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Posted in How-to, Moving Tips&Tricks on November 19, 2021
Gemma Collins

Gemma is an NJ local that has explored all the US states, making her the perfect person to write about moving.

How to Pack Clothes for Moving Long-Distance – Best Tips and Tricks

Packing for a move has a lot of elements. You have to think about furniture, breakable things, and all the jackets in the wardrobe. Still, you may be happy to hear that packing clothes is likely the easiest thing on your to-do list. Learn how to pack clothes for moving at the drop of a hat with our tips and tricks.

While the easiest way to move truly is calling long-distance moving services, there are a few other relocation tips you can follow to package efficiently. Movers don’t box up everything, so you wouldn’t exactly be twiddling your thumbs in anticipation of relocating. Aside from professional help, you could use an ultimate relocation guide, especially when it comes to preparing the closet.

How Long Before Moving Should You Start Packing Clothing?

Unless you have a dozen closets filled with garments, you won’t need more than a week to get everything packed. And if you do, then make sure to follow the golden rule of relocating – decluttering. Whatever packaging tips you find online, they’ll all say the same thing: prioritizing things you’ll keep is essential.

Additionally, estimating the best time to package will help the process stay organized and on schedule. So if there’s a lot of garments to roll, fold, and steam iron, count that it could take between a day and three days; you know your pace and obligations the best.

Take Enough Time to Declutter Before Packing

We already mentioned that learning how to pack clothes when moving should start with decluttering. That doesn’t apply only to clothing, though. You should prioritize when wanting to move furniture, too. The sense of lightness and relief after decluttering is irreplaceable because you won’t only have less to package, you will, more importantly, save on relocation expenses.

Start wondering what should you not pack when moving and stop thinking that every piece of clothing is necessary. Before you say there’s nothing unnecessary in your closet, remember the pants from high school you still keep at the back of the closet, hoping to fit into them again someday. That day may not come again, but that’s OK. You still look good. Now, throw them out and move on.

A woman looking into a drawer full of socks and underwear
Decluttering is the best path to happiness, both for you and your wallet

Buckle Down and Learn How to Pack Clothes for Moving Step by Step

There isn’t just one best way to pack clothes for a move. Instead, it’s done with a combination of techniques and methods that seem like very creative storage ideas. There’s no school out there for packaging, but it sure seems like lessons are necessary for someone relocating for the first time.

There may be many ways to package, but step by step is always the best option, such as:

  • Separate the clothing you always/often wear,
  • Divide the garments you rarely wear into piles – never worn, can’t wear anymore, might wear, and necessary for special occasions,
  • The might wear pile could go into a separate box; the ‘nevers’ and ‘can’t wears’ should be thrown out as soon as you get the chance. Trust us, it’s for the best,
  • The garments needed for rare occasions could go into trash bags while still on hangers; this will keep them from wrinkling as much as possible,
  • Of course, the pile of clothing you always wear should be packed into a suitcase and come with you; if there is a lot of it, then separate it into essentials for the first week and those that can wait a few days before being unpacked.
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Pack Out of Season Clothes in Boxes

If you’re relocating in winter, then the summer dresses and shirts won’t be a priority for now. When packing clothes for moving, people tend to make the relocation mistake of packaging according to size. Smaller shirts are always easier to fit somewhere in the suitcase, but if it’s cold outside, that small shirt isn’t going to save you.

Ensure to package everything out of season into boxes that will be placed in the relocation truck. Additionally, don’t go for one giant container, but go with a few if necessary. It’ll be easier to carry and package. That may sound easier in the case of relocating to another state alone, but no matter who’s coming along, remember to divide belongings into several equally sized boxes.

Roll, Don’t Fold – the Most Efficient Ways to Increase Storage Space

The best way to pack clothes when moving and traveling is the old rolling method. How did people use to package before rolling was invented? This is the most common relocation hack for garments because it saves space within the suitcase or container.

In the case of a last-minute relocation, do you think it’ll be easier to fold everything neatly or to simply roll it? It’s not only space-saving but time-saving, too. And, believe it or not, your garments will not get as wrinkled as they would with folding. Check out the video below for some quick tips on when to roll and when to fold your wardrobe, as well as the techniques for it.

