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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Mathena

How To Pack Clothes For Moving

Updated: Aug 16, 2023

How to Pack Clothes For Moving

Whether moving to a new city or moving in the Chicago area, preparing all of your clothing for moving can be a monumental task. Following are some tips to make sure your clothing makes a smooth move to your new place.

Preparing To Pack Clothing

Moving is a great time to declutter everything, especially clothing. The more you get rid of the less you will spend packing, moving and unpacking. There is no reason to waste your time, money or space saving and moving clothing that you will never wear again. The first step before packing is to go through everything to decide what to keep.

To decide what to keep ask a few questions such as:

  • Is this too worn?

  • Does this still fit?

  • Is this out of style?

  • Do I still like this?

A good rule of thumb to follow is if you haven’t worn an item in 1-2 years, you probably will not wear it again. For the items you decide not to move, throw out anything no longer in good condition. For everything else, donate, sell or add to a garage sale if you are planning on having one before you move.

Sort Clothing

For clothing that will be packed, it’s a good idea to sort the items before starting to pack. Sort by season first. Items that aren’t in season won’t be used for a while and can be packed ahead of clothing that might need to be worn before your move. Any special occasion clothing that you determine won’t be used before your move can also be packed at this time such as formal wear, swimwear, or sportswear.

Next, you can organize your clothing to be packed however works best for you. Some ideas to consider for organizing are:

  • Type of material

  • Color

  • Type of clothing (sweater, dress, jeans etc…)

  • Occasion (work, casual etc…)

This may take a little while longer when packing but will make unpacking items at your new place much easier. If you can’t unpack items right away it will also be easier to find items.

This is also a good time to make sure you plan and separate the outfits you will need right before, during and after your move. Pack a few things to wear before and after your move separate from your other clothing, including socks and undies, and make sure the boxes are marked as such. Be sure to have comfortable clothing on hand for moving day, as well as packing and unpacking.

If you have any clothing dropped off at the dry cleaners and are moving to a new area, don’t forget to pick it up before you move.

Packing Closets

Wardrobes are the easiest and most efficient way to move hanging clothing. They allow the clothing to be moved directly to and from closets while still hanging. Moving your hanging clothing in wardrobes provides numerous benefits such as:

  • Easier to pack and unpack, and saves time, since clothing doesn’t have to removed from hangers and folded.

  • Provide greater protection for clothing, especially fine clothing and items of longer length.

  • Less wrinkling of items compared to packing items folded in boxes.

To ease your move Under One Roof provides unlimited free wardrobes for use on moving day. We bring them on moving day and take them back at the end of the day. You can pack/unpack them directly from your closet while the crew works on your other items, or we are happy to pack/unpack them for you. Let us know how many to bring by measuring the hanging clothing across the bars of your closets. Each wardrobe holds around 2 feet across of hanging clothing depending on how bulky or tightly packed in your closet the clothing is. Wardrobes that are needed for longer than moving day can be purchased.

Packing Clothing In Dresser Drawers

Clothing can be left in drawers if the dresser is sturdy, for example not particle board. If the dresser will be going into storage clothing should be removed and packed in boxes. Don’t leave loose items in drawers such as jewelry, spare change, pens etc… that will shift around during a move.

Pack Clothing In Luggage

Since you will be moving your luggage anyways, they are a great first spot to pack some clothing. Luggage can also be used to pack small items such as socks, undies and accessories.

Packing Clothing In Boxes

  • Purchase any packing supplies and boxes. Small-large boxes can be used.

  • Before starting to pack your clothing make sure everything is clean and dry.

  • Line bottom of the box with packing paper. Don’t use newspaper as the ink can damage clothing.

  • Heavier items should be packed on the bottom, lighter items on top.

  • Fill in gaps in the boxes with crumpled packing paper. Again, don’t user newspaper as the ink can damage clothing.

  • Pack shoes and accessories separate from clothing

  • As you pack your clothing label all boxes to make unpacking easier. If your move involves other people, such as your family or roommates, first label the boxes with the person’s name, then any other identifying info such as the season or type of clothing, shoes etc... to help organize unpacking at you new home.

Packing Shoes In Boxes

  • If your shoes are still in their original shoe boxes you can leave them and stack them in a larger box. Fill any space with crumpled packing paper.

  • If you no longer have the original shoe boxes, put socks or crumpled packing paper in the shoe to help it hold its form. Pack each pair individually in packing paper.

  • For boots, pack each individually. Pack larger heavier shoes at the bottom and lighter more delicate ones on top.

Packing Accessories

  • Fancy hats should be packed one per box.

  • Jewelry should be packed separately and any fine jewelry should be taken directly with you separately, not in the moving truck (movers aren’t liable if it is lost or damaged).

If you need assistance packing or moving contact Under One Roof for a free Chicago moving estimate.

Blog authored by Michelle Mathena, President of Under One Roof, a local moving company in Chicago. Michelle has over 20 years of experience in the moving industry. Under One Roof has had thousands of satisfied customers since 1982.

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