How to Pack Shoes for Moving – Tips for Effective Packing

If you need any help learning how to pack shoes for moving, you’ve come to the right place. These next few tips will show you everything you should know, like how to declutter your inventory, which supplies to get, how to label the containers, and so much more. Keep on reading, and you’ll be able to pack your footwear like a pro in no time.

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March 2, 2021 Posted in How-to

You don’t have to be an expert to know how to organize your move quickly and efficiently. If you need some assistance, these excellent relocation hacks will help you prepare even your most delicate footwear for shipping.

How Long Before Moving Should You Start Packing?

If you’re not sure when to start packing for a move, ask yourself, “Would Sex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw be jealous of my collection?” Unless the answer is a resounding no, you should probably start preparing your footwear as soon as possible. This will prevent you from leaving everything for the very last minute when you likely won’t have enough time to secure each pair properly.

A nervous woman sitting beside a container
Starting late will cause you a lot of stress by the end of the move

Start Preparing by Sorting Out Your Footwear Collection

“Sort your inventory” should be one of the key tasks on your overall moving to-do list, especially when relocating to a smaller home. The place will likely have insufficient storage capacity, which makes fitting an extensive shoe collection very problematic. Fortunately, relocation is the perfect time to declutter and reduce your overall inventory.

Decluttering Is One of the Best Tips for Reducing Your Inventory

The basic premise of decluttering is to get rid of anything you don’t need. This is precisely why it’s one of the best things to do before relocating, as it allows you to decide what to do with each pair easily:

  • Keep – Try keeping only the footwear you regularly use. This group also includes any footgear and seasonal boots you may have or anything you’ve used in the last year.
  • Sell – We live in a consumer-friendly environment, so you likely have some pairs you bought impulsively, only never to wear them. Since they are likely in good shape or basically brand new, you can sell them online on eBay, Amazon, or Craigslist. If you have many items that you want to get rid of, learn how to organize a garage sale and try selling them from there.
  • Donate – If you’re already planning to donate clothes for the homeless, why not throw in some footwear as well. Just don’t give away anything you wouldn’t wear yourself.
  • Throw out – Dirty old sneakers are often considered one of the most commonly forgotten items to pack. If you have any shoes that are damaged beyond repair, it might be better to throw them out, as you’re likely not going to use them anyways.
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Everything You Don’t Need the First Day Can Go Into Storage

If you’re relocating into an apartment, you might not have the room to fit all your footwear even after decluttering. Fortunately, you have the option to place some of it into storage. There are several options on the market, with many cross-country movers providing storage units as a part of their long-distance moving services. Many companies even offer a whole month of free storage if you choose to move with them, so that may be the deal you’re looking for.

Storage units
If your new home doesn't have enough space, consider renting a storage unit

Get All the Supplies and Materials

Now that you’ve trimmed down the size of your inventory, it’s time to get all the necessary supplies. Besides the usual stuff like duct tape and boxes, there are several types of packing materials you should consider getting when preparing your footwear:

  • PaperPacking paper for relocating is likely the material you’ll need the most, as it’s used for everything from padding the boxes to wrapping.
  • Bubble wrap – While it’s not required for a majority of your footwear, it can be used to secure a more delicate pair or for padding.
  • Plastic wrap – Learning how to use plastic wrap for packing is especially important when cross-country moving. The material is excellent for both separating individual pairs and protecting your footwear from moisture during the transportation process.

There Are Many Ways You Can Get Some Supplies for Free

While you can get all the supplies from major retailers or a long-distance moving company, you can also find some of the materials you need for free. Firstly, you should check if your friends and family members have any leftovers from their last relocation. You can also look for free supplies on FreeCycle, a website that specializes in reducing the global waste problem. Finally, you should be able to find most of the things you need in recycling centers or local stores, as they often separate their packaging. Just remember to only take new and clean materials, as using newsprint or dirty boxes is known to leave stains that are very difficult to take out.

You Can Find Several Good Alternatives at Your Home

Do you know how to pack shoes for a move without the regular materials? While you’ll still need a box, you can use socks to stuff each shoe instead of paper, saving you both money and storage space. Socks are so useful that you can even learn how to pack glasses for relocating with them. Other common household items, such as towels and linens, can also be used as an acceptable alternative to traditional materials.

