Every true shoeaholic will want to learn how to pack shoes for moving before their next relocation. If you’re someone who can’t resist an opportunity to buy footwear, you likely already have a whole shoe closet that needs to be packed. Fortunately, this guide will allow you to transport the entire collection to your new Philly home without much trouble.

Start the Preparations by Going Through Your Entire Shoe Collection

How many shoes are too many? According to a recent public survey, an average man has 12 pairs of footwear, while most women own more than twice as many, or 27 to be precise. Someone who’s a dedicated shoeaholic like Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City will have even more, possibly keeping an entire closet dedicated to their shoe collection. 

If footwear occupies most of your current storage capacities, it might be better to go through your inventory before packing anything. This is the only thing that will give you a clear picture of how many pairs you own. Fortunately, it’s relatively simple to do, as you only have to place everything you own on a pile and start digging.

Declutter Will Help You Reduce the Size of Your Collection Before the Move

Going through the inventory allows you to spot some footwear you don’t need. If you have an extensive collection or are prone to impulsive shopping, chances are you’ll find at least a few sneakers and boots you forgot even existed. While parting with even a single pair can be very challenging for a shoeaholic, decluttering your inventory should still be on your to-do list

Doing it before the actual relocation will allow you to move efficiently, significantly cutting down the time it takes you to prepare everything properly. If you’re having trouble deciding what to do with specific items, sort the footwear in one of the following categories:

  • Keep – While you might be tempted to toss everything into this category, remember that your home doesn’t have unlimited storage capacity. Try keeping only the pairs you wear at least once a year. This can include everything from running sneakers and winter boots to high-end heels.
  • Sell – If some of your unused footwear is still in good shape, selling it online or through a well-organized garage sale could earn you a bit of extra cash on the side. Selling limited edition sneakers could even cover most of your relocation expenses, allowing you to hire one of the local moving companies in Philadelphia to assist you.
  • Donate – Any footwear that wasn’t sold off can be donated to one of the local charities like the Salvation Army, Circle Thrift, The Wardrobe, or even Goodwill. Just don’t try to give away something you wouldn’t wear yourself.
  • Toss out – Last but not least, any footwear that’s beyond repair should simply be tossed out. There’s no point in securing something that’s no longer usable.

If you’re having trouble deciding what to give away, the video below will tell you everything you need to know to reduce the size of your footwear collection.

Try to Use the Original Shoeboxes if Possible

If you’re not sure how to secure your footwear, the best thing you can do is use the original packaging that came with it. Shoeboxes are perfectly designed to fit a single pair while also containing just enough paper for wrapping. They also come with crumpled-up sheets that allow your footwear to keep its shape even when staying in storage for a longer period. If you didn’t keep all the original packaging, you would have to acquire all the necessary supplies before you can start wrapping anything.

What Supplies Do You Need When Packing Shoes for Moving?

Not keeping the original packaging is not the end of the world, as securing the footwear won’t require you to get a bunch of different or expensive materials. In fact, most of the supplies you have to acquire are used for everything from packing dishes and other fragile items to boxing up a computer. They include things like:

  • Boxes – Similarly to packing plates, try to get smaller and medium-sized containers. You’ll have a much more difficult time protecting the footwear if you stuff it all in a single large box.
  • Paper – Considering this will be your primary wrapping and padding material, get as much of it as you can. You do not have to worry about getting too much of it, as all the leftovers can be used to secure glasses or any other delicate item you have at home.
  • Dustbags – Anyone who owns expensive heels and leather shoes will want to get these, as they can protect your footwear from sun exposure, dust, moisture, and color transfers.
  • Bubble wrap – While most of your footwear won’t require it, it’s good to have it for heels and other pieces prone to damage.
  • Plastic wrap – If you’re transporting fluids and perishable items movers won’t move alongside the footwear, covering each item with plastic will keep it dry throughout the process, saving you a ton of relocation stress.
  • Duct tape – Ensure the containers do not open during transport by taping the lids with a few tape strips.
  • Markers and stickers – Considering you’re not using the original packaging, you’ll need these to label each container correctly.

Can Everyday Household Items Be Used to Secure Footwear?

While using the standard packaging materials we mentioned earlier is the best way to pack shoes for moving, know that you can also secure your footwear with everyday household items. For example, old clothes, linens, and towels are perfect for padding or wrapping. Just be sure that anything that comes into contact with the footwear is clean, or you might end up with some stains that are incredibly difficult to remove. This means you should avoid using newsprint, as the ink could potentially leave marks all over your favorite sneakers.

