8 Ways to Use Your Men’s ShoeboxesWritten by Gavin Humphreys
What do you do with your shoebox once you take out that lovely new pair of shoes, boots, or sneakers?
It always seems a waste to throw it away - and it really is.
How many ideas are there for reusing a box? I doubt there’s an end to the possibilities.
My father used a shoebox for his farm tax receipts - much to the dismay of his accountant. I have my secret stash of my favorite chocolates in a shoebox. There are so many different ways that we can use them.
We recently carried out a survey, and around 70% of our customers said they find a use for the shoebox after they take the shoes out. They are potentially very handy things.
Upcycle, reuse, adapt - it’s all about thinking outside the box!
Before we get onto how to use shoeboxes - let’s look at exactly what a shoebox is (and more specifically, our Beckett Simonon Shoebox).
The good thing about shoeboxes is that they are made from stronger cardboard than most boxes, and they look more attractive.
Not all shoeboxes are created equal - and we are rather proud of our box. Not only is it pretty darned attractive, it also has environmental credentials!
Adela, our Becket Simonon Responsibility Coordinator, told me, “The body of the box is made from a strong cardboard that is 100% recycled.”
Not only that! “The box has a black outer covering, made by a local company from unbleached materials. The paper mill is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council and sources all its energy from wind turbines.”
Then she flipped over the lid. “The inner-lining of the cardboard is an attractive wine color. This paper is also made locally - from sugar-cane! After the sugar is extracted, in the past, the fibrous cane was just wastage. Our paper supplier turns that ‘waste’ into paper.” Again they use no bleaching chemicals and have been awarded the Colombian Environmental Seal by the Colombian government.
Beckett Simonon is always trying to find new ways to be a responsible company, but I was impressed to find all this out from Adela. It makes it even more satisfying when I take advantage of the box for other things!
8 original ideas to reuse shoeboxes - for men
There are so many ways to reuse the box after you take the shoes, boots, or sneakers out.
A quick google search throws up a lot of ideas - but they tend to be angled toward the fairer sex. There are plenty of ways men can reuse our shoeboxes, though. Here are just a few ideas for inspiration:
Storing your shoe-cleaning kit
Keep the creams, polishes, sprays, brushes, cloths, and all those bits and pieces that you use to take care of your footwear neat and stored away in one easy-to-find place.
If you look after your shoe-care kit then it will keep in good condition much longer - and be much easier to lay your hands on for when you want to give your shoes a clean. Remember, if you find yourself stuck inside more these days, it’s a great opportunity to give some attention to your shoes.
In the same box (or maybe you will need a second one...) why not store your extra shoelaces, inserts, shoe horns, and other shoe-related items?
Mini-theater for the kids
This is a lot of fun - and engages the creative side. If you cut away a miniature proscenium arch, add some curtains from old rags, and then create little figures to populate the stage.
Your only limit is your imagination!
How about keeping your shoes neat and making the most of your cupboard space at the same time?
If you have a collection of shoes, there is a good chance that you don’t use all of them all of the time. Even if you are constantly rotating all your shoes, it is a good idea to store them away in an organized manner so that they keep their shape, avoid the sun, and don’t get covered in dust.
How do you know which shoes are in which box? There are a couple of solutions - with nice black boxes, like ours, you can write the description with a piece of chalk.
A lot of sneaker collectors like to tape an instant photo (like a Polaroid) to the side of the box so you can see at a glance.
Another option is to cut out a little window in the front of the box - this way, you know which box to slide out. If you want to keep the dust out, just glue a sheet of clear plastic to make the window solid.
Cufflinks and other small men’s accessories, such as watches, pocket squares, and tie pins, can be difficult to keep in order - we men don’t tend to have a jewelry box! However, we can improvise by making some ‘modifications’ to a shoebox.
Don’t just throw them in; get creative and keep everything nice and organized.
You can attach pieces of elastic to hold the cufflinks, or craft little drawers within the shoebox using matchboxes.
There are so many different cables for all our devices these days. I have to admit, I have them all tangled up in a drawer and can never find the one I need! This is a DIY fixit that I need to do with a shoebox.
You can use cardboard toilet paper or paper towel rolls to create a honeycomb effect by taping or gluing them together. In each compartment, store a cable.
For longer cables, it might be an HDMI for your TV or a laptop charger, create a larger division with thick cardboard.
Organization of receipts
I mentioned that my father threw his receipts into a box. If you do this, using a shoebox to file receipts can be a real head-ache - but create some smart dividers, et voila!
You can cut these out of thick cardboard, or even thin wood, and label what each section contains.
You can use this idea to organize other things too. If you have a greenhouse, you might want to gather seeds and keep them to plant the next season - again, this is the perfect way to remember which seeds are what!
You might want to keep your cocktail recipes in order, and divide them by the main ingredient.
You can also create attractive ‘in/out’ trays for your home office by cutting off the ends of the lids and papering them nicely.
Really, anything you want to organize, the box is the thing!
Wedding envelope box
Beckett Simonon shoes are popular for weddings because of their classic style and gorgeous craftsmanship - but when they arrive for the big day, don’t chuck the box!
If you have a gift table, a lot of guests will leave little tokens in an envelope - why not convert your shoebox into a stylish envelope box?
The beauty of a shoebox is that it is sleek, just the right size, and easy enough to open and close.
Every wedding is different, perhaps you ask your invited family and friends to leave little notes throughout the evening, and deposit them into an envelope box?
This idea might also be useful for your bachelor party - or maybe the baby shower further down the line!
View an eclipse
Finally, this is a memorable way to reuse a good shoebox. The last solar eclipse I saw, I was at a stone circle in Scotland, and people had come from all around for the big moment. Several had viewers made from shoeboxes.
You never want to view a solar eclipse with the naked eye. With a shoebox, all the family can see - and get involved in creating the viewer.
It is pretty straightforward - you cut a square at one end, cover with tinfoil and pierce a hole, and that will project the sun onto a sheet of paper at the back, allowing you to see the moon slowly covering the sun.
Now it’s out of the box!
There are no end of possibilities when it comes to reusing a shoebox - but these are some ideas to get you thinking and doing.
If you have any other suggestions, leave me a comment below. I would love to hear how you use your shoebox.
I’ve found them to be the best shoe or storage box over ever owned. Too bad you’re far away because I would actually purchase 2- 3 extra ti store other boots.