How to Pack Clothes for Moving Without Losing Your Mind

March 10, 2022Moving Tips
Anastasia Hill

Apart from being the next fashion icon, Anastasia is also a freelance writer and expert on moving (and packing clothes).

Having a large wardrobe full of things to wear is all fun and games until you realize the date of your move is arriving, and you have no clue how to pack clothes for moving. Luckily, with our convenient tips and tricks, you can save yourself from unnecessary stress and trouble. Look at this as an opportunity to reorganize everything, declutter, and maybe even rediscover some long-forgotten pieces in your closet.

Things to Consider Before Learning the Best Way to Pack Clothes for a Move

Relocating to a new home isn’t a simple process. Once you decide where to live, you have to organize your move, make a good to-do list and fight potential anxiety about relocation. The key to a stress-free relocation is a good plan, and luckily for you, we can explain to you the best way to pack clothes when moving to a new home. This will save you from many potential problems, speed up your move, and make your overall experience much more enjoyable.

Relocating your entire wardrobe is just one of the many parts of the relocation process. You probably have a lot of other things you have to handle simultaneously, so even if this is not the most challenging task of them all, it might be hard for you to focus on this process.

Deciding what things you want to relocate and sorting them can be quite overwhelming, not to mention having to think about storage options, weather conditions, and getting suitable packing equipment. It is a lot of work, and it can’t be done in a day or two, which is why you have to prepare yourself that this is something that’s going to take some time and bear with it.

Person holding a box packed with clothing
Wonder how to pack clothes for a move? Just follow our guide, and you won't experience any issues

The First Step Is to Get Rid of Clothing You Don’t Need

How do you pack everything for a move? The answer is – you don’t. Decluttering is actually one of the most important parts of every relocation, and the real question you should ask yourself is what to get rid of when relocating? You have to focus on downsizing for a move instead of simply taking everything you own with you, especially when it comes to packing clothes. 

You probably have a lot of stuff that you never wear, or some things that are old, worn out, or out of fashion. Ensure that you carefully go through your whole wardrobe and decide what to do with these items – there are much better options than taking them to your new home.

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Decide if Some Clothes Are Worth Donating

Once you decide what not to pack when relocating, you have to choose what to do with these belongings. Obviously, one of the most ethical things to do is donate to those in need. This can be Goodwill or some other organization in your town that accepts clean clothing that is still in a good and wearable condition.

You Can Also Sell Some Pieces Before Moving and Earn Money You’ll Later Need for Packing Materials and Boxes

Another smart thing to do when packing to move is to sell pieces you don’t want to keep. You may have some designer pieces that you bought for a special occasion and wore once or never, or stuff you know you won’t be wearing in the future. You find numerous online applications or websites through which you can sell clothing and make some extra money you can later spend on other expenses.

Girl trying to decide whether she should keep that shirt or donate
Donating clothing items might be one of the best ways to get rid of stuff you don't wear

Sort Clothes in Different Categories Before You Pack Anything

What should I pack first when moving? This depends on different factors. Usually, people begin packing clothes for moving, starting from those items they keep in storage or some seasonal pieces they don’t wear at the moment. For example, if you’re relocating to another state that has a cold climate, but you’re currently somewhere where it’s sunny, start with sweaters and jackets. When it comes to sorting, here are a few ideas for different categories:

  • Season,
  • Person,
  • Room,
  • Material,
  • Type. 

Another thing you have to keep in mind is the amount of space you will have at your disposal. When relocating to a big city from a smaller one or relocating from a house to an apartment, you will probably be living in a smaller home, which usually comes with a smaller storage area

If you start living in an apartment, you probably won’t have a garage where you can store your seasonal clothing and other things you don’t use daily. In case you opt to rent storage, you should learn how to protect items in storage units and sort things you don’t currently need for storing.


Person organizing her closet
You have to decide how to organize your wardrobe properly, instead of simply putting everything together without any order

Find Proper Packing Equipment – Bags, Boxes, and Suitcases Are All Suitable

The list of packing tips for moving always begins with finding the proper equipment. You may think this is simple, but truth be told, it can be complicated if you don’t have a lot of experience. So the question is, what is the best way to pack clothes for moving? You’ll definitely need moving bags for clothes, preferably the vacuum ones. Once you suck the air out of them, they’ll take less space and be a real lifesaver in situations like these, so investing in a few vacuum bags could be a wise decision. 

