When it comes to packing up for a move, an extensive shoe collection can be a bit mind-boggling. You have sneakers, boots, dress shoes, loafers — some of them are dirty, some of them are somewhat delicate, so you know you can’t just throw them in a box.

There is something of an art to packing your shoes well — especially your dress shoes. So before you get all DIY-creative, have a look at our tips for how to pack shoes for moving.

Divide and conquer

Most of us have a variety of shoes for a variety of purposes. Since different kinds of shoes will require different levels of care, start by separating your shoes into loose categories. Athletic shoes, dress shoes, tall boots, and your “dirty shoes” should all be packed differently. Take this time to slim down the collection if necessary and get rid of any shoes that just aren’t particularly functional anymore. Then, donate or sell any shoes that you plain forgot you had because you haven’t worn them in so long. There’s no sense in carting shoes around if you don’t wear them!

Clean up your shoes

Give your shoes a little TLC. Use a stiff brush to clean the dirt out of the treads and use a protective or “moisturizing” polish on your leather. See if you can buff off any scuff marks and get them ready for their next outing! If you have some shoes that are a bit stinky, toss them in a plastic bag and into the freezer overnight to kill odor-causing bacteria. If that still doesn’t do the trick, pour some good old baking soda into your shoes and leave it for a day or two to absorb odors. Just be sure to clean off the excess before packing your shoes away.

Stuff the nicer pairs to keep their shape

You probably don’t care if your running shoes get a little smushed, but your tall boots or loafers should keep their shape. Use some of your socks or some packing paper to stuff your shoes, then tie or buckle them to keep them all in place. For tall boots, roll up some cardboard or use a pool noodle to keep the leg straight and prevent creasing.

Pack the nicer shoes individually

There are a few ways to pack your nice shoes. If you still have the boxes for those expensive pairs, wrap them in tissue paper and box them up for travel. You can also buy packs of shoeboxes with your other packing supplies if you need extra. This can be especially important if you have high heels that you want to protect from breaking in transit.

Alternatively, you can wrap your shoes in packing paper. Start by wrapping one layer around one shoe, then add the second shoe and keep wrapping. Tuck the ends in and secure your bundle with tape. Now you can put multiple pairs of shoes into one box without worrying about scuffing or crushing them! This can even work for packing tall boots, just be sure to wrap them carefully.

packing shoes 2 How to pack shoes for moving

Tie your sneakers together using their laces

You don’t want to spend too long trying to reunite your pairs of trainers after your move, right? Since you will probably toss most of your sneakers in a single moving box, tie the laces together and then use rubber bands to secure the shoes. The rubber bands will keep the shoes from becoming a tangled mess of laces while on the moving truck! It’s the little things that’ll have you packing like a pro.

Keep a few pairs of essential shoes handy

Between packing and moving day, you will inevitably need to wear shoes! Choose a few pairs that will cover your needs. Shoes for work, shoes for exercise, and seasonally appropriate casual shoes should be kept with your suitcase or travel bags. Make sure you have a pair to wear on moving day that you don’t mind getting scuffed or dirty in the back and forth with boxes!

Pack out-of-season shoes separately

If you’re moving in the summer, you can pack away your heavy boots and winter shoes until you are ready for them at a later date. Make sure they are dry and consider packing them with some tea bags or other moisture absorbers if they will be boxed for an extended period of time. Similarly, flip-flops and open-toed shoes can likely be left in the box for a while if you’re moving in the winter in a cold climate! Keep it as simple as possible.

Would you rather have us pack everything for you? We’d be happy to. Ask about our packing services when you get a quote!