 Stacked bath towels
Towels are some of the most common alternatives you can find in your home

Clean Each Shoe Before Wrapping It Up

Unless you’re planning to wrap your whole collection in plastic, you’ll have to clean each shoe separately. While most of your footwear can be cleaned with wet wipes, make sure they’re alcohol-free, as it causes damage when overused. You’ll likely need to spend more time on the soles. Fortunately, an old toothbrush and some soap are all you need to remove the remaining dirt and debris, you just have to be persistent. After you’re done, leave the footwear to dry completely before wrapping it up.

Remove Unpleasant Odors With These Next Few Tips

Remember that cleaning the footwear and removing unpleasant odors are two different things. Placing a dry tea bag in each shoe after cleaning will eliminate the smells and give it a fresh new scent. You can also mix a citrus peel or place baking soda to take out the odor or wash the pair in the washing machine. The latter option should be restricted to sneakers and avoided at all costs with footwear made out of leather and other delicate materials. Once again, dry all the pairs entirely before you start wrapping.

Old toothbrushes are excellent for cleaning

What’s the Best Way to Pack Shoes When Moving?

Truth be told, there’s no single best way to pack shoes for moving. However, you should always stuff each shoe before wrapping it up. This step is crucial whether you’re planning to use crumpled-up paper sheets or socks, as it’s often the only thing that will keep the shoe’s original form intact during transport. You also need to avoid cramming each box with too much stuff, as this is one of the main reasons why the footwear loses its shape. When loading the truck, make sure that the lighter and delicate containers always go on top.

Are There Any Specific Ways of Packing Shoes for Moving?

When planning to wrap your footwear, you’re likely not going to use the same materials and methods for each pair. For example, you should consider wrapping designer heels and high-end sneakers individually. You can secure them with plastic while also padding each container with bubble wrap. Make sure they’re packed in original boxes if possible.

Your everyday sneakers and slippers usually don’t require this much trouble. Most of the time, the only material you’ll need is paper, and they can even be packed with other footwear in the same container. Just remember to stuff them, and they’ll be good to go.

How Do You Pack Shoes Without a Box?

If you’re missing the original packaging, each shoe will need to be wrapped individually. As with all other footwear, stuff it with crumpled paper to keep it from getting trampled and losing its shape in a large box. Tie the shoes with laces, so they do not get separated and secure them with plastic. If you want to learn how to prepare expensive and delicate footwear for shipping without the original packaging, check out the video below.

Labeling Each Box Correctly Makes Unpacking a Lot Easier

Whether you’re boxing up shoes or something entirely different, proper labeling is going to make unpacking after a move that much easier. The best way to do this is to mark the top and two sides of the container with the footwear’s type and another defining feature, like the brand or its color. If you’re relocating with kids, you likely have a lot more pairs to deal with, so you can write each child’s name on the boxes that have their shoes.

Labeling Will Help You Find Your Belongings in Case of a Mix-Up

Since you’re planning to move across the country, relocation labels become even more important. Most long-distance relocation companies move several people at once in the same truck, and while it’s very rare, shipping mix-ups do occasionally occur. If this scenario does happen, you can still avoid losing even a single shoe, as all you have to do is mark your full name and phone number on every packed box.

A woman taping a box
You'll have a much easier time finding what you need if you label properly

Set Aside a Few Pairs You’re Going to Use on the Day You Move in

Since most of your belongings won’t arrive for the first week or two after you’ve moved in, you’ll need to set aside some footwear as a part of your relocation essentials. You won’t have to carry too many pairs with you, but whatever you bring with you should be appropriate for the weather. For example, if you’re relocating to the East Coast from California in winter, you’ll need a pair of thick winter shoes or even some boots if it’s snowing. Wherever you plan to move, you could always bring a pair of slippers for when at home and some comfortable sneakers for everyday errands and hiking.

Indoor slippers
Unless you plan to go around your new home barefoot, set aside some slippers

That’s Everything You Need to Know About How to Pack Shoes for Moving

That’s all the relocation tips and hacks we have for you today. If you start planning on time and apply all of the things we mentioned here, securing your footwear will go without a problem. Relocation stress is a real thing, so if the process seems a bit too hard for you, remember that hiring a professional to assist you is always a viable option. Get on your phone, type in long-distance movers near me, and find a reliable relocation company with top-notch packing services.

Blake Shaw

Bostonian and residential moving and packing expert. Blake Shaw enjoys bar-hopping, music, and writing insightful content.



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