Packing shoes might seem like a no-brainer, but there’s more to it than just stuffing them into a box and hoping for the best. The “cram and scram” method won’t get your shoes to your new home in good shape. That’s why United Van Lines is here to help with a step-by-step guide to help you pack your footwear like a pro.
Separate Shoes You Don’t Need
Moving is the perfect time to get rid of the things you don’t need and no longer use – and shoes are no exception. Start by sorting through your footwear and putting aside any pairs that are damaged or no longer wearable. Does that trusty pair of hiking boots have a hole in one toe? Toss them. Are you holding onto a pair of sandals with a broken strap or high heeled shoes without heels. Say goodbye and move onto what’s left.
Next, it’s time to cull the remainder ever more, including dress shoes you no longer wear, shoes for sports you no longer participate in, and of course, shoes that never quite fit comfortably. See if it’s possible to donate any still-usable shoes to a local thrift shop or charity. Whatever’s left can then be recycled.
Sort Shoes by Type
Now that you have all the shoes you intend to keep, it’s time to group them by type. After all you don’t want your fancy designer shoes in the same box as the sneakers you wear to mow the lawn. If you own a lot of shoes and will be splitting them into more than one box, think about how often you wear each pair of shoes, what time of year you wear them and whether you’re likely to be wearing them shortly after move day. And don’t forget to keep a pair or two of shoes handy for moving day.
Prepare Shoes for Packing
Before you start searching for a box to separate your treasured Manolo’s from your everyday go-to’s, here are a few steps you need to take.
- Shoes tend to trap moisture. Make sure your shoes are completely dry to avoid mold.
- Dry out your sneakers for a day or two prior to packing.
- Try sticking your shoes in the freezer overnight to kill off any foot bacteria.
- Stick unused tea bags in your shoes to absorb any odor and freshen them up.
Steps to Pack Shoes for Moving
1. Stuff Your Shoes with Socks or Crumpled Wrapping Paper
It’s easy for dress shoes to lose their shape and fit over time if you don’t stuff them with something. Here’s what to do:
- Stuff your shoes with socks and bits of clean packing paper to help maintain their shape during your move
- In a pinch, use plastic bags to stuff your shoes
- Do NOT use newspaper or colored paper: they can leave permanent stains.
2. Wrap Shoes in Packing Paper or Bubble Wrap
Before you box them up, wrap each shoe in either packing paper or bubble wrap. See the video above for guidance.
- To prevent scuffing, wrap each pair of shoes in one sheet of packing paper, making each shoe is entirely rolled in packing paper with a layer between them
- If you don’t have time to wrap pairs of shoes individually, tie the shoelaces laces together to keep them from separating in transit.
3. Line Boxes with Crumpled Packing Paper or Bubble Wrap
Ideally, you should pack your shoes in the original boxes the shoes came in.
- If you have the original boxes, line them with crumpled packing paper before putting the wrapped shoes in the box
- If you don’t have the original boxes, use medium to large moving boxes and line them with packing paper to cushion the shoes
- Bubble wrap will provide even more protection.
4. Place Your Shoes in the Box Heaviest First
Place heavier shoes at the bottom of the packing box to avoid crushing them.
- This better distributes the weight of the box making it easier to carry
- Shoes in their original shoeboxes go at the very bottom of the box
- Pack seasonal shoes you aren’t using into a different box you can open later.
5. Fill in Gaps with Packing Paper
Make sure to separate layers of shoes with additional packing paper or bubble wrap.
- Place packing paper between individual pairs of shoes to further protect them
- Make sure shoes are packed tightly so they don’t shift around during the move.
6. Label Each Box of Shoes on the Side for Easy Identification
Once your shoes are packed up and sealed away, label each box accordingly. Be specific so you know which box has which shoes. For example, if you’re moving in the summer and have packed your winter shoes separately, label the box “Winter Shoes.”
Keep a pair of shoes with you to wear in the weeks after your move and another pair of shoes to wear to work, if needed.
Bonus Tip: Pack Your Shoes for Moving in a Shoe Organizer
While it’s ideal to pack shoes in their original boxes, or at least wrapped up in packing paper in a moving box, United Van Lines understands that’s not always an option.
Packing your shoes in a shoe organizer (like a closet door shoe hanger) is also a valid option. If carefully folded, a shoe organizer will keep your shoes organized and firmly in place during your move.
Check Out Other Packing Guides from United Van Lines
We hope you found our shoe packing guide helpful. Did you know that United Van Lines has many more just like it covering everything from how to pack lampshades to fine china. Browse our selection of packing guides and packing videos to learn other ways to make your move a breeze.