Whether you’ve got a tiny closet’s worth or a truckload of clothes, packing clothes for moving is a chore.
Before you look into cheap moving companies, try to DIY. We can help you arrange your clothes for moving and avoid unnecessary stress.
Each item has a specific packing strategy, so mixing things up is easy. Don’t sweat it; we’ve compiled the best ways to move your closet to your new home.
We’ll teach you what to do before packing, sorting and folding clothes, ways to pack, and packing tips from expert movers.
Before you Pack Clothes for Moving
You’ll get frustrated if you do your laundry and start packing right away. There are things you must do before stuffing your articles into boxes.
Assess your Closet
Sizing up your wardrobe before packing is a time-saving hack. Your subconscious is spurred into action as you note essential details—which clothing makes the cut and how many boxes you’ll need.
Donate or Sell Articles
After deciding which items you’re keeping, you can donate or sell the others, arranging them in different boxes. Your donation pile can go to the Salvation Army. (You can even have them pick it up, and when they do, don’t forget to collect a tax-deductible donation receipt.)
Clothes that you don’t wear anymore but hold sentimental value like wedding dresses and gifts are best moved to storage units. Try U-Haul for help finding a safe, secure, and climate-controlled storage unit. They can help with accessories you can’t move or don’t want to part with.
Wash or Dry Clean Clothing
Never hurry so much to pack damp clothing. You don’t want to contend with stinky clothes and mildew issues in your new apartment. So wash and dry your clothes before packing; else, the first thing you’ll be ordering is a strong-scented air freshener.
Buy Suitable Packing Materials
Purchasing closet moving supplies is easier when you know the items you’re moving. Your needs may vary, but these are the essentials:
- Cardboard boxes.
- Wardrobe boxes.
- Duffel bags.
- Trash, vacuum, or compression bags.
You’ll also need:
Garment bags, packing paper, plastic bins, shoe boxes, plastic baggies, and hat boxes.
See Also: How to Pack for Moving Houses
How to Sort your Clothes for Moving
Sorting means arranging your clothes in organized categories to hasten the move. It’s a hack for remembering the right spot for each piece of clothing.
Experts advise sorting clothes into any of these four categories: (1) By material, (2) by season, (3) by pieces, and (4) by separate individuals.
Sort by Material
Divide your clothes into different stuff. Choosing this method means you’ll sort your clothes into cashmere, cotton, denim, linen, silk, wool, or any other materials.
Sort by Season
If you’re moving at the start of a season, we suggest you sort your clothing with this method. For instance, you can box cold-weather garments and unpack lighter clothing if you’re moving in Summer. You can also free your closet by keeping them in a climate-controlled storage unit.
Sort by Pieces
Sorting your closet by pieces is our number one packing method. You can find and rearrange your items faster if you group them into pieces; pants, shirts, shorts, heavy clothing, or underwear.
Pack for Separate Individuals
We get tons of emails asking about the best sorting method when moving with a family, and our answer hasn’t changed.
How to Fold Non-Hanging Clothes for Moving: 3 Best Folding Techniques
The next step to packing your clothes for moving after sorting is folding them in suitable moving materials.
Separate the clothes that require hangers, and fold the others neatly. We’ve listed the three best techniques to fold your clothes.
The Flat Fold
The traditional flat fold technique is the oldest and most straightforward way to fold clothing.
How to fold a shirt using the flat fold method:
- Fasten all the buttons on the shirt, including the cuffs.
- Lie the shirt face down on a flat surface.
- Fold one side of the shirt with its sleeve towards the middle.
- Repeat on the other side.
- Smoothen wrinkles and fold the shirt’s bottom half upwards.
How to fold your pants using the flat fold method:
- Place one leg over the other so you can see the side pockets.
- Fold in thirds and smoothen out wrinkles with each fold.
Rolling your clothing military-style saves space and prevents them from getting wrinkled. This method is best used to pack clothes in suitcases or duffle bags.
How to fold a shirt using the military roll:
- Fasten all shirt buttons, lay the shirt on a flat surface, and smoothen out wrinkles.
- Flip a few inches from the shirt’s bottom inside out.
- Fold the sleeves inwards to the surface of the shirt.
- Fold the top half of the shirt to touch the middle.
