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Packing is an overwhelming experience. While sorting through your moving-day to-do list, there is a lot that you might overlook. Perhaps the most overlooked part of the process is how to pack shoes while moving. Often people pack shoes at the last minute. Shoes come in many different sizes and shapes which can make them difficult to back. People often just throw them into a big garbage bag. Then they have them tossed into the moving truck. This can leave your shoes damaged or crushed, especially if the flimsy garbage bag rips. If you are looking for some hacks for packing shoes when you’re moving, look no further. Whether you have 20 or 200 pairs of shoes, there are some clear dos and don’ts when it comes to packing shoes for moving. Follow our 12 expert tips for packing shoes for a move below.
1. Clean out your old and/or unwanted shoesIf you are one of those people who has 200 pairs of shoes, then maybe it’s time to throw some away. Even if you only have a few pairs of shoes, this is still a useful step. Set aside an hour or two to go through shoes and do some purging. Cleaning out older shoes and getting organized will make your packing experience much more pleasant. Remember the following when packing shoes to move:
- If you have any shoes that are seriously worn at the soles or damaged, then it’s best to throw them away.
- Make sure all shoes still fit properly. Try each pair on before deciding to keep them. Sometimes shoes can stretch or lose their interior support over time. If so, throw them away.
- If you have shoes that are in good condition but don’t want to keep them, consider donating them to a charity organization rather than just throwing them away. One good rule of thumb is that if you haven’t worn shoes in a year, you can probably get rid of them. Someone else might get more use out of them!
- If you have a vintage pair of shoes or expensive athletic shoes, you could also consider selling them on the internet. You never know how much someone on eBay might pay for a pair of Jordan’s!
2. Sort all of your shoesA great way to start packing shoes is to get organized. Sorting all of the shoes will make it easier to pack. Plus, you’ll be glad you sorted them once you have moved and you are ready to unpack! Here are some quick tips on ways to short shoes:
- Separate shoes by season including summer, fall, winter, and spring. This will help prepare you for unpacking. You’ll want to keep the shoes for the season you are currently in the most accessible.
- Next, separate shoes based on occasion/activity. This can include casual shoes, dress shoes, and athletic shoes.
- Then sort shoes by the material. Leather loafers will have different storage needs than a pair of plastic flip-flops or suede knee-high boots.
- Finally, sort each household member’s shoes separately. You don’t want to get confused when you are unpacking shoes in your new home. This organization up-front will help save you time in the long run.
3. your shoes before packingYou might not think about cleaning shoes before packing them. However, cleaning shoes before packing has a lot of benefits. Cleaning shoes will help make sure that shoes don’t develop odors or mold during the moving process. This is especially helpful if you leave them boxed up for several weeks after moving. When cleaning shoes remember to:
- Wipe dirt down, especially on the soles and bottoms of athletic shoes and boots.
- Take a whiff of shoes, seriously! If you have any shoes that have some odor, you could freeze them. Another option is to add a piece of lemon or orange peel to help absorb the odors.
- Don’t have any citrus on hand? Drop some baking powder in shoes overnight to help absorb the odor. Just remember to clean the baking powder out afterward.
- Consider packing clean shoes with a dried tea bag. Dried tea bags will help absorb odors. Teabags can also help absorb humidity during the moving process. This will prevent shoes from developing mold.
4. Leave out essential shoes for moving dayBefore packing up all shoes, think about what shoes you will need on moving day. If you don’t plan on unpacking everything right away after move, you may also want to leave out some shoes for the transitional days. Follow the advice below to make sure you are ready to go when the moving truck arrives:
- Leave out a pair of sneakers or thick boots for moving day. You will want to wear an athletic and sturdy pair of shoes while moving to protect your feet.
- Will you have to go to work or an event shortly after moving? Consider leaving out a pair of work/dress shoes as well.
