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How to Pack Clothes for Moving

by Jul 1, 2024

Clothes in a Box

How to Pack Clothes for Moving: A Comprehensive Guide

Packing clothes for a move can be a daunting task, but with the right strategy and materials, it can be a smooth and organized process. Whether you’re moving across town or across the country, proper packing ensures that your clothes arrive in good condition and are easy to unpack. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you pack your clothes efficiently.

1. Gather Necessary Supplies

Before you start packing, make sure you have all the necessary supplies. Here’s a list of essential items you’ll need:

  • Cardboard boxes: Various sizes, including small, medium, and large.
  • Wardrobe boxes: Tall boxes with a hanging bar for clothes that need to stay on hangers.
  • Suitcases and duffel bags: Great for packing heavier items like shoes and books.
  • Vacuum-seal bags: Perfect for saving space and protecting clothes from moisture and dust.
  • Plastic bins: Durable and reusable, ideal for long-term storage.
  • Packing paper and bubble wrap: To protect delicate items.
  • Labels and markers: For organizing and identifying boxes.
  • Packing tape and scissors: To seal boxes securely.

2. Sort and Declutter

Moving is the perfect time to go through your wardrobe and declutter. Follow these steps to sort and organize your clothes:

  • Take everything out: Empty your closets, drawers, and any other storage spaces where you keep clothes.
  • Create piles: Make separate piles for items to keep, donate, sell, and discard.
  • Evaluate each item: Consider whether you’ve worn it in the past year, if it fits, and if it’s still in good condition.
  • Donate or sell: Give away clothes you no longer need or consider selling them for extra cash.

3. Clean and Repair

Before packing, make sure your clothes are clean and in good condition. Here’s what to do:

  • Wash and dry: Launder all clothes to ensure they are clean and free of odors.
  • Repair damages: Fix any tears, loose buttons, or broken zippers.
  • Dry clean: Take delicate items that require dry cleaning to a professional.

4. Pack Off-Season Clothes First

Start by packing clothes you won’t need immediately. This includes off-season clothes and special occasion outfits. Here’s how to pack them:

  • Use vacuum-seal bags: These are great for saving space and protecting clothes from moisture and dust.
  • Label clearly: Mark each bag or box with the contents and the season to make unpacking easier.

5. Pack Hanging Clothes

For clothes that you want to keep wrinkle-free, use wardrobe boxes. Here’s how to pack hanging clothes:

  • Wardrobe boxes: These boxes come with a hanging bar, making it easy to transfer clothes directly from your closet.
  • Group by type: Organize clothes by type (e.g., shirts, dresses, suits) to make unpacking easier.
  • Secure hangers: Use rubber bands or twist ties to keep hangers together and prevent them from shifting during the move.

6. Pack Folded Clothes

For clothes that can be folded, follow these steps:

  • Sort by type: Separate clothes into categories such as t-shirts, jeans, and sweaters.
  • Use small to medium boxes: Avoid overpacking large boxes, as they can become too heavy and difficult to move.
  • Line boxes with packing paper: This adds an extra layer of protection for your clothes.
  • Fold neatly: Fold clothes neatly to maximize space and reduce wrinkles.
  • Layer strategically: Place heavier items at the bottom and lighter items on top.

7. Pack Shoes and Accessories

Shoes and accessories require special attention to prevent damage. Here’s how to pack them:

  • Clean shoes: Make sure all shoes are clean and dry before packing.
  • Stuff with packing paper: Fill shoes with packing paper to help them retain their shape.
  • Use shoe boxes: If you have the original boxes, pack shoes in them. If not, use small boxes or wrap each pair in packing paper.
  • Pack accessories separately: Use small boxes or zip-lock bags for accessories like belts, scarves, and jewelry.
  • Label boxes: Clearly label each box with its contents to make unpacking easier.

8. Use Suitcases and Duffel Bags

Take advantage of your existing luggage to pack clothes. Here’s how:

  • Heavy items: Pack heavier items like shoes and books in suitcases with wheels for easier transport.
  • Folded clothes: Use duffel bags for folded clothes to save space in your moving boxes.
  • Layer carefully: Place heavier items at the bottom and lighter items on top.

9. Protect Delicate Items

Delicate and valuable clothing items need extra protection. Here’s how to pack them:

  • Use tissue paper or bubble wrap: Wrap delicate items in tissue paper or bubble wrap to prevent damage.
  • Pack separately: Place delicate items in small boxes or plastic bins to keep them safe.
  • Label as fragile: Clearly mark these boxes as fragile to ensure they are handled with care.

10. Label Everything

Labeling your boxes is crucial for staying organized. Here’s how to do it:

  • Use a labeling system: Mark each box with its contents and the room it belongs to.
  • Color-code: Use different colored labels or markers for different rooms.
  • Include a list: Write a brief list of contents on the box for easy reference.

11. Moving Day Tips

On moving day, keep a few essential tips in mind:

  • Pack a first-day box: Include a change of clothes, pajamas, toiletries, and any other essentials you’ll need immediately.
  • Keep important items with you: Carry valuable items, important documents, and irreplaceable belongings with you.
  • Double-check: Make sure all boxes are sealed securely and labeled clearly.


Packing clothes for a move doesn’t have to be stressful. With the right supplies, a little organization, and these helpful tips, you can ensure your clothes arrive at your new home in great condition. Whether you’re moving across town or across the country, following these steps will make your move smoother and more efficient. Happy moving!