How to Pack Clothes for Moving Without Losing Your Mind

If you’re wondering how to pack clothes for moving, don’t worry. It is not really rocket science, but it is also far from a no brainer. So far, you’ve been holding on well, handling all the challenges, but if stress and anxiety have been piling up, it is just a matter of time when you’re going to snap. If this wasn’t one of the things you googled so far, don’t panic, for you’re at the right place. We know all the tricks that could help you avoid a last-minute disaster.

clothes-in-the-closet overlay
September 2, 2020 Posted in How-to

We’ve all packed a suitcase or two for vacation, but having to pack literally every single piece of clothing you have, from socks to coats, is a different level task. And let’s face it, there will undoubtedly be a few points during your cross country moving adventure when you will be on edge to lose your mind. But if you learn how to pack clothes for a move efficiently, this won’t be the part of that nerve-wracking story.

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What Is the Fastest Way to Pack for a Move?

Let’s start with this one because if you’re in a hurry and making a last-minute move, you don’t have the time to read through everything and find that life-saving tip that could solve your burning situation. Depending on how many days you have at disposal, you should consider making an inventory list to get an idea of how much stuff you have and what goes where. Every second invested in a proper organization will pay off, so don’t just wing it – have a real plan.

How to Pack Clothing in a Hurry?

Wondering how to pack quickly if you have to organize a move in less than a week? It doesn’t really get much different than when you have weeks or months. You just have to do it all ten times faster. Here are a few quick tips for you:

  • Quickly select all the things you no longer wear and put them on a separate pile.
  • Separate all the things that are traveling with you in your moving day essentials bag.
  • If there’s no time to sort clothing by type or season, just load, you’ll sort later.
  • Take all the already folded stuff and just transfer it into boxes, no need to rearrange them.
  • Garments on hangers should be just wrapped with a garbage bag.
  • Ask for help, whether from friends or from a reliable interstate moving company that provides packing services and moving boxes.
Last-minute relocations are always challenging, try not to forget something.
Are you out of time? Make sure you don't forget your essentials.

When Should I Start Packing for a Move?

Wondering when to start packing for a move? Well, if you have weeks and months ahead, sit back, relax, and take notes, because there are several things you should do to complete everything right on time and with no moving stress on sight. In the ideal case scenario, two months would be perfect for doing everything with ease, but it is all manageable even if you have only two weeks.

Basically, you can start packing clothes the minute your interstate moving date is confirmed. Begin by making your moving to-do list and moving checklist (and no, those two are not really the same thing.) The perk of having enough time is that you can organize everything thoroughly so you can avoid some of the most common things people forget when moving.

So if you have figured out how much cross country movers cost and decided to book a date, feel free to start sorting and wrapping things you don’t use daily. Pack toys, golf clubs, or prepare your guitar for shipping, and then as the big day approaches, focus on those frequently used things like electronic devices, pots, and pans.

Items you don't use daily should be packed first.
Start by storing items you don't frequently use as soon as you get your relocation date.

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Pack Clothes for Moving

If it never crossed your mind that perhaps you have too much clothing, you’re about to realize that. Long distance moving is a great occasion to go through everything you have and rediscover some forgotten fashionable gems and declutter your collection. So let’s take a look at how that process should look ideally.

Step 1: Consider Getting Rid of Stuff You Don’t Use

If you’re one of those people who get emotionally attached to items, you’re not going to love this part. But the truth is, getting rid of the stuff you no longer wear will not only reduce the cost of your moving services but it could also help you earn some money if you organize a garage sale. Of course, there is always the option to donate clothes for the homeless or to charity organizations.

Step 2: Pick a Sorting Method Before You Start Packing Clothes for Moving

In case you’re moving during the summer months, it would be the most logical thing first to start with winter stuff you’re currently not wearing, and vice versa, if you’re relocating in winter. If you already picked the best time of the year to relocate, you can sort your garments based on the type, size, material, or go by closet or room. Come up with a system that works for you, especially if you plan on renting storage and leaving your stuff there for a while. Also, if your stuff will spend some time in storage, make sure you wash them before storing them.

