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How to Pack Shoes for Moving: Step-by-Step Guide


Moving is a demanding task that calls for careful planning to avoid mishaps. One of the most tedious aspects of moving is packing delicate items such as shoes. The different sizes and shapes of footwear render it difficult to pack. For instance, tossing or stuffing all your shoes in one bag may disorient their shape and destroy them.

Therefore, you may need to devise ways to pack your footwear appropriately to prevent tearing, smashing, and deforming while in transit. Are you planning for an upcoming move? This step-by-step guide offers tips and tricks to pack your shoes for a smooth moving experience.

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Step-by-Step Guide for Packing Shoes for Moving

1. Declutter Your Shoes

As you prepare to pack your shoes, you need to sort out your pairs to determine the ones worth carrying. This process is important, especially if you are embarking on a long-distance move and you have limited space. Some shoes in your collection may be damaged beyond repair, old, or no longer useful to your family.

Use this step to toss out the shoes that you don’t need. Put aside the shoes that have outgrown your family and those you rarely wear and donate them to a charity shop or community center near you. Decluttering saves you space and house removal costs as you pack what you only need.

Another step in the decluttering phase is sorting out the shoes in groups, such as:
  • High-heels
  • Sneakers
  • Flip-flops
  • Leather shoes
  • Slippers

Categorizing your shoes helps you to remain organized during the packing process. It also assists you in determining whether there are shoes that need repairs.

moving boxes to a new house
Photo Credit By: kurhan, Shutterstock

2. Clean the Shoes

You’ve sorted out your shoe collection and determined the pairs worthy of carrying and the footwear to leave behind. It’s time to fix and clean your shoes to avoid spreading dirt and odor to clean pairs.

Clean the shoes and allow them to dry before wrapping them ready for packing. Dust the dirt off the shoes’ soles and gently wipe the upper side to eliminate any dirt particles on the shoes. Use a damp cloth to wipe the dirt and give the shoes time to dry before packing.

Remember, wet shoes will not only tear the packaging material, but they will also make the box heavier, increasing the vulnerability of breaking the packing paper. Moisture also increases the chances of mold growth in the box, which may affect the durability of your shoes and produce foul smells. Treat the shoes with a deodorizing powder or spray to keep them smelling fresh before packing.

Also, ensure that there are no dirt or grease stains if you’re using second-hand wrapping papers.

3. Get Packaging and Reinforcing Materials

You can get some packing materials from friends, relatives, and workmates who recently moved. You can also get giveaways such as free cardboard boxes from cafes, bars, and local supermarkets.

Valuable packing materials include:
  • Moving boxes
  • Packing papers
  • Bubble wraps
  • Labels tape dispenser
  • Available original shoe boxes
  • Pens or markers

Consider reinforcing the moving boxes by securing them with tape to withstand the weight of shoes. Ensure that the top and bottom of the boxes have a double tape layer without leaving the sides. Use more tape if your packing boxes are weak.

Bubble wrap
Photo Credit By: Pete Linforth, Pixabay

4. Label the Boxes

You’re probably using identical boxes to pack different items as you move. You want to save time and have an orderly unpacking process when you arrive in your new home. Label your boxes using a color-coded label to know which item you’ve stored in a given box. Create a list of the shoes in specific cardboard boxes to assist you during the packing process.

5. Pack the Shoes

Pack the shoes by separating the smaller boxes from the bigger ones. It’s more helpful if you have original shoe bags. Separate the most expensive pairs from other ordinary shoes. It’s advisable to pack expensive shoes in different and more secure boxes to ensure their safety during transit. You can purchase shoe boxes from local suppliers if you don’t have the original box. The most significant benefit of packing shoes in their original box is keeping them in top shape, size, and condition. It’s also easy to identify shoes in an original box.

You can stuff some items in your boots to maintain their shape and maximize space if you plan to pack them in a suitcase. Use socks, makeup, clothing, and other items that fit in the shoes and suitcase.

van full of boxes near house
Photo Credit By: New Africa, Shutterstock

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What’s the Best Method for Packing Shoes?

