Running shoes, hiking shoes, dress shoes… how many pairs can you wear? Well, only one at a time, of course. And, if you’re travelling and putting all your goods in storage, you may be wearing one pair all summer long. Since you have already spent time and money on your shoes, it’s important to take good care of them when you store them. Then when it’s time to interview for a job (dress shoes) or take the person you met in Europe on a date (hipster shoes), or meet the parents (back to the dress shoes), you’ll be ready.
Efficient shoe storage will not only save your shoes, but also save space in your storage unit—for your guitar, your bike, your baseball cap collection and whatever else you are packing away for the summer, for a season or for a year.
Start by grouping all of your shoes together, and getting rid of half of them. OK, maybe not half, but there are certainly some pairs that have seen better days. Let them go. It will better for everyone, trust me. If the shoes have holes (in the bottom), if you haven’t worn them for a year, or if you don’t plan on wearing them in the coming year, toss them. And if they don’t fit—well, if they don’t fit now, they won’t fit later. Brand new shoes can be donated, all others should be tossed.
Next, if you have shoeboxes, use them for your most expensive shoes. The shoeboxes will serve as an outer protective layer in the big box of shoe storage. No shoeboxes? No worries. You can wrap your shoes in newsprint packing paper. It’s stronger than tissue paper and it won’t harm your shoes. But first, if you have shoes that are made of leather (or really thick “pleather,” the vegan alternative), stuff some of that newsprint inside. This will hold the shoes’ shape while they’re packed.
Once each pair is wrapped, put the heaviest, bulkiest shoes on the bottom of a heavy-duty packing box: your ski boots, and your Fryes. Then just work your way up, to the lightest pairs (sandals) on top. Sure, you can use some packing tricks like stuffing your shoes with socks or other small items, but I recommend keeping things really simple. When you get back to your storage unit and need that one pair of shoes, you’ll know where to find them, without having to sort through anything but shoes.
Finally, if you have a shoe kit (shoe polish, buffing cloths, etc.) put this in the shoe storage box, as well. That way, everything you need will be handy.
And really, that’s what storage is all about: a safe place to put things you will definitely need in the future.
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