- Fold the half again to touch the base of the shirt.
- Roll the shirt starting from top to bottom until you reach the shirt’s flipped part. (Make the roll taut and stuff.)
- Fold the flipped part over the rolled shirt to keep it in place. You’ll get a cucumber-shaped shirt fold.
Tip: Roll delicate items like shirts and dresses and bulky clothes like jeans and sweaters.
Ways to Pack Clothes for Moving
After you’ve washed, sorted, and folded your clothes, the next step is packing and labeling.
Pack Clothes Using Cardboard Boxes
Cardboard Boxes are our #1 moving option for clothes because they’re very handy. Cardboard boxes are also right at the top because they’re cheap and easy to find.
These boxes come in various sizes and are used to pack folded clothing. (You can get them from local libraries, marketplaces, liquor stores, big box stores, local recycling centers, and online stores like Craigslist.)
You must find the right box size for each category; a compressed box is an understuffed box; a torn box results from overstuffing.
Line the box’s insides with packing paper or plastic wrap. Fold the clothes and cover the top piece of clothing with packing paper to protect your wears from moisture and pressure.
Secure the box’s flaps with packing tape and label the box—label with a Sharpie marker, a color-coded post-it note, or both. Labeling allows you to rearrange your stuff without stress.
Tip: Fold your clothes into cardboard boxes using the flat fold technique.
Pack Clothes Using Wardrobe Boxes
Wardrobe boxes are used to move clothes on hangers, which wrinkle easily. These boxes hang dresses, blouses, skirts, collared shirts, suits, and pants.
Wardrobe boxes cost more than other materials because they have a built-in hanger bar. They’re priced at $20 to $50 (quite the investment when moving high-end clothing).
Hack: Move hanging clothes with a drawstring garbage bag
- Slip clothing inside the garbage bag while holding the hangers.
- Tighten the drawstrings around the hanger hooks.
- Tie the hanger hooks together with a string.
You can also move hanging clothes with clothing racks, and we recommend one from Bed, Bath & Beyond.
Pack Clothes Using Suitcases
Suitcases are moving legends for getaways or cross-country moving. Suitcases help pack underwear, socks, supplies, clothes, shoes, and jewelry.
Packing with suitcases is a win-win situation. Since they’re part of your belongings, you move them while moving other articles.
It would help if you packed a few clothing changes in suitcases if you can’t unpack on the first day; you’ll need some clothes to use after the first few days of moving.
Pack moving days essentials and supplies you’ll need on arrival to your new home. These include overnight wear, toothbrushes, deodorant, hairspray, toiletries, and phone and PC chargers. Ensure you arrange them in order of importance from top to bottom.
See Also: 6 Ways to Pack Hangers for Moving
Pack Clothes Using Duffel Bags or Foldable Clothes Organizers
Duffel bags or foldable clothe organizers come in handy when packing rolled or bulky clothing such as jackets, winter coats, and even shoes. These bags can move a lot of clothes due to their material, so soldiers prefer using them to move their ‘heavy ‘gear.
- Put shoes at the bottom of the duffel bag to maintain the shape.
- Roll your clothes and pack heavier clothing first.
- Duffel bags are also suitable for packing items you’ll need in the first 24 hours in your new place.
Pack Clothes Using Trash, Vacuum, or Compression Bags
More clothes, less space! These bags move and protect seasonal clothing or articles that don’t need folding. Jerseys, sport wears, and dirty clothing are moved using vacuum bags.
Vacuum bags are used to condense and protect clothing from the elements and insects. Vacuum bags are compressible and reusable; you can still choose to roll your clothes in these bags. Don’t forget to keep heavier pieces below and essentials on top.
Tip: Press down on the bag to squeeze out extra air before sealing it to prevent spilling if it gets punctured.
See Also: 7 Ways To Pack Pillows For Moving
Best Tips for Packing Clothes for Moving
- Please don’t use any larger than 12X12 inch boxes, or you’ll have difficulty lifting them.
- Check your clothes for mildew, insects, and stains.
- Pack fabric-friendly insect repellants in your packing materials.
- Don’t move more boxes than you can handle.
- Remember to pack a moving day outfit and include undergarments and socks.
- Reuse old shoe boxes.
- Carry an extra bag or foldable hamper for dirty clothes.