July 17, 2010


The other day, my Inner Junque Whisperer® started shouting and stomping its feet. I heeded the call and drove over to the Goodwill near my office.

There, standing with a slight glow around it, was an old steel card catalogue with 30 drawers! I pulled up next to it and got the kid standing there to load it into my car. Then I went in and asked how much it was, and paid up.card catalogue 001For all of the classic pieces I have, I also have a fondness for steel items. I have an old stainless steel commercial kitchen counter, two doctor’s cabinets, a barrister’s book case, and now this card catalogue. It measures about 36” high, 30” wide and 12” deep. It fits perfectly just inside my front door.

As soon as I saw it, I knew what it would be perfect for… SHOES!card catalogue 003 My shoes fit perfectly in the drawers, which are about three inches high, 12 inches deep and 10 inches wide. If the shoes don’t fit like those above, they fit perfectly on their sides. This cabinet will work well where I’ve put it, because I kick my shoes off when I come in the house.

I am trying to decide whether it would be too obsessive to label all of the drawers, or just play “memory” each time I need to find a specific pair of shoes.

Maybe when I move, I will take it to the autobody shop and have them powedercoat it in another colour.


  1. Ohhhh, I love it! I'm still kicking myself that I didn't buy a much smaller one at a yard sale a year ago :(. I was thinking of using it for kitchen linens.

  2. Now that is clever! ummmmm a colour...which one when, where?

  3. What a great find!

    Honestly, I live in Baltimore too, but reading thru your blog, I feel like you live in a different town! I've been here 9 years and have missed a good deal of what you see! Thanks for showing me my adopted city in a new light!

  4. What a great idea and what a lucky find for you. Oh I think you have to label them that is half the fun of being organized, making labels, Kathysue

  5. Definitely play memory. To cheat a bit, you could put a colored dot (representing the color os the shoes inside) in the slot area. Great find.

  6. No way - it fits shoes! What a terrific find. Cute heels on the right too.

  7. That is fantastic!! Please, oh please label them. But make it quirky. Give your shoes names like a cute description, a name or something referencing where they came from.

    Like the little white and gold slides could be "Palm Beach", the flats with the design could be "Sri Lanka" the black loafers could be "Lazy guy" See what I mean? Everyone will want to open them when they come in your home just to see what's behind the tag. Oh I could have fun with this one!!

    What a way to store shoes!

  8. Love powdercoat! I've posted about that several times. I think I just did recently.

    And if you think it was used in a library, then why don't you come up with literary names for all your shoes? Like the crazy vintage Alaia heels can be One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and the Weiztman pumps you always wear for sales meetings can be Death of a Salesman.

    Your Gucci sandals with the bamboo could be Islands in the Stream (isn't that the Hemingway one centered on a bar in Bimini?)

    Brilliant purchase and application!

  9. perfect for shoes and the drawers are deep enough too - l loved flipping thru the old card catalogues at the library and have always wanted a the
    green government issued steel desk - painted martha stewart green

  10. Imagine photos of each shoe in the slots.

  11. A great find! I have to admit that I also have a soft spot for old steel ... but specifically in the office.

  12. When I first saw it I thought, "Cool, but what the heck is she going to do with that?" Bam! Best idea I've seen all week.

  13. What a clever use! We get old filing systems all the time but never thought of this creative reuse. Perfect!

  14. Meg,

    I love the way you think! I bought a closed cupboard/shelving unit and used it for shoes in my entry way. Who says a card cabinet has to be for cards? Love it!

    Karen O.

  15. i was just in love with the fact that you scored a vintage metal casegoods piece. but used as shoe storage? genius.


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