, or in a way so that the dowels grip the sides of the boots. The great thing about this project is that you can make it as small or large as you need, and then hang it in a spot that’s most convenient — like a mudroom or hallway. You can also paint it whatever color you like. For extra organization, use different colors on various dowels for each member of the family.
If that feels a little too ambitious, buy a coat rack and make sure that the pegs are nice and long. You can either place the rack on the floor so that the boots are inverted, or hang it so that the boots are suspended horizontally from the pegs. This solution also works nicely for children’s boots, which are smaller.
Let’s close with shelves. They’re easy and super practical, and you can install them in a variety of spots — from an entrance nook behind a door to a mudroom or a garage. Note that if they’re meant to hold heavier boots, it’s a good idea to add some vertical support as well (versus just the horizontal shelves). And that’s especially true if those shelves might also be used for seating while taking your footwear on and off.