Shoes can be an awkward item to pack for your move. They’re oddly shaped, ranging from boots to flip flops. Some pairs may be very valuable to you and it would be upsetting if they were ruined in the process of moving. Other pairs may be dirty and you wouldn’t want them dirtying your other goods. Follow the tips provided in this article and packing shoes for your move will be a breeze.


What you’ll need:

moving boxes, 

packing paper (acid free packing paper preferably. DO NOT use newsprint which can stain your shoes), 

bubble wrap, 

packing tape, 

(optional) socks

(optional) shoe boxes

(optional) cleaning supplies


Donate and recycle 

First, go through your shoe collection and you’ll probably discover that some of your shoes are just taking up space in your closet. Whether they’re old and worn or you just never wear them, it’s time to let them go. Find out how you can donate old shoes to those in need. For pairs that are falling apart, be sure that they get recycled rather than dumped in the landfill.


Clean your kicks

Getting ready for a move provides a great opportunity to clean your shoes. For most pairs, wiping them down with a damp cloth is sufficient. Some shoes may need a scrub with an old toothbrush and mild cleaning solution, like dish soap and warm water. For smelly shoes, put them in the freezer overnight. This kills the bacteria that causes that nasty odor.


Handle with care vs. chuck in a box

Separate your pairs of shoes into two categories: ‘handle with care’ and ‘chuck in a box’. Some of your shoes, like fine leather, suede, high heels, or other delicate and expensive shoes may need special care for transport. These go into the pile called Handle with Care. Running shoes, flip flops and the like are pretty much ready to be chucked into a box and will be fine during transport. 


Handle with care

For valuable or delicate shoes start by stuffing them with socks or packing paper so that they hold their shape during transit. Then wrap each shoe individually so that they don’t get scratched or scraped in the moving box. Wrapping shoes individually with packing paper can be fine for transport, but if you want sturdier protection, wrap each shoe with bubble wrap. To go the extra mile, you can buy shoe boxes for your particularly precious pairs. Shoe boxes can then be packed into larger moving boxes.


Chuck in a box

Old sneakers and running shoes require little attention and can simply be thrown into a box for your move. We recommend you stuff each shoe with socks and tie the shoelaces of one shoe to its pair so that pairs stay together. In the process of moving you’d hate to lose one shoe along the way!


Packing your shoes into a moving box

Now that you’ve prepped your shoes, it’s time to start packing them into moving boxes. Start by lining the box with crumpled pieces of packing paper. Heavy shoes, like winter boots, should be packed at the bottom and light weight shoes packed at the top of the box. As much as possible, lay the shoes down on their side in the box rather than standing them up vertically. Pack until the box is almost full and then line the top of the box with crumpled pieces of packing paper. Seal and label the box and it’s ready for our expert movers to transport!


Advanced shoe packing strategies

In case you’re feeling particularly organised here is how you can take things to the next level.


Packing shoes by season

Categorise your shoes by season and pack accordingly in separate boxes. If you are moving in summer, then you may not need to unpack your winter shoe box for six months.


Pack some pairs of shoes in your Survival box

You should pack a survival box with all the items you’ll be needing as soon as you arrive in your new home. We wrote an article about packing a survival box here. Keeping all the items you’ll need for the first few days in one or two survival boxes saves you the trouble of opening many boxes to find what you need. Pack the pairs of shoes you’ll need during and after the move into your survival box. These may be a combination of work shoes and casual shoes.


A little organisation goes a long way. Check out other articles on our site about planning your move.

Posted on Oct 24, 2022