How to Pack Clothes for Moving - Earthrelo
  • February 11, 2021


If you’re planning a move in the near future, you’re likely wondering about the most strategic way to pack your clothes. How can you pack most efficiently, while saving the most space, and also making sure that you still have plenty of clothes to wear in the days leading up to the move? Fortunately, there are some helpful tips and tricks available on how to pack clothes for moving without losing your mind. Read on to learn more about these genius hacks.

How to Pack Clothes for Moving Without Losing Your Mind

Decrease your stash.

The fastest way to make your move easier is by simply decreasing the number of items you have to bring with you to your new place. Logically, the fewer items you own, the less you will need to pack.

Start by separating out all of the clothes that you no longer (or rarely) wear from the clothes that you do. It may be helpful to utilize a method such as the Konmari Method to help you figure this out.

Next, you may want to earn a bit of cash by selling your used clothing items, or simply go with the quicker and easier option of donating them.

Decrease your stash - Earthrelo
Decrease your stash – How to pack clothes for moving

Sort by material.

When deciding whether to fold or roll your clothes while packing, we recommend determining this by the material. Therefore, start by separating your clothes that are made from thicker, heavier materials (such as wool) from your lighter, thinner clothing items.

This will help you later on while actually packing. Additionally, you may also prefer to sort clothing items by season. This extra step will allow you to determine which groups of clothing to pack first, as you will want to keep your in-season clothing items on hand until closer to your actual move date.

Make an inventory list.

Take note of everything you have. This helps in the sorting process, but also in the packing process.

It will also allow you to look at everything you have from a higher position, making downsizing and packing decisions easier. One way of easily listing, categorizing, and sorting your clothes is by making a spreadsheet with each clothing item listed.

Set aside clothes to wear the day of.

Better yet, set aside outfits for the entire week leading up to the move, along with one or two for the days following. Why? It may take you longer than you think to move all of your things.

You also don’t want to be scrambling to pack up your clothes the night before; you will feel a lot less stressed if you can get the majority of your things packed away several days in advance of the move.

You will also want to keep one to two sets of outfits close at hand, regardless of whether you are traveling to your new location by car or plane. Occasionally, it takes movers more than one day to deliver all your things, and you don’t want to be stuck wearing the same clothes for days.

Leave clothing in your dresser.

Although you should definitely check with your moving company first to ensure that this is okay, many companies will allow you to leave your items in your dresser; they will simply move it as-is.

This saves you from having to pack a significant amount of clothing, while also securing you more space in your luggage and boxes for some of your larger, bulkier items.

Vacuum-sealed bags – How to Pack Clothes

By using vacuum-sealed bags, you will be able to compress large amounts of clothing into very small spaces. This will allow you to pack more clothes into one box or suitcase, saving you time, effort, and space. Use these whenever possible for a simple, streamlined method for packing up your clothes.

Fold by type.

Once you’ve sorted your clothes by type, you will also want to fold them by type. First, take your thick, heavy clothing, such as sweaters and jeans. You will want to fold these items or compress them into vacuum-sealed bags.

For your light, thin clothing, you will want to roll these into tightly-packed army rolls. You can find instructions on the most effective ways to fold or roll clothing to save the most space by conducting a simple online search. If you have clothing items that are more delicate, consider hanging them or wrapping them up.

The Smart Way to Pack Clothes for a Move

The Smart Way to Pack Clothes for a Move - Earthrelo
The Smart Way to Pack Clothes for a Move

Clean out your closet first.

As previously stated, if you want to be smart and strategic about packing your clothes for a move, you’ll need to clean out your closet beforehand.

Not only will this help reduce your overall load, but you can organize your clothes during the process and combine two steps into one. Truth be told, the fewer items you have to move, the faster and less stressful it will be for you.

Organize & clean your clothes beforehand.

The last thing you’ll want after a stressful move is to unpack a bunch of dirty clothes or have to worry about doing laundry on your first few days in your new place.

Make sure that all of your clothes are clean before you pack them, so you can immediately put them away as soon as you arrive. Additionally, organize your clothes as you pack so that you will know exactly which clothes are where, and can access them as you need them.

Consider hiring a professional.

Along with professional movers who come to lift and transport your furniture and heavy boxes, there are also professional movers who specialize in organizing and packing your clothing!

Although this is more of an expense than doing it yourself, a professional mover can ensure that everything is moved quickly, strategically, and with ease. If you would prefer to go this route, make sure that you’ve budgeted enough money for the expense in your moving budget.

Use specially designed moving boxes for clothes. – How to Pack Clothes

Did you know that there are actually tall, vertical boxes with implanted rods that are used specifically for packing and moving clothing? They are called “wardrobe boxes,” and you should use them any time you would like to keep your clothing hung up.

Some special types of clothing may become damaged or wrinkled when folded up and stuffed inside a suitcase, so if you have special pieces such as suits, dresses, or fancy coats, you may want to hang them up inside a wardrobe box. Or, if you’d prefer, you can pack all of your clothes this way.

Strategically pack accessories.

We strongly recommend you pack your accessories separately from the rest of your clothing. For jewelry, you can separate rings into egg cartons or pill boxes, and necklaces can be slipped through a straw.

Shoes should be placed into plastic bags, and scarves and hats can be rolled and packed separately. This way, you will prevent your small accessories from being lost during the move, and also prevent your shoes from getting the rest of your clothing items dirty.

Pack off-season clothes first.

You have to pack something first, and it’s better to start with the clothes you know for a fact you will not be wearing between now and the date of your move. The last thing you want is to pack up your clothes, and then have to go and unpack everything to search for the one item you needed in the days leading up to your move.

