How to Store your Sandals and Flip Flops for the Winter Months

It’s the end of summer and time to put away those summer shoes and sandals safely to stop them gathering dust or, worse, mould over the winter. Moreover, storing shoes seasonally keeps your home cleaner and more organised.

So here’s the easyStorage top tips for making sure your summer shoes and sandals reach next summer in great condition:


  1.       Be honest with yourself

If you have shoes that you no longer wear or don’t like, donate them. Charity shops may or may not take them. Drop-in centres for the homeless may be glad of them. And if all else fails, they can often be recycled.

If they’re barely worn you may find that you can sell them on sites like ebay, Depop or Vinted.


Shoes in a box labelled Donations


  1.       Make sure they are clean and dry

Packing shoes clean and dried is the only way to ensure they reach next summer in good condition. Dust them off. Brush clean suede fabrics. According to what they are made of, wipe them with a damp cloth, fabric specific cleaner, or polish.

(I also add shoe deodorising powder to mine, and sprigs of lavender, but that’s a personal preference.)

Make sure any repairs are done before packing, and as long as left to dry before packing, fabric and leather conditioners are going to ensure your shoes arrive in Spring in better condition.


  1.       Stuff the shoes

Stuff the shoes with clean packing paper (not plastics, which may bond with the shoe) or even with clean socks, to help them keep their shape.

A wooden shoe tree (shoe horn) can also be useful for storing shoes, especially cedar which has a deodorising quality. Allow shoes to air for at least a day after use or the tree could trap dampness and bacteria inside and lead to deterioration.


Shoes hanging to dry on a washing line outside


Don’t fold long boots – the bend will mark. Stuff long legs to help them keep their shape.


  1.       Group shoes by type

Dress shoes, walking shoes, work shoes, beach shoes, running shoes….

Grouping them together will help you find them again easily, and will make cleaning them (as they’ll need similar treatment) and packing them quicker and easier – as well as being easier to locate come next Spring.


  1.       Box what you can/what matters individually

If you haven’t saved the boxes your shoes came in, find or buy boxes of around the right size for delicate or favourite pairs. Wrap them around with clean packing paper, and scrunch packing paper around them to stop them rattling around, minimising the chance of damage.


  1.       Trainers, flip flops etc.

Some shoes are likely to be put in a box/container together

Summer trainers/running shoes: make sure these in particular are really clean and dry. They hold sweat which will harbour bacteria that at best will get smellier, at worst rot the fabric. Tie shoelaces together to keep the pairs together, wrap in clean paper, stuff the insides to keep in shape and pop them into the box.


Running trainers in shoe boxes


Flip flop type sandals: make sure they are thoroughly clean, and that the stem that goes between toes has not come out – if it has, the chance of fixing rubber soled flip flops is minimal, although YouTube offers some fixes that you can always try.  You may, however, simply be prolonging the loss.  Pop the shoes toe to tail and hold together with rubber bands. If they have decorative beading or tassles, wrap individually first. If the they are simply rubber ones, you may just want to wrap them together.

Pack heavier, sturdier and bulkier shoes at the bottom. This makes box carrying easier as well as reducing any likelihood of damage.



  •         Drawstring shoe bags are great options for shoe storage.
  •         A sprig of lavender or a cedar wood block/ball can keep things smelling sweet.
  •         Unbleached muslin fabric is a great alternative to paper as it wicks away residual moisture.
  •         Pay special attention to protection around metal buckles and sequins, which can not only scratch other things, but are also easily broken.
  •         Some places sell little packets of silica gel which can be useful to keep shoes dry.


  1.       Mark the box(es) clearly

Mark the box(es) with exactly what’s inside – winter can be a very long time!


  1.       Store somewhere safe and dry

Temperature extremes can turn leather and suede brittle, damage fabrics and make glues deteriorate. Attics and basements can become damp and dusty.

easyStorage is here to help with your storage needs:


Online tips best avoided

Scouring the web for tips, we found some suggestions that we’ve not tried, but seem best avoided:

  •         putting tea bags in with shoes - this will stain your shoes if any moisture gets in;
  •         putting smelly shoes in the freezer. This will leave them wet, so make sure if you try this that you thoroughly dry them. However, given that damp shoes breed mould, we’re not sure we’d trust this!
  • Using newspaper as a substitute for packing paper, like coloured tissue paper, can leave stains. Only use unused packing or tissue, or even clean paper towels.

For more items to pack away for Summer then click here - you will thank us next year!