As far as packing clothes in a suitcase or a travel bag is concerned, almost everyone’s a packing expert, or at least that’s how most people view themselves. After all, who hasn’t packed various types of clothes in travel bags, suitcases or storage boxes? It’s a packing skill that’s required for the start of every trip or vacation, right?
Packing clothes when moving house may feel similar to packing clothes when traveling but the pre-move task does have a number of peculiarities that make it way more challenging. With Moving day approaching faster than you can handle it, you’re going to need to know how to pack clothes quickly, easily, and efficiently in such a way as to avoid wrinkles, tears or any other damage to your pieces of clothing.
To make your move easier, follow these moving tips for packing clothes when moving in order to best protect your expensive clothes on the road. Also, use the clothes packing tips to save time, space, and even some money during the home moving process.
Top 7 things to know when packing clothes for a move
The task of packing up your clothes when moving to a new home seems pretty straightforward at first. However, as soon as you start placing your garments into cardboard boxes and suitcases, you will realize that there are things you wish you had known before the initiation of that time-consuming task.
1. Procrastination is your arch-enemy
According to your own packing timeline, you should begin sorting out and packing your clothes as soon as your move has been confirmed. Packing up an entire home is, without a doubt, the task that will take the most time, so there isn’t really any time to lose.
One of the worst moving mistakes you can make is to keep postponing the clothes packing job for tomorrow, and then do it again when that tomorrow has come. As a rule of thumb, 4 weeks prior to Moving day is a good period to start planning on how to pack clothes in moving boxes. If you have less time than one month, you can still make it but you’re going to have to use special techniques to speed up the packing task.
2. Sorting your clothes is a must-do task
Packing up and moving all the clothes you own will often turn out to be a mistake. Why? Because a home move is a perfect opportunity to get rid of the things that you won’t use again in your life, and that includes your garments as well.
It’s important to sort out your clothes as you don’t want to waste time and money packing pieces you will never wear again.
Why would you pay more money to transport clothes you will never wear again?
Go through your clothes and put aside the ones that are no longer relevant and definitely out of fashion.
Also, don’t waste your time boxing up clothes that are too worn out or torn up to continue to serve you in the new home you’re about to move to.
Read on to find more information about how to sort clothes when moving out.
3. You have good packing options for your clothes
It’s important to be aware of your options when it comes to packing clothes for moving.
- Cardboard boxes. You will fold up and place most of your clothes into standard cardboard boxes which should be first lined with soft packing paper for extra protection. Use this packing option for your ordinary everyday clothes which you would not mind too much to see slightly wrinkled when you open up the boxes.
- Wardrobe boxes. You can use specialized wardrobe boxes to transport the more expensive clothes that you own. Wardrobe boxes are tall and durable cardboard boxes equipped with a metal rod at the top where you will hang those designer clothes with their own hangers. Read on to learn more about wardrobe boxes.
- Trash bags. If time is really pressing you, then you have the option to pack clothes in plastic bags straight from the wardrobe, closer or dresser. Described further below, this innovative hack for packing clothes will save you time but it won’t offer a good level of protection for your pieces.
- Suitcases. Needless to say, you can use suitcases to protect some of your clothes on the road. Nevertheless, it’s usually a better idea to leave travel suitcases, especially the ones with small sturdy wheels at the bottom, for packing much heavier items such as books.
4. You should save on moving boxes
It’s not a secret that the home moving process is expensive so you should really try to cut down your moving costs as much as you can. But how can you do it? One proven way is to use free moving boxes.
To pack folded clothes when moving, you will need a good number of standard cardboard boxes. One such box is not too expensive, but purchase 50 of them and you will realize what a great expense those containers can be. So, be prudent and consider using second-hand boxes in good condition to transport your clothes and thus reduce your moving costs.
Good to know: Where to get free moving boxes
5. Clothes are not fragile
The good news when packing clothes for a move is that your pieces of clothing will not be breakable in any way, which means that you shouldn’t worry too much about accidentally dropping a piece on the floor like you would when packing kitchen plates and glasses.
Also, you shouldn’t fear that you’ll open a clothes-filled box and find its contents broken into pieces. Sure, you may find your clothes rather wrinkled, especially if you haven’t followed our advice on how to pack clothes to prevent wrinkles, but that shouldn’t be something to really stress you out.
6. Clothes are not heavy
Are you ready for the clothes packing marathon?
Unlike books, the majority of clothes are lightweight so you shouldn’t be preoccupied with how you will carry the full boxes out of your home and all the way to the moving vehicle.
If you do fill up a large box with too many well-folded clothes, the overall weight of the container will increase substantially. Still, you shouldn’t have any problems moving that box around, especially when you know that even an accidental drop won’t cause any damage.
7. Clothes will take plenty of space
The seventh and final thing you should know when you pack clothes for moving house is that some clothes such as jackets and coats are voluminous, and therefore will take plenty of space when placed inside a moving box.
And this is why you should: 1) always prepare more boxes than you think you will need, and 2) take advantage of good packing practices to use all of the available space inside each container.
Additionally, you may consider using special vacuum bags to reduce the volume of the packed clothes. Nevertheless, the best way to pack clothes when moving is to reduce their number to the absolute minimum prior to initiating the packing job.