A man regrets not hiring Philadelphia movers
Get all the materials you need at your nearest supply store or from one of the local movers in Philadelphia, PA

Make Sure That the Footwear Is Clean Before Packing It 

Just like you wouldn’t pack dishes and large pots and pans without washing them first, you also shouldn’t box any obviously dirty footwear. That’s why it’s best to clean the entire collection before you start wrapping it. Even if you’re cleaning the footwear regularly, the soles will likely still have some dirt on them. Fortunately, they are relatively easy to clean, as all you need is an old toothbrush and a mild cleaning agent like laundry detergent or soap. The rest of the shoe can easily be wiped with alcohol-free wet wipes, as these won’t cause damage in the long run.

Sneakers, however, have particularly complex outer soles, meaning there’s always going to be some dirt stuck in the crevices. While it might seem redundant, rinse and repeat the scrubbing process until the water is clear and there are no particles in it. Once the job is done, wait for the footwear to dry completely before you start wrapping it. Alternatively, if you can’t clean everything right away, keeping the dirty footwear in plastic will protect the rest of your collection.

What’s the Best Way to Remove Unpleasant Smells From Your Footwear?

Once again, just like you would pack clothes only after washing them, you should try to remove all the unpleasant smells from your footwear before boxing it up. While a good wash can solve this problem quickly, this can only be applied to some of your sneakers. 

Footwear made of leather and other delicate materials would easily get damaged in the washer, so a majority of your collection will have to be dealt with in some other way. Fortunately, spraying some baby powder or a mix of citrus peel and baking soda should be enough to neutralize the odor. Additionally, placing some dry tea bags will give the footwear a fresh new smell.

One of the professional movers in Philadelphia, PA, packing converse sneakers
Make sure that the footwear has been cleaned thoroughly before you wrap it

Learn How to Pack Shoes for Moving Correctly

Once you gather all the necessary supplies and clean everything, it’s finally time to start boxing up the footwear. While the process might differ slightly depending on the type of footwear you’re dealing with, know that it’s always good to:

  • Stuff each shoe – As we already mentioned, doing this before wrapping will help keep each shoe’s shape intact. If you run out of paper, try using socks instead.
  • Wrap every pair individually – Although this is not always necessary, it will keep your expensive footwear from getting damaged or scuffed during transport.
  • Protect delicate parts with padding – Bubble wrapping buckles and heels is another way to prevent the footwear from getting damaged.
  • Add more padding in each container – If there’s still plenty of room inside the container, adding more padding will ensure the footwear cannot move.
  • Label all the containers correctly – Writing the contents of each container or placing a sticker will help you find a particular pair much more quickly. The label should also indicate if the contents are delicate, as this will prevent you from accidentally mishandling it when relocating in a hurry.

How to Pack Shoes for a Move Without Smaller Cardboard Boxes?

If there are not enough appropriately-sized cardboard containers, you will often be required to pack a bunch of footwear together in a single box. Although this might help you save some storage space, it also exposes your collection to more damage. Fortunately, this can be easily prevented by adding a ton of padding between every pair you put in.

A large container also makes it easier for individual shoes to get separated, so try keeping them together by tying their shoelaces. Considering heals and many boots don’t have laces, this can also be achieved with dust bags and plastic wraps. Last but not least, most Philadelphia moving companies recommend you use clear plastic containers, as these will enable you to see exactly what’s inside them.

Yeezys on a box
Should shoes be stored in their boxes? Yes, particularly if they are delicate or expensive

Remember to Set Aside a Few Essential Pairs Before Boxing Everything Up

Before you box up all the footwear, remember to set aside a few essential pairs you’re going to use as soon as you move in. Considering all the things you need to do after relocating, having to open up all the containers just to find the slippers you’ve misplaced can be a nuisance. 

That’s why it’s much better to prepare them separately along with the rest of your essentials. Boxing up some comfortable sneakers will allow you to explore your new Philadelphia neighborhood much more quickly. On the other hand, setting aside waterproof boots will keep you from getting surprised by heavier weather conditions.

Feet close up of two people jumping
Sneakers are the top footwear for exploring the city

Contact Our Philadelphia Moving Company, and You Won’t Have to Worry About Securing Your Footwear

While boxing up your footwear might be relatively easy, you’ll have many more things to do before relocation to a new home. Packing furniture and relocating large items will take so much time that securing sneakers and boots will be the last thing on your mind. Considering how complicated dealing with moving and storage in Philadelphia can be, it’s much better to let trained Philly movers handle all the preparations for you.

If you need some packing assistance, or you want to book a residential move, know that Philadelphia Movers is at your disposal. Our local moving services in Philadelphia will allow you to move almost anywhere in the city within a single day, meaning you won’t have to spend months planning the entire process. We even provide professional commercial moves, which will quickly relocate a company or a business to an entirely new location. If you contact us, one of our representatives will tell you everything you want to know about these and all the other services we offer. You’ll also receive a free quote on your entire move, so this is an offer you don’t want to miss.