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How to Pack Clothes for Moving

Poorly packed clothing can cause a lot of headaches. Pants and shirts not only arrive wrinkled and dirty, but possibly damaged as well. Hurriedly packed clothes are also messy. Rather than saving time, they make unpacking more difficult and time-consuming. On the other hand, knowing how to pack clothes saves time and effort. They arrive at your new home clean, fresh, and organized ‒ easy to unpack and put away. Make sure your clothes are packed safely and snugly for the journey by following the tips below.

Organized closet

Purge Your Wardrobe

Most people have at least a few items of clothing they haven’t worn in a while: an old T-shirt, a faded pair of jeans, a jacket that no longer fits, etc. Before you start packing, go through your clothing. Anything that’s tattered, ill-fitting, or has been sitting unused in your closet or drawer for more than a year should be sold, donated, or thrown away. If you’re moving to a different climate (hot to cold or vice versa), you might need to pare down your wardrobe even further, keeping only what’s practical to wear in your new location. Concentrate on clothes you wear often or that hold sentimental value. Decluttering saves time, money, and effort. The less you have to pack, the less time it will take. You’ll also spend less on shipping costs.

Sort Your Clothes

Once you know what’s coming with you, group your clothes according to season. Depending on your moving date, you might not need your summer or winter outfits for a while. Pack anything out of season first and save anything you might need for last. And while it may be tempting to save boxes by packing everything together, it’s better to pack everyone’s clothes in separate boxes. That way, you can assign each box to a specific room and won’t have to re-sort everyone’s clothes when you arrive at your new home.

Assemble Plenty of Boxes

Not every box is a good fit for every piece of clothing. While standard moving boxes are fine for some items, others are better off in specialized containers. Fortunately, when it comes to packing clothes, there are lots of options, such as:

  • Wardrobe Boxes. Tall boxes with a hanging bar that let you transport clothes on hangers. A bit more expensive than ordinary boxes, but the best way to keep clothes safe.
  • Moving Boxes. Made from double-walled, corrugated cardboard, these boxes are great for clothes you fold up in your dresser. Though large boxes are available, small-to-medium boxes are easier to carry and harder to overload.
  • Suitcases. Strong, sturdy, and easy to maneuver, suitcases are an ideal way to transport clothing. Pack as much into them as you can.
  • Plastic Bins. More expensive than cardboard, but great at keeping clothes dry. Plastic bins are indispensable if you’re moving at a time of year when you might encounter rain or snow.
  • Garbage Bags. Cheap and easy to carry, garbage bags are a useful way to pack items you don’t need to worry about getting wrinkled, such as socks and underwear.
  • Vacuum Bags. In addition to waterproofing their contents, vacuum sealed bags help save space by compressing bulky items, such as sweaters, sweatshirts, and heavy jackets.

Choose a Folding Method

How you fold your clothes is important. It saves space, prevents wrinkles, and reduces risk of damage. Though there isn’t one universally accepted folding method, the three most popular are:

  • Flat Fold. The most common way to fold clothes. Start by laying your shirt flat, then folding both sleeves towards the middle. Finish by folding the bottom of the shirt up and smoothing out any wrinkles. For pants, lay them flat and fold one leg over the other. Then fold them in thirds, smooth them out, and pack them away.
  • Military Fold. Perhaps the best way to save space. First, lay the shirt flat, flip the bottom inside out, and roll it up a few inches. Then fold the sleeves in towards the center and fold the shirt in thirds, so each side meets in the middle. Finally, roll the shirt up as tight as possible, straightening it out as you go to prevent wrinkles. Pants are even simpler. Flip the top inside out and roll it up a few inches. Next, lay the pants flat and fold one leg over the other before rolling them up from the bottom as tightly as possible.
  • KonMari Fold. Professional organizer Marie Kondo's favorite folding method. Fold one side towards the center, making sure it's flat and smooth. Then fold the other half the same way. Next, fold the shirt in half lengthwise, leaving a small gap at the top. Finally, fold the shirt in thirds and pack it on its side to save as much space as possible.

Launder Your Clothes

Stains and odors set with time. Since your clothes are going to be packed tightly together the entire trip, washing helps ensure they remain fresh. It also eliminates sweat and bug residue. While you can’t see them, clothing tends to accumulate both over time and they can cause significant discoloration. Running them through your washing machine or sending them out for dry cleaning before you move not only keeps them looking great, it even extends their lifespan.

Protect Your Shoes

Shoes are made to be durable, but that doesn’t mean they’re invincible. While their soles can take a beating, everything else is likely to be crushed or scuffed when tossed into a shipping container. Stuff them with packing paper to help them keep their shape and prevent creases, then wrap them up to guard against scrapes and other damage.

Pack Jewelry Separately

Jewelry is valuable and fragile. Mixing it in with the rest of your apparel will usually leave it scratched and tangled. Packing it in separate containers and compartments is the best way to keep it safe. And because you don’t want it jostled around, carry it with you during your move, rather than loading it onto a truck with the rest of your belongings.

Wrap Delicate Clothing in Garment Bags

Packing expensive clothes or formalwear generally requires more care than outfits you wear everyday. Wardrobe boxes are the best way to transport suits, gowns, and other valuable items. But before packing, give them an extra layer of protection. Garment bags keep your clothing free of dust, dirt, hair, and odor, while preventing wrinkles, snags, and pulls, so your clothes arrive as good as new.

Label Every Box

Once a box is full, write the contents on the label, along with the room where it belongs and whose clothes are inside. That way, the movers know exactly where to bring it and your family can quickly find any item of clothing they need.

Packing with Allied

Allied is a full-service moving company. We assist you every step of the way, from packing to transportation and set-up. Our teams have a huge supply of wardrobe and moving boxes. They can even pitch in and help you pack! Make sure your move runs as smoothly as possible. Contact us today for a free quote!