Let's all get one thing straight: moving is kind of a nightmare. Whether you're moving down the block or to an entirely new city, packing up the contents of your entire life is one of the most tedious and time-consuming tasks that all pretty much dread. But even worse is settling into your new space and unpacking all your boxes only to find your nice work tops wrinkled or your those heels you splurged on broken because you didn't pack up carefully enough.
You've probably spent years on your collection of shoes, so you'll want to know these critical moving tips for protecting one of your biggest sartorial investments. We spoke with three organizational experts to discover what it really takes to pack up your shoes the right way before a move. We promise there's nothing too fancy in here and these tricks don't involve expensive materials—because we know your move is already costly enough. The one thing you need a lot of? Time. Take care to pack your shoes carefully and by the time you're unpacking in your new home, they'll still look just as good.
Keep reading to find out the seven simple tips these experts suggest for packing your shoes to move.
1. Use clean packing paper
"To avoid the most common risks of damage to shoes while moving, such as scuff marks or smashed shoes, try using clean packing paper," suggests Sherree Murray, cCreator of Well-Planned Move. While you'd think that using newspaper or tissue paper is an easy option, Jodi Holzband of SpareFoot.com says to avoid them, as they can leave a stain. And an even cheaper solution? Paper towels work here as well.
2. Stuff them with paper (socks will work, too!)
Murray advises to "simply stuff packing paper inside any type of shoe to help hold its shape" while Holzband also says to "roll up socks and other small items and pack them inside your shoes, which will both save space and help retain the shape of your shoes during the move."
3. Wrap each shoe individually
Yes, it's time-consuming. But for your nicer pairs, wrapping each shoe individually in your *clean* packing paper or paper towels will protect them from scuffs. For heels, Holzband suggests wrapping the heels in bubble wrap so that they don't break during the move.
4. Keep each pair in its original shoe box
Murray argues that the "best solution is to pack them in their original shoe box or a plastic shoe container. Most importantly is to keep each pair together in the same box so no shoe goes missing." While shoe boxes certainly work as they're guaranteed to fit the pair they were sold to you in, many people ditch them after purchase (myself included). In that case, Molly Graves and Ashley Murphy, co-founders of NEAT Method suggest that "packing them in plastic shoes bins is worth every penny. They can also be used for various storage (including shoes!) in your new space!"
5. Transport everyday shoes in baskets
Graves and Murphy also suggest baskets as both a moving container and a display once you're all moved in. "We love transporting everyday shoes in baskets and our favorite specialty shoes should be handled with care. Depending on the sneaker, baskets can be used for them as well. That way, you have plenty of room to display your best and most photogenic pairs."
6. Ditch old shoes before you move
Graves and Murphy offer: "Avoid moving any shoes that you don't wear. The best time to do a purge is before a move. That way you can save on packing costs for items that you don't use. This is also a great time to take well loved shoes to a cobbler to get them fixed (think re-soled, etc.)."
7. Save just a few duster bags
Finally, Graves and Murphy want you to save only a few of those duster bags that often come with shoes. "We highly recommend only saving a couple of pairs of duster bags for shoes. They take up a lot of space and are often never used. Do yourself a favor and eliminate the clutter from your space."
Now that you're totally prepared to protect your shoes during a move, keep reading to shop our favorite fall ankle boots.