Shoe boxes tend to be sturdy and compact, and are often an ideal size for creative reuse ideas. They can be handy for storage, mailing, organizing, and crafts projects. For people concerned about the outward appearance of shoe boxes, they can be quickly covered in paper to make them look more uniform, or dismantled and turned inside out to expose the plain interior.
One way to use shoe boxes is for their original purpose: Storing shoes. Women's shoes in particular tend to become scuffed and damaged in routine storage. Shoe bags can provide a compact method for storing shoes but they also tend to become disorganized. Boxes allow for storage of shoes in their original containers to prevent damage while making it easy to identify the right pair of shoes at a glance.
Shoe boxes are also useful for storing craft supplies, toys, and other small objects that tend to spread out and make a mess. In crafts, they can make excellent dispensers for ribbons, yarn, embroidery floss, and similar supplies. They are also useful for storage within larger drawers and boxes; a set of boxes in a dresser drawer, for example, can separate out underwear and socks and prevent messes.
In addition, shoe boxes can be powerful organizing tools. They may be handy for receipt storage, allowing for the storage of different kinds of receipts in their own boxes to make taxes easier at the end of the year. For households using envelope budgeting, a shoe box can hold the budget envelopes in a central location for convenience. The size is also suitable for photographs, compact discs, letters, digital video discs, and other media that tend to become disorganized if left loose.
Shoe boxes are a good size for dioramas and similar crafts projects. They make extremely useful mailing containers for care packages. The sturdy construction eliminates the need for extra reinforcement, and the size is suitable for mailing a variety of objects. Another use for a shoe box can be a prayer or goal box, where people write down ideas, worries, or goals and stick them into the box to hold them for future reflection.
Gardeners may find shoe boxes ideal for storing packages of seeds as well as botanical specimens and gardening notes. Cooks can use them for recipe organizing, as the size permits storage of large recipe cards with room for notes as cooks experiment with cooking projects. They can also make useful medication and medical supply organizers.