If you’re anything like me, you own too many shoes. Many of which you’ll probably wear once in your life, twice if you’re lucky.

No matter how many decluttering and minimalist articles you read extolling the virtues of getting rid of that which you don’t need, you still can’t shake that age-old question: But what if I need it for this ONE thing this ONE TIME????

For many of us, moving is one of the best times to declutter. But what if you’re not ready to part with all of your shoes? After all, you never know what fancy gala you might be attending in your new location. Maybe one day, you’ll be feeling streetwear-casual. Maybe another day, you’ll finally gather the courage to wear those thigh-high boots. Point is, you NEED all of your shoes. (Or so you tell yourself.)

There’s no shame in it. Whatever quantity of shoes you own, we’ve got you covered. Here’s how to properly pack all your shoes for your upcoming move.

Best Buy Co, Inc.

Clean Your Shoes Thoroughly

Shoes have a nasty tendency of retaining moisture and sweat. Make sure your shoes are clean and completely dry before you pack them up for the haul. Air your shoes out a few days before the move – especially if they’re leather material or athletic shoes. Here are some tried-and-true methods to ensure complete dryness and odor protection:

  • Place tea bags inside your shoes
  • Spray them with anti-bacterial spray or a mix of rubbing alcohol and water
  • Powder the insides to draw moisture out

Use Shoeboxes as Moving Boxes

Shoeboxes make great moving boxes, if you’re not concerned about saving space and still happen to have the shoeboxes your shoes came in. If not, use similarly-sized boxes that are sturdy and clean.

Use Packing Paper

Wrap your shoes in packing paper, tissue paper or paper towels and put them to their original shoeboxes for the move. This is the best way to protect your shoes. Beware of using newspapers – they can often leave a stain. If you’re packing high heels, wrap the heels with bubble wrap so that they don’t break during the move.

When possible, pack your shoes in pairs. If you’re packing multiple shoes together in one large container (which we don’t recommend, as the chance of everything getting crushed is greater), be sure to separate them using packing paper, so that they don’t scuff up against each other. Always remember to pack your heavier shoes first at the bottom.

DON’T Use Plastic Bags

It can be easy to just say “I give up” and throw all of your shoes into one big bag. But if you love your shoes (and yourself, let’s be honest) at all, listen to us: Don’t do it!

Plastic bags could tear during the move, your shoes will likely get all smushed up, and you’ll end up with a sad pile of shoes in the aftermath. Save yourself the heartache and invest in some good packing techniques.

girl chooses shoes on a wooden background

Maximize Your Space

Roll up your socks and other small fabrics (like extra towels) and pack them inside your shoes. This will both save you some space and help retain the shape of your shoes during the move.

No Space? Use a Closet Door Shoe Hanger

If you don’t have room for bulky shoe boxes or are moving a very short distance, we highly recommend packing all of your shoes in a closet door shoe hanger. This also makes your shoes easy to transport and unpack once you get to your new home.