Clothes are some of the last things we pack up when moving, but they require some of the most care. While they aren’t technically considered “fragile” items, some damages can occur (dirt, rips, tears) if they aren’t packed and handled properly.
There’s also the issue of unpacking them once you get to the new place, which can go a whole lot smoother if you have a plan in place and take time to pack clothes the right way. Follow these packing tips for clothes to make the process much more efficient all the way around.
Clean Out Your Closet
The first step to packing any part of your home is to declutter, declutter, declutter! Chances are, you’ve got some clothes in your closet or your kids’ closets that you no longer want or need. This is the perfect time to purge those items. If you need help getting started, take a look at our guide to decluttering for a move.
When you’re going through your clothes, ask yourself:
- Do I love this?
- Is it outdated?
- Does it look worn?
- Does it fit? (An especially important question for kids’ clothes.)
Remember – the more you get rid of, the less you’ll have to move and put away in the next house. Don’t let sentimentality cost you more time, space, and money. Donate anything that is in good condition and recycle the rest. You can even use some of your old clothes to help pack other fragile items and fill in the empty gaps in your boxes.
Sort Your Items
Once you know what you’re keeping, it’s time to sort it. This will make the packing and unpacking processes much more efficient. The first items you should pack are anything seasonal. For example: if you’re moving during the summer, pack up your winter clothes.
After that, you can organize the rest of your clothes in whichever way works best for you. Here are some options:
- Types of clothes (jackets, pants, shirts, etc)
- Occasion (work, casual, elegant, etc)
This may take a little bit more time upfront, but you’ll be glad you organized them by categories when it comes time to unpack them later and a lot of the work is already done for you. It will also be easier to find specific items if you need to go rummaging through the boxes before you’re fully unpacked.
Put Aside Essentials
Unless you plan on packing and unpacking your clothes on moving day, chances are you’ll need at least a few days’ worth of outfits available to you after you’ve packed up everything. Clothing should be one of the last things you pack, so put aside the clothes you’ll need in a separate box or suitcase for however many days will come between the day you pack and the day you move in, plus some clothes for a few days to a week after. Clearly label the box or suitcase so that you know to keep it separate from the rest.
Use Wardrobe Boxes, Dresser Drawers, and Suitcases
Wardrobe boxes are our favorite way to pack up clothing because you can move your clothes from the closet to the boxes in minutes. You don’t even have to take them off the hangers! They protect your clothes well, too.
You won’t even need to remove your items from their dresser drawers. If they don’t weigh the dresser down too much, simply secure the drawers with a few layers of packing tape so that they don’t open during the transition.
Suitcases are another great option for transporting your clothes. You’ll have to move them to the new house, anyway, so save money on boxes and put some clothes you don’t mind folding inside of them. They’re great for transporting heavier items, too, like your shoes, or smaller items like accessories.
Utilize IKEA Bags, Garbage Bags, or Vacuum Bags
Other budget-friendly options for packing clothes for moving are IKEA bags, garbage bags, and vacuum bags. The IKEA Frakta Storage Bag with zipper closure is perfect for wrapping around your clothes while they are still on the hangers. Fit as many as you can (usually about four inches worth), and then zip up the bag. Voilà! Your clothes are protected and ready to be moved.
You can do the same thing with a large garbage bag. Slip the bag over a cluster of clothes still on their hangers from the bottom and then tie the bag at the top. Vacuum bags require a little more work but take up much less space on the truck or in a car because all of the air is sucked out, leaving only a thin bag to transport.
Pack Shoes and Accessories Separately
To make packing and unpacking easier, pack your shoes and accessories separately from your clothes so you don’t have trouble finding things later. Shoes are usually very dirty, so a good rule of thumb is to wrap each shoe in a plastic bag before packing them up. You can reuse plastic shopping bags for a thrifty solution, or buy a box of gallon-size Ziploc bags. Shoeboxes make it even easier to pack your shoes into a box, so use them if you have them. Remember to put the heaviest shoes at the bottom of the box.
As for accessories, pack them in smaller boxes or in a suitcase so that they don’t get lost or damaged. You can pick up travel storage that is made for jewelry and other small items to keep them extra safe during transport.
Label Everything Clearly
As always, label all your moving boxes very clearly and inventory what is inside them. Knowing what is inside at a glance (including what category of clothing is inside as well as what room they belong in) will be helpful both to the movers and to you when it comes time to unpack.
Hire a Professional Mover to Pack Your Clothes
We hope these tips help make your clothes packing process easier. If packing your clothes still seems like an insurmountable challenge, or if you simply don’t have the time to pack your clothes yourself, you can always call Megan’s Moving to take care of the packing for you. Our full-service moves include packing, moving, and unpacking. Request a quote today!