How to Pack Clothes for a Move (2024)

By Ross Bentley | April 6, 2023

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When you move to a new home, it’s essential to pack your clothes with care to maintain their quality and preserve their value. However, packing clothes for a move can be daunting, especially when it involves high-end garments and delicate fabrics. That’s why many people invest in professional packing services from a top-tier moving company.

In this article, we’ll guide you through the most secure and efficient ways to pack clothes for a move, from using wardrobe boxes to custom garment bags. Whether you’re moving across town, the country, or the globe, our expert tips on how to pack clothes for moving will ensure your wardrobe receives the VIP treatment it deserves.



What to Do Before Packing

Before you begin packing your clothes, follow the steps below to make the process smoother and more efficient.

Purge Your Closet

Purging your closet is an essential first step in preparing your wardrobe for a move. It makes packing easier and lets you start fresh in your new home.

As you sift through your closet, be ruthless in your decluttering. Consider donating or selling any items you haven’t worn in the past year, as well as any items that no longer fit, are damaged, or show signs of wear. You can also take this opportunity to organize your closet and create a capsule wardrobe for your new home.

Sell or Donate Unwanted Items

Once you have identified items to let go of, decide whether to sell or donate them. Selling your clothes online can be a great way to make extra money before the move, and websites such as Poshmark and thredUP make it easy. 

Alternatively, you can donate your clothing items to charity organizations such as Goodwill, the Salvation Army, or a local shelter. By donating your gently used clothes, you can help those in need and reduce the amount of waste going to landfills.

Launder Everything

Before packing your wardrobe, make sure to launder everything. This includes washing and drying your clothes according to their care instructions as well as ironing or steaming any wrinkled items.

Laundering your clothes before the move will ensure they are clean and dry, which will help prevent mold and mildew during transit. It also makes unpacking easier, as you will not have to worry about washing your clothes before putting them away in your new home.

Sort Items by Type

Organize your clothes by sorting them into groups based on type. This will save you time and effort in three ways. First, grouping similar items together will make the packing process more efficient. For example, you can pack all your T-shirts in one box using the flat-fold method and pack all your dresses in another box using garment bags

Sorting your clothes will also make it easier to take inventory, which is especially important if you plan to hire long-distance movers. Finally, sorting your clothes by type makes unpacking simpler, allowing you to quickly locate specific items when you need them.

Take Inventory

Once your clothes are organized, take inventory. Having a detailed list on-hand will ensure nothing gets left behind during the packing or loading process. Once your belongings arrive at your new home, you can use the same list to determine whether anything was lost or damaged in transit. This will make it easier to file a moving insurance claim if necessary.

To take inventory of your wardrobe, go through your closet and dresser drawers. For each accessory or article of clothing, note the category, brand, color, and any other relevant details in a spreadsheet, mobile app, or notebook.

Obtain Packing Supplies

You will need various sizes of boxes, packing paper or tissue paper, bubble wrap, packing tape, wardrobe boxes, and garment bags to pack your clothing items safely. You can purchase these supplies directly from a moving company, or you can shop at a local home improvement or office supply school.

If you hire a moving company, check with them before purchasing packing materials. Your moving quote may include the cost of packing supplies.



How to Pack Hanging Clothes

The best way to pack hanging clothes depends on your needs, your move distance, and the amount of clothing you have. Here are a few options:



How to Pack Non-Hanging Clothes

Non-hanging clothes can be trickier to pack than hanging clothes, if only because you have more options and factors to consider. You can review the most common packing methods below:



How to Pack Shoes and Accessories

The safest way to pack shoes and other accessories is in special boxes—shoe boxes for shoes, hat boxes for hats, and jewelry boxes for jewelry. These specialty boxes provide better protection and organization than regular moving boxes. Be sure to wrap shoes, hats, and purses in paper or plastic to prevent scuffs and stuff them with packing paper to help them hold their shape.

It’s best to pack shoes in their original boxes if you still have them. Otherwise, you can purchase plastic or cardboard shoe boxes. Individual drawstring bags are another option. You can also pack carefully wrapped shoes, purses, and other accessories in the bottom of wardrobe boxes to save space.

Regardless of which method you choose, be sure to label the boxes or bags with the contents and the room they belong in—this will make unpacking easier.



How to Pack and Transport Delicate Pieces

You should take extra care to ensure your delicate pieces arrive at their destination in good condition. Here are a few tips on how to pack and transport delicate or expensive pieces:



Top Packing Tips for Moving

Here are a few clothing packing tips to make the moving process easier:



Our Recommendation

Packing clothes for a move requires careful planning and attention to detail, whether you are moving across town in a van or hiring full-service interstate movers for a cross-country relocation. Use wardrobe boxes or garment bags for hanging clothes, and wrap particularly delicate items, such as silk or cashmere pieces. For non-hanging clothes, use the flat-fold method or military rolling method to pack them efficiently and prevent wrinkles.

By following our expert types and using high-end packing supplies such as canvas garment bags and acid-free tissue paper, you can ensure that your clothes remain pristine. Remember to pack efficiently, label clearly, and set aside a few days’ worth of essentials to keep with you during the move.



Packing Clothes for Moving FAQ

Will movers pack clothes?

Yes, most full-service moving companies offer packing services, which can include packing clothes. That means for an additional fee, the movers will bring packing supplies to your home and pack your clothes and other belongings for you.

How do you move a bunch of clothes?

Careful planning and packing are important when you need to move a bunch of clothes. Follow these steps:Sort your clothes into categories.Use high-quality packing supplies.Label boxes or bins clearly.Fill empty spaces in boxes with smaller items.Use vacuum-sealed bags to save space.Pack a personal bag with essentials.

How do you pack clothes to take up the least amount of space?

If you want to pack clothes to take up the least amount of space, here are a few methods you can use:Use the rolling method rather than folding your clothes.Use compression bags to squeeze the air out of bulky clothes.Use vacuum-sealed bags to compress clothes that will not wrinkle.Use packing cubes to compartmentalize and compress clothes.Pack tightly and fill empty spaces with smaller items, such as socks or underwear.

How do you pack clothes to make sure they don’t get wrinkled?

If you want to pack clothes to make sure they don’t get wrinkled, you have several options:Garment bagsFlat-fold methodRolling methodPacking cubesUnpack quickly