Easy RV Mod -> Shoe Storage For Under $5
We’re still sitting still here in South Florida which means we’ve had time to do more RV projects! Many of these are things that have been on our to-do list for many years, but we just never seem to get around to doing them (a common problem when you’re always traveling). And the smaller ones are often so easy that once we get them done we wonder WHY we didn’t tackle them before. Thus is life…
Anyway this particular mod came to me as I was browsing IKEA the other day and it’s so CHEAP and so ridiculously EASY that I figured I might as well share it on the blog. For a total of ~$10 and ~10 mins of “work” I solved all our shoe issues, using two simple solutions that will fit just about any space. So, maybe you’ll want to do this too? For those interested, read on…
The Problem With Shoes In An RV Is WHERE to Store Them
We don’t have many shoes (~3-4 pairs each?), but the ones we have always seem to be in the way. Either they’re blocking the entrance steps to our RV (we don’t wear shoes inside) which means we often trip over them as we’re going in/out of the rig. Or, they’re lying in a mess in our back (bedroom) closet.
And it’s been like this for years!
We’ve tried out various “”typical” shoe racks inside our bedroom closet, but none of them held the shoes properly so they would always end up tumbling off and piling up into a big mess on the floor every time we moved. Also we’ve tried to be more diligent about putting our shoes away right after we enter the RV, but that’s never worked out either. We just have to give in to the fact that we’re never going to be diligent enough 🙂
So, what we needed was 2 simple solutions -> one for our bedroom closet and one for our front entrance. The solutions needed to be cheap, flexible enough to be able to fit into a small RV space & easy to install.
IKEA To The Rescue
What I ended up using was 2 types of hanging shoe organizers, both of which cost under $5 from IKEA. You don’t have to buy these at IKEA of course (you can find them elsewhere), but they’re just super cheap there. I bought two organizers, both called SKUBB ($4.99) one of which is a boxed/shelf-type and the other which is a flat hanging type. The first one I was able to install pretty much as-is, while the other I had to modify for our space (see below). They’re made of polyester, come in two colors (black and white) and depending on what kind of space you have in your RV, you could likely fit one or the other (or just do like I did and splurge a full $10 for both!).
Shoe Solution #1 -> Back Closet Shoe Hanger
We were able to use the boxed/shelf-type organizer pretty much as-is by hanging it on the clothes rod in our back (bedroom) closet. It attached with Velcro and was a perfect fit depth-wise, but was a bit too long. So we simply bunched up the 2-3 boxes we weren’t going to use and clipped them together with some metal binder clips at the bottom (you could simply cut off any excess boxes too). The polyester has a little”grip” to it, so the shoes shouldn’t move while we’re driving.
Voilà…shoes no longer a mess in the closet.
NOTE/ For those wondering about the other stuff in our closet in that left-hand picture -> the tall thing standing in the front left is a Shark Rocket Ultra-Light Vacuum Cleaner (which we LOVE), and the two items in the bottom back are a dehumidifier (also LOVE…sadly our model is not sold anymore) and our ceramic space heater (another fav that we’ve had for over 6 years, the DeLonghi TCH7090ERD).
Shoe Solution #2 -> Front Entrance Shoe Holder
The flat-type organizer we decided to use in the front of the RV. For those looking to implement a similar solution any flat wall space will work for this (e.g. under your bed, in the corridor etc.), and since the SKUBB is super easy to modify you’ll be able to fit 4 or more shoes just about anywhere you please. In our case we had a slice of wall right by the entrance next to our passenger chair that was the perfect size to fit a single row of shoes. So, I decided to modify the SKUBB by cutting & reinforcing it to make a nice-looking 4-pocket holder.
It’s a super-easy mod that took me around 10 minutes to do. Here are the exact steps:
Not much needed for this project:
- Fabric Glue
- Good-quality Velcro. I personally like Industrial-Strength Velcro (it’s got SO many uses inside an RV), but any decent quality will do.
1/ Cut off the bottom row of the SKUBB leaving ~2 inches of extra fabric at the top (you’ll have to cut part of the way into the next “row” of shoe pockets).
2/ Cut off the top of the SKUBB (where the hanger is) and remove the flat, corrugated plastic support piece that’s inside. You’ll have to cut into the fabric & tear around the grommets to get it out.
3/ Put fabric glue on the support from #2 (both sides) and fold the top cut edge of the single-row piece from #1 around it. Press to seal. If you want extra support, you can sew the folded ends together too (this is overkill, but if you’re like me you’ll want to do it anyway). You should now have a nice 4-pocket shoe holder with supports both at the top and bottom.
4/ Attach the holder anywhere you please with Velcro.
And Voilà….no more mess of shoes in our entrance-way!
Other Shoe Storage Solutions
I’m not the first RVer to worry about where to place our shoes, and I likely won’t be the last either, so I wanted to put a few more ideas out there for folks looking for other alternatives.
- Shoe Pockets -> Camping World sells a row of Canvas Shoe Pockets ($20) which is a very similar idea to what we implemented, but just in canvas form (instead of polyester). It’s a longer row that’s meant to be installed under your bed (if you have that space open to you), but you could easily hang it anywhere you could fit it.
- Other Over-The-Door & Closet Shoe Hangers -> Many places sell over-the-door & closet shoe hangers almost exactly like the ones we bought from IKEA. Amazon offers several versions for ~$8-$10 (both the flat type and the boxed/shelf-type), as does Walmart & Target. No-one can beat the $4.99 price of IKEA though 🙂
- Custom Shoe Cabinets -> Wooden Shoe Cabinets (like this one) look really nice, but take up quite a lot of precious space. If you want to go this route, a better alternative is to custom-make one to fit your particular RV space. There are RV shops who specialize in interior redo’s that can easily do this. Or, if you’re handy enough you can build your own.
- PVC Pipe Shoe Rack -> Our friends over at Ditching Suburbia made a snazzy little shoe rack out of PVC piping. It’s one of their fav RV mods and they wrote about it HERE. You could also make a similar rack out of wood using inexpensive dowels.
- Other Wedge-Like Holders -> Pretty much ANY kind of holder with a bit of a wedge-shape (e.g. hanging wall planters, magazine racks etc.) will work for shoes, so as long as you have the space to fit them. So just shop around and think creatively.
That’s it for today. Hopefully some useful little tips for those of you who may not have thought of this little mod before. Got any ideas for snazzy shoe storage solutions that I missed? DO feel free to comment below.