shoe collector on how to pack shoes

How to Pack Shoes for a Move

When shoe lover Sarah Kim recently moved to a new house in Nashville, she put her knowledge on how to pack shoes to great use! The YouTuber and makeup artist has more than 100 pairs of shoes, so packing up her closet was no easy feat.

“My parents asked if I was going to give away some shoes away, and I was like ‘Are you crazy?’” she said.

If you need to move a shoe collection like Kim’s, or perhaps a few pairs less, keep reading for tips from her and a professional sneaker restorer. Together, they’ve moved hundreds of shoes and have some tried-and-true moving tips for your kicks!

How to Pack Shoes: Protect Your Favorite Pairs

From flats, to heels and everything in between – you should protect your favorite or fanciest shoes during a move by packing them in study boxes with padding.

“Thick boxes with bubble wrap inside are ideal for keeping a shoe’s shape and form,” said Alex Walter, a sneaker lover who started his collection by buying used pairs of shoes and restoring them. “A good alternative packing method is to put the shoes in separate bags.”

He said he made the mistake of not protecting his shoes when he moved his sneaker collection, which now consists of about 200 pairs of kicks, to his college dorm room.

“I learned that it isn’t always the best idea to shove as many shoes as possible in a small area, because the boxes damage fairly easy,” he said of cramming all his shoes into his small car.

While Kim just packed all of her day-to-day sandals and sneakers together in a cardboard box during her recent move, she decided to individually pack her best pairs and carefully pack them together.

“I packed heavier shoes down in a box first, so they didn’t crush the other ones,” she said.


Keep or Buy Shoeboxes for Moving Day

If you’re a shoe collector like Walter and Kim, keeping the original shoeboxes for your favorite pairs can come in handy for moving day. But in case you didn’t save the boxes, plastic storage boxes will also help keep your shoes in great condition during moves and between wears.

“For the shoes that I like more than others, I always keep the boxes and the duster bag that comes with them,” Kim said. “I keep them in the bag and back in the box.”

Since shoeboxes are typically made of cardboard, Walter suggests padding them to avoid damage.

“Shoeboxes can also be bubble wrapped in order to prevent them from getting crushed during the moving process,” he said.

Pack Clean Shoes to Avoid Scuffs and Spots

If you have time, it may be worth cleaning your shoes before a move to avoid smudges and damage. It’s also a good idea to pack shoes heel-to-heel during a move, said Walter.

“I personally like clean shoes, so I ensure that they are quickly wiped down before I put them in their appropriate boxes,” he said. “To keep shoes clean, shoes should always be packed opposite from another. For example, the heel portion of one shoe should be parallel to the toe portion of the other.”

If you’re moving a long distance, or you’re planning to have your stuff in storage, you may want to clean shoes after a move as well.

“I use air duster to clean shoes that you can see dust on – like patent leather,” said Kim. “It’s also great for dusting off shoes with rhinestones.”


Photos courtesy of Alex Walter and Sarah Kim.

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