- Sort out one pair of casual shoes depending on the season, such as a pair of flip-flops if you are moving in summer. Perhaps you may want to leave out a pair of snow boots in winter. This will be helpful if you don’t have to sort through all boxes right away after you finish moving.
- If you are an avid runner or have an exercise routine, leave out a pair of athletic shoes.
5. Stuff each shoe with a pair of socksStuffing shoes with socks helps the shoe maintain its shape when moving. Always stuff a sock down to the toe. Depending on the shoe, you may want to roll up another sock and stuff the heel as well. This shoe packing hack will make sure shoes don’t get crushed while moving. Plus, it also helps you pack socks as well! Follow some of our additional tips to preserve shoe shape when moving below:
- If you don’t have socks, don’t use old or left-over newspapers or printed papers like gift wrapping. Paper with printing on it could leave marks on shoes and damage them.
- Use a clean packing paper, tissue paper, or even bubble wrap to stuff shoes if you already packed up socks. This won’t damage shoes like a newspaper.
- One pro tip for packing boots — don’t fold them! Stuff the leg of the boot to help it hold its shape when you are moving.
6. Wrap nicer shoes and tie your lacesFor nicer pairs of shoes, you may want to consider wrapping them as well after you stuff them. Some high-end shoes often come with bags when you purchase them. If you still have those bags, consider wrapping shoes in them. You could also use some fabric towels or packing paper to wrap shoes. Make sure to wrap each shoe in the pair individually to give it the best protection possible. For shoes with laces, like sneakers and boots, tie the laces together. This will help you prevent the shoelaces from getting tangled and knotted in the moving process. Also, make sure to only pack leather shoes together. A shoe of a different material could scuff the leather. Wrapping leather shoes will also provide another layer of protection!
7. Pack each pair of shoes in individual boxesHow do you pack shoes for moving? If possible, pack shoes in their original boxes. This will prevent the shoes from getting damaged. The original boxes will also be the perfect size for each pair. Box each shoe pair individually. If you don’t have the original boxes, try to find a small enough box for each pair of shoes. Don’t try to fit more than one pair of shoes in the same box. This could crush the shoes and cause them to lose their shape. Also, when packing shoes remember to do the following:
- Store shoes that are tied together by the laces loosely in a box. Then add in additional packing paper or bubble wrap to make sure the shoes are secure.
- Pack shoes on their sides. This is the best way to make sure your shoes don’t move around too much. If they do move around, they could get scuffed during the moving process.
- Secure each individual box with packing tape to make sure the shoes stay in their individual box.
- There is one exception to packing each pair of shoes in an individual box. If you have some cheaper flip flops and flats, you can pack those together in the same box in order to save space.
8. Store seasonal shoesRemember how you organized shoes at the start of packing? One key to packing is packing for the long term. Consider buying some plastic shoe containers for long-term storage. Individual, clear storage containers can help you see which shoes are in each box. Depending on how organized you like to be, you could also use color-coordinated labels to help mark each box. You can store seasonal shoes you won’t be wearing for several months this way. It’s a moving hack that can help you stay organized even after your move is done!
9. Box up the individual shoeboxesIt may seem a little counterintuitive, but you are going to want to put those individual shoe boxes together in one larger box. This will make the transportation process easier. A large plastic bin will be the sturdiest box. Since shoes can be heavy, avoid using a thin cardboard box. It might not be able to hold all the weight of the shoes. In addition, remember the following:
- In the large plastic storage bin, pack the heavier shoes at the bottom of the box.
- Pack lighter shoes up top. This will make sure that the bin doesn’t topple over from the weight when moving. It will also ensure that heavier shoes do not crush lighter shoes.
- Mark the exterior of each box. Label them by a household member and by shoe type (i.e. seasonal, athletic, etc.) This will help you stay organized when you are unpacking after you move.
- If you do use a sturdy cardboard box, make sure to secure the box with enough packing tape.
- Never use plastic bags to pack shoes because they tear easily. Shoes could get lost or damaged during the moving processing.