Blog October 16, 2021

How to Pack Clothes for Moving Interstate

Posted in How-to
Hannah Michaelson

Hannah is a freelance relocation writer from NYC that has become an expert on packing and unpacking.

When you begin with preparations for your interstate moving adventure, you will quickly conclude that you need guidelines for packing certain items. It’s not all as simple as it seems. One of the dilemmas you’ll face is this – how to pack clothes for moving? Luckily, you have us to explain everything. With these provenly efficient tips that we are about to share with you, you will have no problems transporting clothing to your new home.

What is the best way to pack clothes for a move? Naturally, there is more than one way to handle this task, but we will provide you with advice that will help you finish this quickly, without breaking a sweat. You have no reason to stress over this – it’s a pretty straightforward process that doesn’t require much energy, although it might take some time, depending on how much stuff you plan to move. Are you ready? Let’s get to work.

How to Pack Clothes for Moving? We Have All the Tips for You

If you’re struggling to figure out how to pack clothes for a move, this article will make everything crystal clear. This is one of the essential tasks from a relocation to-do list that you’ll have to finish if you want to have an efficient move. The good thing is that you don’t have to learn plenty of relocation hacks to do this successfully – it’s mostly a matter of common sense, mixed with a few brilliant relocation tips.

If you’re considering skipping this part and wondering if you should hire state to state movers and invest in their packing service, you probably want to know how do movers pack clothes. There isn’t anything notably different that they do – they are just a bit quicker because they have done it countless times before. However, letting professionals handle this can be an excellent idea, especially if you’re planning a last-minute move and have no time to do this yourself.

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Packing Clothes for Moving – All You Need Is Good Organization

So, how to pack clothes when moving to a new state? The answer to this question isn’t that different from the answer to the general question – how do I pack my stuff for moving to the new home? The key is an excellent organization. If you have a good plan, not even relocation stress can do anything to you. Keep your to-do list close at all times, and remember that you should also write a relocation expenses checklist to help you keep track of all your spending – things can quickly get out of control as the move approaches. Now let’s get into details, and teach you how to wrap your garments perfectly and safely move them to your new home.

Jeans, sweater, cap, two tulips, and a watch on a white sheet
Wrapping and putting all your garments into packages takes time and organization

What Should You Not Pack When Moving – Decluttering Is the First Step

Do you know how many shirts or jeans you have not worn in years? Some of them you even forgot about, or they are out of fashion, others are just too worn out to be worth transporting. You’ve been in your current home for years, and you’ve been piling up various items all that time.

Try to imagine how many hours it would take to wrap all that stuff – not to mention the shoes. Probably too many, right? Now think about the cost of all the relocation supplies. You’ve been saving money to move out for a while, so we’re guessing you don’t want to end this move broke. After you decide to downsize for a move and choose what to get rid of when you move, here are a few ideas on what you can do with these garments:

  • Organize a garage sale – be sure to advertise it well, so it’ll be successful.
  • Donate pieces you no longer use or have gone out of style – there’s someone out there who will love them.
  • Recycle things in the worst condition – use them as cloths for the move-out cleaning, and throw them out afterward.
  • Some items can be of use for packing dishes – they can replace bubble wrap or padding materials. This is especially effective for wrapping plates.
  • If you can’t find a use for a garment, and you no longer wear it, don’t be scared to throw it away – it’s not wise to be a hoarder when you have to move.
  • Pro tip – after you’re done with decluttering garments, do the same with shoes. Only then can you proceed to wrap shoes for a move. Worry not, wrapping shoes is a simple task.
A person putting a sweater on the pile of garments on the package labeled
An excellent idea for getting rid of things you no longer wear is to donate them simply

Wash All the Clothing That You Plan to Move With You

You wouldn’t even go to a weekend getaway with dirty T-shirts, so how can you move them to a new home if they are dirty? Well, you can, but that means you will make more work for yourself on top of all the unpacking after the move you will have to do. Trust us, this advice is with best intentions at heart – don’t wrap anything before you wash it and dry it thoroughly.

You wouldn’t want to find yourself in a situation where you have nothing clean to wear to go out and celebrate your move with friends. The fact is that there are so many things to do after the move that you just don’t need additional tasks. Plus, if you are about to move out for the first time, keep in mind that you’ll be so confused in the first couple of weeks that doing laundry will be the last thing on your mind. Also, if you plan on renting a storage unit and leaving some stuff there, you shouldn’t skip this step.

A white washing machine, shelves with toilet paper rolls and plants on both its side
Make your life easier - wash everything before the move

Gather the Right Packing Supplies for This Task, Like Bags and Boxes

You can’t wrap anything without adequate supplies. A trip to the supply store is a tedious thing to do, but it must be done. The sooner you’re over with it, the sooner you can go back to planning your going-away party to say bye to your friends. Maybe this will make you feel better about all the supplies you have to gather – there’s not much required for this particular task, as there would be for wrapping glasses, for example.

What Kind of Boxes We Suggest You Use?