Step 3: Ensure Your Have Enough Supplies

Do you know how many moving boxes, bags, and other supplies you’ll need? Do you know how many types of packing materials are there? They are numerous, but you don’t have to get them all. Bubble wrap is the most famous one, but plastic wrap, garbage and vacuum bags are often overlooked, even though they can be very handy. You can also use your suitcases, but consider getting boxes in different sizes, and don’t forget everyone’s favorite wardrobe box. It is a lifesaver for those who don’t want to spend the first week in their new home ironing.

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Step 4: Essentials Should Go First

Is your new home just a short ride away or you’re moving long-distance?  Whatever the case, your essentials bag should be ready, and this is not something you should do in a hurry. Here is a brief list of things you should carry in your essentials bag, but feel free to customize it and add more items:

  • Documents
  • Toiletries
  • Underwear
  • Pajamas
  • One or two outfits
  • Valuables
  • Medications

Step 5: Start With Off-Season Clothing and Shoes

The easiest way to do this is to start with things you won’t use in the days ahead of your relocation. Wash them and store them into boxes, and don’t forget to label each one. The same goes for shoes. Store shoes separately and fill them with socks to keep their shape intact. As the relocation week approaches, load more and more things so that in the last day or two, there is not much to do, and you can have a stress-free relocation day.

Step 6: Create Content Lists

Sometimes it is not enough to just write what room is stored in the box, because if you put your stuff in storage, or decide to leave something unpacked for a while, you’ll quickly forget what is where. Take a look at some labeling advice before relocating, and create detailed content lists for each box, it will help you have a hassle-free unpacking after you move into a new home.

These tips will help you stay organized and ease the unpacking part once the stuff is shipped to your new home.
Separate shoes from shirts and pants, you'll thank us later when you start unpacking in your new home.

Are Moving Bags for Clothes Better Than Boxes?

Many believe that the good old box is essential and probably the best material ever. Partially, we agree, but when it comes to the best way to pack clothes for moving, there are other options, and many prefer bags. Why?

First of all, they have handles, so it is easier to carry them around. Furthermore, they are mainly made of plastic, which makes them somewhat waterproof, unlike cardboard. If you use a large box, it will be easy to fill it, but very heavy to lift and navigate around the house. Due to handles, two people can carry a bag, so it can be a more convenient solution.

Bags are move convenient and easier to carry around.
Are bags a better solution? Try both and see it for yourself.

Should I Roll or Fold Clothing?

To fold or roll is usually the main dilemma when it comes to how to pack clothes when moving. Although folding is the good old method we all know and love, things can get really wrinkly no matter how carefully you fold them, and especially when everything is cramped in a container or suitcase for days. Make sure to give the Konmari method a try. It will provide you with a new perspective on folding.

Many claim that rolling is the best way to pack clothes for a move because clothing doesn’t get so wrinkly, and allegedly, saves more space. However, to achieve that, you need to roll properly and carefully, but the question is, how much space can you really save by rolling? Let’s try to find out.

The Grand Debate: Rolling Vs. Folding

To show you what is the best way to pack clothes, we decided that the best would be to play a brief video and see it for yourself. We’ll leave the final verdict up to you.

What Should You Not Pack When Moving

Do you know what movers won’t move? Surprisingly, many things, including relocating live plants, and some other items like flammables, perishable foods, etc. However, luckily, shirts and pants are not on that list, so you’re safe when it comes to clothing. But, you should still think about the things you can leave behind. Things that are no longer wearable or that don’t fit you anymore; perhaps your style changed or you lost some weight. There’s no need to carry those things you won’t be wearing.

There are some things that shouldn't be on your list because movers won't move them or keep in storage.
Take a look at some tips on things movers won't move or keep in storage before making your list.

One Final Tip – Let Someone Else Do It, So You Don’t Lose Your Mind

What is the best way to move clothes? To let someone else do it instead of you, of course. But, before you ship your belongings to another state, consider letting someone else do all that time-consuming packing. Doing a DIY move and getting a rental truck might seem like a cheaper option if you’re looking for the cheapest way to move out of the state, but will you be close to losing your mind at some point? Probably.

Check out how much do movers cost for a one-bedroom apartment or even bigger homes. It could pay off and save you from stress. Just make sure to do your research and find a reliable long-distance moving company so you can avoid being scammed by movers. Always check their USDOT number, for starters, and ask friends for recommendations and advice.

Jane Davis

Apart from being a freelance writer and moving expert, Jane is also an art and museum lover.



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