Use Classic Garbage Bags to Pack Some Non-Delicate Pieces of Clothing

Want to know how to pack clothes when moving while saving on relocation costs? This shouldn’t be an issue because clothing pieces are actually some of the easiest household items to pack since most of them are not fragile or breakable. This is why you can simply put a lot of them in a regular garbage bag. Unfortunately, this can get a little messy, especially if bags are black and you can’t see through them, so ensure you label everything properly and spare yourself the trouble once you start unpacking after the move.

Invest in Quality Wardrobe Boxes for Delicate Pieces

Don’t make one of the common relocation mistakes and forget about getting wardrobe boxes. You can find them online and get them for a reasonable price, and they are totally worth it. They are basically the same as regular cardboard boxes, but they have a plastic bar inside where you can hang your stuff the same way you would inside the real wardrobe. How practical is that? 

Your suits, pants, shirts, and dresses will stay protected from dust, and the fact that they will be hanging means no wrinkling. So what not to pack in boxes when moving if you don’t have enough of them? You don’t have to use them for hanging your regular cotton T-shirts or hoodies. Use them only for those pieces that require extra care and are more prone to wrinkling.

Still Not Sure How to Move Clothes? Why Wouldn’t You Try Using Suitcases?

People often forget about one of the most obvious ways to relocate their wardrobe, and that is using what is actually meant for this purpose – suitcases. Suitcases are very convenient for transporting clothing pieces because they are made of thick protective materials and have good construction and shape. The best part is they come with wheels, which makes the whole transportation process much easier. 

Apart from relocating wardrobe pieces, suitcases are also convenient for relocating books, shoes, and many other things from your home that are on the heavier side. Stay creative and decide what the best way to use them according to your personal needs is.

A packed suitcase
Suitcases are very convenient for this purpose. Just make sure you organize everything inside of them

Ensure Everything Is Clean and Properly Folded

Now when you know what you will need for this task, there is just one more box to tick before we jump to folding, and that is hygiene. If you currently have some stuff piled up for washing, try washing and drying all of them before the move. If some things stay dirty, ensure you put them separately so they don’t mix with the clean stuff.

The Best Folding Techniques Can Help You Save a Lot of Space

One of the best tips for saving space is learning some easy but powerful folding techniques. You can choose a favorite one or rely on a combination of a few of them and fold your stuff properly so that it takes much less space. These are some of the most common and popular techniques:

  • Japanese Folding Method,
  • Folding Board Method,
  • Draped Folding Method.

However, these tips are not just useful for packing. You can also rely on them after relocation because they can be very helpful in organizing your new wardrobe. You can actually save a lot of storage space if you use them properly instead of throwing everything inside without any order. Take a look at this video and learn some of the coolest and easiest folding methods in no time.

YouTube video

Now That You Know How to Pack Clothes for Moving, Don’t Forget to Leave Some Things for the Essentials Box

Another thing you have to consider is preparing a bag or a box with relocation essentials. This box should contain everything you need for the first day or two – things like medicines, chargers, toiletries, underwear, and some fresh and clean stuff to wear. You should have something clean to wear after an exhausting day, so you don’t have to dive into all those boxes trying to find a comfy pair of sweatpants. That’s why you should prepare at least one outfit and maybe even a pajama in your bag with essentials. 

Box with essentials
Ensure you have a clean shirt and sweatpants in your bag with essentials

If This Task Is Too Challenging for You, Consider Hiring Professionals

If you follow our guide carefully, you shouldn’t have any problems and questions on how to pack clothing items. However, if you’re having a last-minute move and want to move safely, you can hire professionals to assist you, not only with figuring out the best way to move clothes but with many other relocation services as well, such as car shipping. For example, they can relocate your vehicle in an opened trailer, or you can book enclosed auto transport for better protection. Everything is easier when you have a professional crew by your side, from the seemingly easy tasks such as packing clothes to those more complex things such as door-to-door auto transport.

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