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Packing Tips

How to Pack Clothes for a Move

By September 20, 2021August 24th, 2023One Comment
how to pack clothes for a move

One of the most daunting parts of moving is packing your clothes.  They are often the last thing packed and end up thrown into boxes without much care.  Then they sit in boxes at your new home for weeks or months waiting to be unpacked.


Carelessly packing your clothes for a move can damage your clothes.


Following these simple tips will help you pack clothes for a move quickly and safely, so none of your clothes get damaged.



The average American doesn’t wear 82% of the clothing they own, so you likely have a lot of clothing that doesn’t need to move to your new home.


Go through your closet and donate clothing that no longer fits, is out of style, or you haven’t worn in over a year.


There is no sense taking the time and effort to pack and unpack clothing if it is just going to sit in the closet of your new home and never be worn.

How to pack clothes for a move

Do Laundry Before Packing


Before you pack clothes for a move, they need to be washed and dried.  Do laundry the day before you pack your clothes to ensure everything is clean and free of stains.


Choose Clothes to Pack Separately


The average person isn’t fully unpacked until 182 days after they move.  When you pack clothes for a move, leave a few items out to be packed separately.  These clothes can be easily found and accessed without having to rummage through boxes and boxes of clothes.


Your separate bag should include:


  • A few pairs of socks and underwear
  • Comfy clothes to wear while unpacking
  • Jeans
  • T-shirt
  • Sweater
  • Pajamas
  • And any other items you need in the few days following your move


Ideally, you should pack enough clothing separately to last you a week, so you don’t have to rush the unpacking process.


Group Your Clothes


Grouping your clothes makes the packing and unpacking process go smoothly.  If you pack similar clothing together, you can easily find any pieces you’re looking for before you’re fully unpacked.


Packing similar clothes together prevents them from wrinkling or being damaged.  You don’t want a delicate silk shirt packed beside a scratchy wool sweater!


There are four main ways you can group your clothes for packing:


  • Material: pack clothes made of similar materials in the same box
  • Season: pack your seasonal clothing in one box, so you can easily unpack the season you need most after the move
  • Size: Pack small items like scarves and accessories together and long items like dresses in a separate box
  • Need: Pack your most worn clothes in the same box and your least worn clothes in a separate box
Cost of moving from San Francisco to Austin

IVL Trucks

Invest in Wardrobe Boxes


Wardrobe boxes are large boxes with a bar at the top to hang your clothes.  They allow you to transfer clothing from your closet directly to the box and prevent clothing from getting wrinkled during the move.


Wardrobe boxes can be expensive, but they are worth investing in.  Not all of your clothing needs to go in wardrobe boxes, but your nicest, most expensive, and favorite clothing should.


You can purchase wardrobe boxes through your local moving company, at Home Depot, or online.  You may even be able to find some free wardrobe boxes if you visit a university campus shortly after students move in.


Don’t Empty Your Dresser


The easiest way to pack clothes for a move is to leave them where they are.  Leave light clothing inside your dresser and move it all together rather than taking your clothes out and packing them separately.


If you have extra room in your dresser, you can pack your sheets inside it as well, so you can easily find them at your new home.


To keep your dresser and clothes secure during the move, put plastic wrap around the drawers and add a layer of heavy-duty stretch tape around the outside of the entire dresser.


This will prevent any drawers from opening when the movers pick up and transport the dresser.


Pack Socks in Your Shoes


Putting a pair of socks at the toe of each of your shoes before packing them is a clever little hack that not only saves room but also helps protect your shoes.


The sock at the toe of your shoe helps it keep its shape during the move.  Depending on the shoe, you may also want to put a pair of socks at the heel as well.

Also Read: How to pack lamps for a move


Use Regular Boxes


Once you’ve hung your nice clothing in wardrobe boxes, your casual clothing can be packed in normal boxes.  Packing your clothes in a regular box may be more secure than using a garbage bag.


The downside to using regular boxes is your clothing might get wrinkled or creased in the move.  You can easily prevent this by using tissue of packing paper between and around your clothes.





It is important you put care and thought into packing your clothes for a move.  It doesn’t take long to pack your clothes correctly, and the extra effort prevents your clothes from being damaged in the move. You should also learn how to pack for a small move.

Join the discussion One Comment

  • Afton Jackson says:

    Decluttering and donating unused items first before moving is a really good idea. That way, we don’t have to haul boxes and boxes filled with things we don’t even use anymore, making things a lot easier. I’ll go and do that before we hire interstate movers for our relocation to our new home.

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