Are you wondering how best to pack your shoes to keep them safe and easy to transport? Follow these quick DIY “burrito method” instructions to pack your shoes correctly.

Best Method:
  • Put one shoe in half of the wrapping paper or sheet and fold it halfway
  • Place the second shoe in the other half wrapping paper and fold the pair together neatly
  • Secure the pair by wrapping the brown tape around it
  • Place the wrapped pair in an original box
  • Begin with the heaviest shoes when loading them into the cardboard box.
  • Fill the remaining gaps with clothing or tissue paper and close the box

Here’s an illustration

The 7 Tips & Tricks for Packing Shoes

Packing your shoes is the major step in ensuring that you get your shoes in pristine condition when you arrive in your new home. We’ve compiled these five tips to help you ensure that nothing goes wrong at this stage.

1.  Stuff the Shoes to Maintain the Shape

As we mentioned earlier, stuffing all closed shoes with clothing, papers, or socks helps keep their shape¹. Ensure that you firmly fill the toe and foot area until the exterior bulges to the shoes’ desirable shape. You may also stuff the heel for more protection depending on your shoes’ style. Rolled-up socks protect your shoes and maximize the available space.

2. Pack the Boots Separately

This trick works, especially for knee-high or ankle boots. Secure your boots by filling the whole shoe with socks or paper to avoid reshaping. It’s worth noting that boosts require extra care and protection when packing because of their fragile nature. Avoid over-stuffing boxes carrying boots because boots are heavy and overstuffed boxes may result in injuries.

3. Avoid Plastic Bags and Newspapers

Avoid using newspaper sheets to wrap or stuff your shoes as possible ink run-off may transfer to your shoes, staining them. This problem is common when newspapers wrap white sneakers. You don’t want to stain your beautiful sneakers.

Plastic bags may rip and damage your shoes. Leather wraps also trap moisture that encourages mold growth and odor. Instead, use bubble wrap to keep your shoes safe.

Brown paper bag that is 100% recyclable and reusable on a counter
Image Credit: Dr. Victor Wong, Shutterstock

4. Begin with the Heaviest Shoes

Shoes such as boots and other working gear are heavy. Begin by placing the heaviest shoes at the bottom of the cardboard box when packing. The weight of heavy shoes can damage other items in the box if you place them on the top. It’s also easy to carry the box if you place the heaviest shoes at the bottom.

5. Tie Laces Together to Avoid Confusion

You sorted the shoes to decide which pairs to carry and what to leave behind. A mishap may occur, and you lose one shoe when packing, especially if you decide to leave an identical pair. Prevent this problem by tying the laces of each pair, such as boots and trainers, to each other. You won’t spend time searching for a matching pair when you arrive in your new home.

6. Pack Out-of-Season Pairs Separately

Unpacking shoes comes later in your schedule as you focus more on essential items such as furniture and utensils. There’s no need to spend time unpacking out-of-season shoes that you won’t be using soon.

Pack out-of-season shoes separately to save the trouble of unpacking boxes whose items you won’t use soon. For instance, if you’re relocating during summer, put boots and cozy slippers separately and label the boxes. You don’t have to worry if you don’t have time to unpack the out-of-season shoes.

7. Tea Bags Keep Your Shoes Fresh

Leave all your footwear outside overnight to get sufficient fresh air and keep odors off before packing them. Stick shoes that produce unpleasant smells in the freezer to eliminate latent bacteria. Pack the shoes with unused tea bags to keep them fresh when in transit. You can stuff the tea bag into the shoe or stick it on the socks or clothing that you stuff into the shoes.

Bag Sealer using twist tie
Image Credit: Dmitriev Mikhail, Shutterstock

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It pays to take time to pack your shoes well when moving. It would be best if you put more effort into this process to ensure the shoes get to their destination safely and in their original shape. The above packing steps and tips will ensure that your shoes are in desirable condition before, during, and after the move. If you need more assistance and packing tips and tricks when moving, feel free to talk to professional movers to learn more.

See also: How to Pack Clothes For Moving – 4 Tips and Tricks

Featured Image Credit: andrewgrabham, Pixabay


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