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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.
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.
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:
- Wardrobe boxes: Wardrobe boxes are made of heavy-duty cardboard and include a metal bar to hang clothes on. They come in various sizes and have built-in handles for easy carrying. Wardrobe boxes are efficient and provide excellent protection for your clothes.
- Garment bags: Garment bags come in various sizes and materials, from breathable canvas to mildew-resistant polyester and even premium leather. Simply hang your clothes inside the bag, then zip it up for protection. Garment bags are relatively lightweight and easy to transport. However, they may not be suitable for delicate fabrics, as they can compress clothes and cause wrinkles.
- Rolling rack: A rolling rack is essentially a wheeled frame with a hanging bar. Rolling racks are lightweight, easy to move, and often adjustable. With a rolling rack, you can easily transport a closet full of hanging clothes without the hassle of separating them into multiple wardrobe boxes or garment bags. However, they do not offer as much protection as other options, as your clothes will be exposed.
- Portable closet: A portable closet is essentially a cross between a rolling rack and a wardrobe box or garment bag. Portable closets are lightweight and feature a hanging bar, frame, and zippered fabric cover. They are good for keeping your hanging clothes in a single place and protected from the elements. However, they can be bulky and take up a lot of space.
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:
- Folded method: The most common way to pack non-hanging clothes is to fold them into neat, compact squares or rectangles. To use this method, fold the garment in half lengthwise, then fold it in half again or in thirds, depending on the size. This method is ideal for dress shirts, sweaters, and other delicate items.
- Military rolling method: The military rolling method involves tightly rolling clothes into compact bundles to save space and prevent wrinkles. To use this method, lay the garment flat and smooth out any wrinkles. Then fold the sleeves inward and roll the garment tightly from the bottom up. This method suits T-shirts, jeans, and other casual clothing items.
- Compression bags: Vacuum-sealed bags and compression bags are a great way to save space. Simply fold and stack your clothes inside the bag, then follow the instructions to remove the air. This will compress the clothes so that you can pack more into less space. Compression bags work especially well for bulky items, such as winter coats and sweaters.
- Suitcases and duffle bags: If you have suitcases or duffle bags, you can use them to pack your clothes instead of moving boxes. Just remember that luggage can be heavy and unsuitable for delicate items.
- Dresser drawers: If you have dressers, you can leave the clothes inside the drawers and transport the entire dresser to your new home. This convenient option eliminates the need to pack and unpack your clothes. However, it is important to remove any fragile items or items that could spill and damage your clothes during transport.
- Packing paper and tissue paper: Delicate items may need to be wrapped in tissue paper or packing paper to prevent them from getting wrinkled or damaged during the move. Simply fold the item carefully, wrap it in paper, and then pack it in a box or suitcase with similar items.
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:
- Use garment bags: Garment bags provide an extra layer of protection for suits, dresses, coats, and other delicate items. Make sure to hang garments on sturdy wooden or padded hangers.
- Wrap jewelry carefully: Wrap each piece of jewelry in tissue paper or packing paper to prevent tangles and scratches. Place the wrapped jewelry in a small box or pouch, then pack it inside a larger box with similar items.
- Use acid-free tissue paper: When packing delicate accessories such as hats or scarves, use acid-free tissue paper to prevent discoloration and damage to the fabric. This type of paper—specifically designed to prevent the transfer of acids—is widely available at craft stores and online retailers.
- Pack fragile items together: Fold delicate or expensive clothing items carefully and use tissue paper or packing paper to prevent creases and wrinkles. Then, pack them together rather than store them with less fragile items. Label the box or garment bag as “delicate” or “fragile,” and ensure it’s one of the last items loaded onto the moving truck.
- Wrap shoes and purses: You can wrap shoes and purses in bubble wrap, packing paper, or soft fabric, such as cotton or velvet. This will help prevent scuffs or scratches during transport.
Top Packing Tips for Moving
Here are a few clothing packing tips to make the moving process easier:
- Pack early: Begin packing your clothes at least two or three weeks before your moving date. Pack off-season clothes and seldomly worn pieces first. As the moving date gets closer, pack any other clothes that you will not need in the immediate future.
- Pack an essentials bag: Set aside a personal bag to keep with you during the move. This bag should contain a few changes of clean clothes, toiletries, and any essential items you might need during the first few days in your new home.
- Stay organized and take inventory: As you pack, take inventory and sort clothes by type. Pack similar items together and label any boxes or garment boxes clearly. This will make unpacking easier and ensure that your clothes end up in the right place. It will also make it easier to determine whether anything has gone missing and file an insurance claim for damaged items.
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