Packing shoes should be simple, but you do not often realize just how problematic they can become on moving day. Not only do different types of shoes fit in different-sized boxes, but some shoes like specific conditions for long-term storage, and others are very easy to damage if you treat them badly. On top of that, there is the problem of actually transporting them securely – shoes can take up a surprising amount of space if you keep them in separate boxes.
If you are prepared to pack shoes for moving day but are not sure exactly how to do it well, then here is a quick breakdown of the best way to get your footwear boxed up and ready to transport.
Assessing Your Shoes
Before you do anything, you need to know what you are dealing with. Every pair of shoes that you own becomes another item to move on moving day, and in some cases, even a shoe collection can easily push into double digits. Before you stuff your shoes into a suitcase, assess what you actually own and decide if they are all worth moving.
Shoes You Don’t Like
Moving day is the perfect excuse to get rid of clothes, sandals, sneakers, and other stuff that you do not want. Check them first to see if they are donation-worthy, then throw away anything that can’t be saved.
If you have shoes that are far too damaged to use for very long, then it may be time to get rid of them. Some pairs of shoes are easy to replace, too – if they are already wearing out, it can be easier to just throw them away and buy new ones after moving.
Shoes You Don’t Wear
If you own some pairs of shoes that you have never worn, donating them can be easier than packing them all up. Just like socks, bags, and other clothes, even a simple pair of sneakers can be donated, which is often a good idea if you just have not worn them.
Sorting your Shoes
Always make sure that you sort your shoes out before packing. You are going to find it a lot easier to move into a new home if you can keep track of which shoes are where, especially if you have a large shoe collection.
Shoes generally need to be stored inside something, and that means that you have to pack your shoes into a suitable container. While it is common for some people to keep the shoe boxes of prestigious brands, you have probably thrown most of yours away, and that means that you do not have the same form-fitting storage left to slot them into.
Packing Shoes Safely
You want to protect your shoes as much as possible during transport. Plastic bags do not do much to help, and an empty box is barely any better.
Shoe boxes are the main option when packing boots and are generally the best way to store them. A plain shoe box with no padding inside is not very helpful, though, so extra protection matters a lot. If you have the original shoe boxes that some of your pairs came in, even better.
Use packing tape to seal up packed boxes and storage containers. This stops the luggage from opening while moving. You can also wrap each shoe in packing tape and clean packing paper to prevent scuffs.
Bubble wrap offers better protection from bumps and bashes and is not hard to find. You can even re-use the wrap from other deliveries.
Putting crumpled paper inside your shoes can help them retain their shape. Keeping the shape of a pair of shoes is not easy while moving, making this an important step for packing when you want to protect the shoes first and foremost.
Tissue paper is softer and easier to tear, providing more cushioning when you pack shoes in it. Putting it inside storage boxes can turn them into reliable storage options for any kind of shoe, but be sure to fill the container properly.
A plastic bag is not that helpful on its own; packing your shoes inside them can save them from bumps and bashes during rough drives. You can also stuff a bag or two in another container to act as more padding. Make sure you keep a bag for other clothes, though, since they are better used to pack softer items.
Newspaper, or any other kind of paper, can work in a pinch. Put it in the bottom of a container or bag to protect whatever you are packing. Make sure you are packing paper in deep enough, and make sure the paper is clean first.
How to Pack Different Shoe Types
Packing your shoes is also about the type of shoes involved. Moving them to a new home means that you always have to keep pairs together, but once they are in that new home, you still need to unpack them properly.
How to pack shoes like flip-flops
Flip-flops and sandals are the lightest shoes you will be packing, so they do not usually need more than packing paper and a box. As light items, store them last – they should go on the top of the pile. They do not need durable containers, so do not worry about having to fill the box with wrap.
How to pack shoes like boots
Boots are generally the heaviest. You won’t need to protect them from wear and tear, but they really take up a lot of space. Store them at the bottom of the pile and treat them like heavy luggage: this might mean that you want to pack them in a suitcase rather than a box.
How to pack shoes like sneakers
Put heavy casual shoes on the bottom and lighter ones near the top. Make sure your shoes are kept together and are not mixed up. If you find a way to pack them effectively, pack your shoes according to how durable they are. Weaker ones can suffer wear and damage faster, so they need more packing material.
How to pack shoes with big heels
Heels can be tricky. Most heels are still able to fit in with normal packing methods. If you are not sure how to pack shoes with bigger heels, consider keeping them separate while you are packing shoes. Most people only have one or two pairs of shoes with big heels, so you can put them in the car like normal unless you really need to move them with the rest.
How to pack shoes with tall bodies
Tall shoes such as wellington boots are also hard to handle. When packed into a box that fits them, like a suitcase, they can take up a lot of room. If you think that they are better off in other containers, there are not really any tips to use here: just keep them packed somewhere safe, ideally in a bigger suitcase-like container. One suitcase could hold at least a pair of knee-length wellingtons, maybe two.
Otherwise, keep them out. Wellingtons are not hard to clean and are usually durable enough to survive the trip without being packed. For other tall shoes that are weaker, use your own judgment over how to pack them.
Other Tips to Help You Pack Shoes for Moving
Trying to pack shoes for moving is not easy, and even if you save space, you can put a pair of shoes in an awkward position where they are likely to get damaged. Every time you move onto the next pair, you might need different tips or have to use the space differently.
Here are some simple tips for deciding how to pack shoes for moving to a new home, no matter what kind of shoes they are.
- Moving shoes in another vehicle is not always a bad idea. You can carry some of your shoes in your own car – maybe even on a passenger’s lap – if you do not want to take up more space in the moving van.
- Shoes and socks can sometimes be paired together to save space. Keeping socks balled up in shoes can also help them maintain their shape while you move everything from place to place.
- Sneakers and other soft shoes are quite easy to squish without causing permanent damage. If you are going to need more room and do not mind some short-term deformation, try stuffing more sneakers into one container.
- Look up tips for moving and storing valuable shoes. If you really want to keep them in perfect condition, then check out related posts or keep looking for the next piece of advice until you find a guide on how to safely move them.
- Move shoes quickly and unpack them swiftly. A small ten-minute drive will not cause any real harm to them, but even with good packing methods, leaving shoes in there for several days can make them lose their shape a little. Of course, this depends on how you store them.
So, you are ready to move your shoes. Remember that packing and moving shoes is just like any other items – you mostly need to rely on common sense and think about what you are actually doing on a shoe-to-shoe basis. Trying to move all your shoes in one suitcase is generally a bad idea, but if it happens to work for you, then that is completely fine.
Make sure that you swap over to the next option if your chosen one does not work, too. It is easy to assume that things like a plastic container or a suitcase won’t work properly, but depending on the shoes that you are trying to move, they could end up being incredibly useful. Stubbornness and refusing to try something in favor of an idea that does not work can just cause more damage to your footwear.