YouTube video

Plastic Bags, Boxes, and Other Packing Cards to Have Up Your Sleeves

When you hear the words ‘trash bag,’ your mind wouldn’t automatically go to the best way to move clothes. However, the versatility of this household object is often overlooked. Yes, it’s meant for trash because it’s durable plastic to avoid spillage, and it has a drawstring at the top to seal tightly and, again, prevent anything from falling out.

The same applies to using trash bags as moving bags for clothes. If you’re in a rush but still want to move efficiently, you can just quickly take a large garbage bag. The items you keep on hangers are best packed this way; just gather several garments together, then reach with the plastic bag from the bottom, and pull it up until the drawstring reaches the hanger tops. Tie the string, and voila – you’re relocating to a new home efficiently and safely.

You Don’t Need to Have Professional Equipment for Moving

While it’s recommended to call a long-distance moving company because their workers provide high-quality packaging services, you don’t need to let professionals do all the work for you. Your relocation to-do list should balance some work you do on your own and other done by pros.

It isn’t hard to figure out how to pack clothes for a move by yourself. Clothing is personal, and it may feel better knowing only you handled the garments. There’s no need to have new packaging materials for packaging well; you just have to learn how to improvise.

We already mentioned garbage bags as great solutions on how to move clothes, so here are a few more household objects and packaging methods to use:

  • Plastic vacuum bags (sounds professional, but so many people have these lying around,)
  • Containers, like drawers, coolers, and baskets,
  • Newspapers and plastic wrap for wrapping when you want to package shoes,
  • Dressers – you can transport some items you won’t need right away in dresser drawers,
  • Stuff socks into shoes before packaging them; this will also help the shoes keep their shape after a long trip.

Get creative, look everywhere for new packaging solutions, and make sure to label the boxes and containers correctly, so you know how to unpack after relocating.

A man packing his clothes into a suitcase for cross-country moving
You can improvise with so many household items, so take some time before the move to think about what to use

Put Aside Clothing You’ll Immediately Need So You Don’t End Up In Your Birthday Suit

One of the boxes you’ll require for relocating is called an essentials box. When you move to a new home, the euphoria and excitement will be hard to contain. However, as soon as the end of your first day there arrives, hints of relocation depression could start to hit. In that situation, no matter how great the new home is, you’ll want to have something that reminds you of the old one.

This is why an essentials box exists. It’s meant to keep you from panicking on the first day and for you to put all the items you use daily into. You can package a couple of these because no rule says there should be only one essential box. However, don’t go crazy – two to three should be the maximum amount.

Which items can you place in this box? Anything from canned foods and toiletries to bed linens and outfits to greet the neighbors and sleep in (preferably, these two aren’t the same, but who are we to judge). Of course, don’t forget the shoes, and make room for some electronics to entertain yourself when you get tired of unpacking.

A cute cat sitting in a box, ready for long-distance moving
Don't move your cat in a box, but make sure to hug it tightly when you start to feel lonely at the new home

Movers Won’t Burn a Hole In Your Pockets If You Let Them Do the Packing

If you do feel comfortable hiring and letting cross-country movers handle your garments, then you’ll be out the easy way. Some people simply have massive wardrobes, like those walk-in closets, that are too complicated to package without any assistance. You can prepare for movers by taking out the essential outfits and letting them package the unnecessary stuff.

Movers won’t say anything about how should you pack clothes for moving, but you can observe what they do during the process. Every cross-country moving company has professional workers who know what they’re doing, so it’s good to have this sort of assistance around the home. Just having them around to package the rest of the house will make it easier for you to prepare your wardrobe for relocation.

If you feel like your checklist for relocating to another state doesn’t have enough room anymore, ask the movers about their storage services and leave some unwanted items there for a short period. This could be an excellent way to prioritize and unpack without all the clutter in your face.

Two long-distance movers near me looking at a box for transportation
Movers are there to help you move out efficiently and without too much trouble

Don’t Get Caught With Your Pants Down – Learn the Best Way to Pack Clothes

Maybe the importance of learning how to pack clothing a couple of weeks before the move is now more understandable to you. It’s not just something you could do on a whim, not unless you feel good about having relocation anxiety. Whether you look up long-distance movers near me or not, you can plan a move to another city and relocate with ease.

The most important part is being prepared and knowing your limits. Determine a specific time and duration for packaging to move, so you don’t get overwhelmed. The psychological effects of relocating can take their toll on anyone, but it seems like they’re all easier to handle when the person relocating is prepared well. You can do this.

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