If you don’t want to complicate things, you can simply get standard cardboard boxes of small or medium size. You can even get free boxes if you’re ready for a search – visit local grocery stores, liquor stores, or bookstores. Check on Freecycle – it could be of great help. In the unlikely case that you don’t find the packages for free, you can always buy them. If you are ready to spend a bit more, we suggest purchasing a wardrobe box – it’s made explicitly for carrying garments on hangers, so your favorite pieces won’t even wrinkle in transport.

What Are the Additional Materials You Should Have by Your Side?

A box isn’t enough for safe transportation. It doesn’t even have to be necessary if you have moving bags for clothes. This can be a great alternative to a traditional or wardrobe box, so make sure to try them out. If you still plan on placing some garments in packages, we suggest you buy a lot of packing paper – place it as a layer on the bottom of the box, and fill in the residual space with it after you put stuff you’ll move in the package.

One of the unavoidable materials for this task are garbage bags – they are clean and cheap, and they do the job perfectly. You don’t have to spend plenty of money on fancy packing materials when these will be more than enough. Also, you can get vacuum bags for storing off-season garments – you won’t even have to worry about unpacking them until the season changes.

Packages on the floor, an open wardrobe package on the right with garments inside
A wardrobe box like this one is a great way to move your garments safely

Sort and Fold Items Neatly – Here Are All the Packing Tips You’ll Need to Do This Properly

So, now that you are done with preparations, it’s time to get to the fun part of the how to move clothes task – sort, fold, and place in the package. That is basically all you have to do, but all three of these steps have little tricks and hacks that will speed up the process and ensure your belongings are well packed. If you follow our advice, you can be sure that nothing will be damaged during the move.

How Do You Sort Clothing Before the Move?

Of course, you have the freedom to sort as you like, or you can even skip sorting altogether. Still, keep in mind that this approach can lead to difficulties after the move because it will most certainly complicate unpacking. How do we suggest you sort all your garments? It’s probably best to divide by the type of pieces and then further sort things by the owner if you are relocating with family members. Other commonly used sorting methods are by the season (remember vacuum bags we’ve mentioned before) and by the material the item was made of.

What Are the Most Commonly Used Folding Techniques?

Again, there are no strict guidelines, and you can fold however you like. The folding techniques we will mention below are just those noticed to bring the best results. They will take up the least amount of space and are the most effective against wrinkling. Here are our top 3 folding techniques:

  • The flat fold – This is the easiest one, and it requires the least time out of three. Lay the garment face down on the flat surface, fold both sides towards the middle, and fold the upper half over the bottom one. It’s a classic method – you can’t go wrong with it.
  • The KonMari method – Invented by the organizer Marie Kondo, this method is the most effective if your goal is to save as much space as possible. There are three steps to it – fold the sides, fold the piece in half, and roll it. So simple and yet brilliant.
  • The military rolling method – If you are ready to go the extra mile to save space and prevent your precious items from wrinkling, you should try this out. It’s a bit complicated, though – that’s why it would be best if you checked out the video below.

What Is the Best Way to Pack Clothes When Moving?

Everything is sorted and folded, so what is the next step? Get your packages ready because you are about to fill them up with your lovely outfits. How to pack clothing efficiently? If the sorting and folding are done right, there shouldn’t be any problems with this stage. All you have to do is be careful when placing things in the package. Obviously, there’s no reason to obsess over this as much as you would when wrapping books – garments can hardly get severely damaged in a package, but if you’re careless, folded pieces will fall apart and wrinkle, and all your hard work will go down the drain.

A woman holding sweaters
Be careful when putting piles of garments into packages - arrange them neatly inside

After You Have Placed Everything Into Boxes, Seal Them

We’ve explained the best way to move clothes, and once you are done with the steps above, all there is left to do is fill the residual space in every package (so your belongings won’t tumble inside it every time the truck hits a bump in the road), seal it, and label it. Of course, labeling isn’t essential considering that there’s nothing breakable in these packages, but it will help you find the outfit you’re looking for once you start unpacking.

Remember to Leave a Few Pieces Out of the Box, So You Have Something to Wear on Your Relocation Day

This is pretty much a matter of common sense, but we often lack that when faced with the pressure of relocating. Don’t worry, you wouldn’t be the first one to forget to leave an outfit for the relocation day out of the package – it happens, just as plenty of us overlook the most commonly forgotten things to wrap. But, now you have this reminder, so we hope you will remember to prepare a separate bag with your moving essentials, including a change of clothes, pajamas, underwear, and everything else you’ll need for a day or two.

A person taping the cardboard package before the chosen state to state movers arrive
Once the package is full, remember to seal it and label it properly

Pack Smart So You Won’t Have to Unpack for Days

If you’re not relying on professional moving services, you should at least call a few friends to help you, even if you don’t have anxiety about moving out because things can get complicated in no time. Although boxing up garments seems like a no-brainer, you will quickly realize that it is not so easy, and it is actually time-consuming. Take some time to thoroughly sort and organize everything, so you can unpack efficiently in a day.

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