How to pack clothes for moving: 3 must-do steps
Now that you are familiar with the 7 most important things when packing clothes for a move, let’s move on to the actual packing steps in each clothes packing scenario. But before we do, here are 3 fundamental steps that you should always complete regardless of how you’ve chosen to pack your clothes.
- Step 1. Sort out your clothes and choose which pieces you will be taking with you and which ones you will be leaving behind. Clothes you should seriously consider leaving behind include worn out clothes, torn clothes, out-of-fashion clothes, clothes that no longer fit you, and clothes that you don’t like anymore.
- Step 2. Save time by grouping similar clothes according to their material, size, purpose and season. This way, you will be able to pack and unpack much faster.
- Step 3. Pre-pack the type of clothes you know you won’t wear until Moving day such as pieces of clothing that are out of the season (a mid-summer move means you can safely pack up your winter clothes early in the packing process) or clothes for special occasions such as formal attire, outdoor clothing, swimsuits, etc.
Useful info: How to pack quickly for a move
How to pack clothes in boxes (standard cardboard boxes)
Use ordinary cardboard boxes to transport your everyday clothes while keeping in mind that wrinkles and creases are still likely despite your best packing efforts. So, don’t even think about cramming your $700 tuxedo or $400 evening dress into a $4 cardboard box.
How to pack clothes in a box?
This is NOT a good way to pack up your clothes when getting ready to move out.
Step 1. Select cardboard boxes that are both strong and clean – a couple of requirements that are especially important if you’ve managed to get the packing boxes for free, either from friends or from local businesses.
- Step 2. What box sixes should you use to pack clothes for moving and storage? Because clothes tend to be lightweight, you should be safe choosing medium to large cardboard boxes for your garments.
- Step 3. Place a few sheets of white packing paper on the bottom of each box before filling it up with your clothes. Those sheets will serve as an extra layer of protection for your pieces.
- Step 4. Transfer your neatly folded clothes directly from your wardrobe or dresser into the box. Use your best judgment to stack them nicely and snugly into the available space so that you can 1) pack your clothes more efficiently, and 2) reduce or even avoid wrinkles altogether.
- Step 5. Make sure you pack your clothes tightly but don’t forget to leave enough space so that the flaps of the box can be closed normally.
- Step 6. Close up the box when you’ve packed your folded clothes without overfilling the container. Then, use tape to seal it properly.
- Step 7. Use a marker pen to label each and every box you’ve just packed. Write down CLOTHES or choose to be more specific like SWEATERS or UNDERWEAR. Also, mark the destination room so that you or your movers know where to leave the box in the new home.
Read also: The best packing tips when moving home
How to pack clothes in wardrobe boxes
Here are the steps that will show you how to pack hanging clothes when moving. In reality, you have a couple of options: pack hanging clothes in wardrobe boxes or pack hanging clothes with trash bags.
Wardrobe boxes are perfect for transporting expensive clothes – formal designer attire that you’d hate to see damaged in any way. Those special boxes are tall and even have their own metal rods, so in a way, they look like much smaller versions of your wardrobe or dresser. While they will offer the best protection for your clothes, they are costly ($15-$20 per box) and take up plenty of space in the moving vehicle. Wardrobe boxes can be purchased from a local moving company.
How to pack clothes on hangers using wardrobe boxes?
Wardrobe boxes offer the best protection for your clothes.
Step 1. Assemble a wardrobe box and position the metal rod in the special openings on the top. The rod should click into place.
- Step 2. Transfer your hanging clothes directly from the wardrobe or dresser without taking them from their hangers.
- Step 3. Remove any plastic bags if you’re moving in the summer as the extremer heat could melt the plastic and thus ruin your valuable garments.
- Step 4. Arrange your clothes tightly enough but don’t overdo it to avoid possible damage.
- Step 5. Do not place heavy things on the bottom of the wardrobe box. If there’s some space there, you can insert light items such as pillows.
- Step 6. Close the wardrobe box and seal it with tape to keep away dust or moisture.
- Step 7. Label the wardrobe box with its destination room and possibly its contents.
Good to know: How to pack for a move like a pro
How to pack clothes with trash bags
If you can’t afford to buy wardrobe boxes, you may want to consider one interesting trick to pack your hanging clothes quickly and cheaply by using clean garbage bags.
Garbage bags are cheap and do not take much space in the moving van but they won’t offer a great level of protection for your clothes pieces, at least not as great as wardrobe boxes. Also, trash bags are prone to tears, so the main thing to remember here is that you should still use wardrobe boxes for your expensive clothes.
How to pack clothes on hangers using trash bags?
- Step 1. Purchase brand new garbage bags.
- Step 2. Tie together a few hangers with the clothes on them using a strong elastic rubber band or a cable tie.
- Step 3. Poke a small hole in the bottom of a trash bag and insert the metal hooks of the grouped hanging clothes.
Packing clothes in a suitcase is super easy and pretty straightforward.
Step 4. Pull the trash bag to cover the entire length of the clothes, then secure the loose end of the plastic bag with tape to prevent dust or dirt from reaching the clothes.
- Step 5. You’re done. If you think the plastic garbage bags you purchased are too thin, you can use two bags one over the other for a better level of protection.
Packing clothes when you move is definitely something you can do on your own… unless you have very little time to prepare to move out, in which case you can considering hiring professional packers to complete that task for you. Request a quote to see how much professional packing services will cost in your case.