How to Pack Shoes for Moving

woman packing shoes for moving

Moving is a chaotic time full of mounting responsibilities and endless ‘to-do’s while trying to find the best and safest way to store all of your beloved possessions. You have thought about how you will move your large electronics, your fragile dishes and china, and your appliances.

But what about your shoes? Oftentimes, people on the move may not initially consider the importance of how to pack shoes for moving. They may end up frantically throwing them in a box or bag at the last minute, which can make them scuffed, crumpled, or damaged in some other way. Follow these moving tips for packing shoes to keep them safe.

Assess Your Shoe Inventory

The first step of how to pack shoes for moving is to plan out your project. Before you start cleaning and boxing them, take a moment to go through your current assortment of shoes. Decide if there is anything you may not need or want anymore. How do you know when it’s time to throw away shoes? Ask yourself:

  • Are there any shoes that are seriously damaged and beyond repair? It might be time to let them go.
  • Did you find shoes you forgot you owned because you never wear them? If you know you are probably not going to wear them in the future, consider donating your shoes. A local charity or an organization, such as Dress for Success that prepares homeless women to enter and succeed in the workforce, are great options.
  • Do you have shoes you don’t like anymore? Do a final run-through. If shoes don’t fit right or you are just not happy with them, now is the best time to clear some space and move on.

Sort Your Shoe Collection

After you have made your final lineup of the shoes that will be making the move, keep going. Sort the shoes into categories such as casual shoes, athletic shoes, dress shoes, leather shoes, etc. Different shoes and materials have different storage needs, so sorting your shoes will allow you to prepare and pack your shoes accordingly.

Don’t Forget Essential Shoes for Moving Day

Before preparing your shoes for the move, take a moment to think of your needs for moving day and the transitional days before you reach your final destination. You will still need shoes for day-to-day wear. This includes shoes for work, any events you may be attending, and exercise. Set aside a few pairs to pack up separately for immediate use.

Prepare Your Shoes For Packing

young man cleaning boots at home

Preparing your shoes to be packed away is an integral part of how to pack shoes for moving. A little preventative maintenance will ensure they do not get damaged or develop mold. Follow these easy steps:

  1. Clean your shoes: Make sure your shoes are free from debris and dirt by wiping them down. This is especially important with athletic shoes. Once the shoes have been cleaned, allow them to dry fully before moving on to the next step.
  2. Combat odors: Do you have some unpleasant smelling shoes in the bunch? Use this opportunity to eliminate the odors before packing them up. There are several strategies you can use to get odors out and freshen them up, including:
    • Freeze your shoes.
    • Use citrus peel, such as lemon, lime, and orange, to absorb odors.
    • Drop some baking soda in them overnight to absorb the smells, and then throw out the remnants.
    • If your shoes are still not completely fresh, consider packing them up with a dry tea bag.
  3. Stuff your shoes: It is important to stuff your shoes with rolled-up socks, packing paper or any crumpled paper to ensure they hold their shape when packed. Shoe trees are also an excellent option for loafers. But they can get a bit expensive when there is a large collection of shoes.

Pro Tip

Worried about how to store boots? Don’t fold them. Instead, slide pool noodles into the legs so that they keep their shape without creasing.

Choose the Right Material for Wrapping and Packing Your Shoes

Storing your shoes properly involves a lot of paper, whether it is for stuffing or wrapping. While you may be tempted to grab some old newspapers or leftover gift-wrapping tissue paper, don’t! Using printed newspapers or colored tissue papers can leave hard-to-remove stains all over your shoes. It is best to use a clean packing paper for anything that will be touching your shoes. Are you wondering how to pack shoes for moving without using too much paper? An even better option that will save you money and space is to use your socks to stuff your shoes.

Wrapping and Packing Up Your Shoes

Some of your shoes that are worn down or very casual, like flip-flops, may not need to be protected in transit. But your dress shoes, your collection of high heels, and any high-end basketball sneakers will need an extra layer of protection to ensure they are not damaged.

For your gardening shoes or running sneakers that have experienced some wear and tear and don’t need special care for storage, tie the shoes to each other by the laces and store them loosely in a box. 

For your higher-end shoes, finish stuffing the shoes and then wrap them. Use clean packing paper, bubble wrap, paper towels or even fabric towels to wrap each shoe individually and prevent scuffs. Some higher-end shoes come with flannel bags for storage. If you still have these, then you can store the shoes in the bags instead of wrapping them. Once you have wrapped the shoes, store each pair of shoes in individual shoe storage boxes or containers. If you have the original shoe box, then that is an easy and affordable packing solution for your pairs of shoes.

Box Up Your Shoes for Moving Day

When boxing up your shoes, it would be wise to pack shoes that are out of season separately from shoes that are more likely to be worn in the short-term. Separate these shoeboxes before boxing up the shoes. Focus on shoes that are currently needed versus shoes that won’t be used for months down the line. This will make unpacking easier to prioritize.

Now that your shoes are stored in individual boxes, decide how you will transport the boxes efficiently. You can use large plastic storage containers or moving boxes to stack and store the shoe boxes.

When filling up your boxes or containers, take note to place the heavier shoes on the bottom of the pile and then stack the lighter shoes on top. This will make the box easier to carry and move. It will also ensure that your heavier items do not crumple up and crush your more delicate and lighter shoes. Make sure to use high quality packing tape that will keep the bottom of the box closed during your upcoming move.

Pro Tip

Remember, mark the exterior of the boxes to make each pair easy to find and identify after the move. Part of knowing how to pack shoes for moving is preparing for unpacking later!

Consider Your Shoe Storage Plans in Your New Home

Once your shoes are packed up and ready for the big move, you can focus your energy on the rest of your moving responsibilities and settling into your new home. If you need a little help,  hiring the right packers and movers can make moving a smooth and painless process, so research and consider your options.

Then, think of ways to unpack your move efficiently by planning the organization of your shoes in your new home once you are moved in. Discover some innovative and space-saving solutions to start your shoes off on the right foot in your new home. Take advantage of the fact that your shoes are already sorted and boxed up from the move. This will allow you to easily arrange your shoe collection in a convenient way that makes sense for you and your space. Planning your new shoe storage before you unpack each box will make the whole project much easier.

Follow These Steps and Know How to Pack Shoes for Moving Like a Pro

Properly packing, storing, and planning out the move for your shoes into your new home may seem like a tedious process. However, taking a little bit of extra time and some protective steps to prepare and care for your shoes will prevent your shoe collection from being damaged in transition. 

Moving is chaotic, and things may get tossed around. But by following these simple steps on how to pack shoes for moving, you will feel comfortable knowing your shoes are secure. They will make it through your move, into your new home, and back on your feet without a hitch.

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