You can knock out packing half of your clothes right now by packing up your off-season clothes first, and separately from the clothes, you’ll be wearing in the coming days.

Label everything.

There’s nothing worse than showing up at your new place, being surrounded by boxes, and not knowing where anything is.

More likely than not, you’ll be worn out after your move, and you won’t want to unpack and set up everything all in one day. However, you’ll still need to be able to access your necessities – and that includes clothes.

Labeling all your items can prevent you from having to dig through everything to find what you’re looking for. Make sure you clearly label each box or piece of luggage so that you’ll be able to easily find what you need when you arrive.

Best Way to Pack Clothes for a Move in Your Suitcase

Best Way to Pack Clothes for a Move in Your Suitcase - Earthrelo
Best Way to Pack Clothes for a Move in Your Suitcase

Use vacuum-sealed bags.

Although you can use vacuum-sealed bags while packing clothes in any way, they are especially useful when packing clothes in a suitcase.

By compressing your clothing items – particularly your heavy clothing items – into vacuum-sealed bags, you are freeing up the amount of storage space available in your suitcase, allowing you to pack more items into one bag. This is also a great hack to utilize when you are packing in a hurry, as it will save you from having to sort clothes if you do not have the time.

Fold heavy items.

Although many people highly recommend you roll clothing items to save space, I have found that very thick or heavy clothing items take up more space when rolled up, and should be folded for the maximum capacity.

There are multiple helpful ways to fold clothes, but one popular method known as the Konmari Method for folding can really help to save space and pack all of your clothes together nicely in your suitcase. Performing a quick search can give you access to all the steps, or find a video tutorial here.

Roll lighter items.

Rolling lighter items, such as t-shirts, leggings, and undergarments, can help to conserve space better than folding them would when packing them into a suitcase. Tightly rolling your light clothing into army rolls will allow you to fit the largest amount of clothing into the smallest space.

Additionally, strategically fitting these rolls into the crevices of larger items (such as the insides of shoes, inside handbags, or the smaller pockets of your suitcases) can help you to fit more clothes into one space.

Pack shoes & accessories separately. – How to Pack Clothes

Along with strategically packing your accessories, you will also want to pack them separately from the rest of your clothing. If the majority of your clothing will be transported in suitcases, you may want to consider packing your accessories in a separate container or even simply their own separate suitcase.

This will ensure that your smaller accessories, such as jewelry, do not become broken or lost, and that your weather-worn clothing such as coats and shoes do not cause the rest of your clothing to become dirty or stained.

Pack Shoes and Accessories Separately - Earthrelo

Pack how you would if you were traveling.

If you’ve ever had to stay overnight at a hotel for more than a few days, you’ve likely had experience packing a suitcase full of clothes. Probably not surprisingly, the same techniques that you use to pack a suitcase full of clothes while traveling are the same techniques that you should use when packing a suitcase to move.

Searching for packing hacks for traveling can provide you with a plethora of tips and tricks for packing your clothes for a move as well. The goal is to reduce the number of suitcases and boxes you will need to transport to your new location – which means fitting as many clothing items as possible into one container.

Separate valuable items.

Expensive, valuable pieces of clothing, such as wedding dresses, suits, or fur coats should not be packed into suitcases. These items are more likely to be damaged, wrinkled, or stained with squashed in with all of your other clothing pieces. Consider leaving these out and packing them in a wardrobe box instead.

Utilize packing cubes.

Packing cubes are every mover’s (or traveler’s) best friend! These cubes are designed to separate out your items within your suitcase. Although also helpful for when you have a variety of different types of items, they can also help you to sort and organize your different types of clothing.

By sorting your t-shirts, bottoms, and undergarments into packing cubes, you’ll be able to pull out exactly the items you need from your suitcase the moment you arrive. Instead of digging through multiple suitcases to find a matching pair of socks, you can simply remove the packing cube that contains your socks.


How do I start packing clothes to move?

The very first thing you should do before packing is perform a full assessment of your wardrobe and all of the clothes that you own. Organize your clothes into multiple piles, sorting them by season, size, and material.

Go through each item you own and determine if you really, truly want the item, and donate or sell all the clothes you believe you will never wear again. Once you have accomplished this, you can begin planning which clothes to pack into which containers.

Before packing anything else, you should always pack clothes that are out of season first, to ensure that you don’t accidentally pack away an article of clothing that you will later need.

Is it better to roll or fold clothes?

Truthfully, it depends. This is a hot topic within the packing community, and many people will staunchly support one way of packing over the other. However, in my personal experience, it really depends. Thick, heavier clothing items, such as sweaters, pants, and jackets tend to take up the least amount of space when they are folded.

Thinner, lighter, and smaller clothing items tend to do best when tightly rolled into cylinders. However, feel free to experiment with both ways of packing to determine which method works best for you. There is no one hard and fast rule for packing and a method that works perfectly for someone else’s wardrobe may not be the best fit for yours.

What is the best way to pack clothes?

The best way to pack clothes honestly depends on the type and number of clothes that you have. There are many ways to pack clothes: in boxes, in suitcases, in duffel bags, and even simply leaving them in your dresser drawers if allowed by your moving company.

Naturally, many clothes can be packed easily into suitcases. However, delicate or expensive clothing items should probably be packed into wardrobe boxes where they can remain hung. Additionally, smaller clothing items can be tossed into duffel bags, and thicker, heavier clothing items can be vacuum-sealed and placed into both suitcases and boxes.


There is no one right or wrong way to pack clothes for a move. Some of the most helpful tips include reducing the number of clothes you own, sorting and organizing your clothes, coming up with an inventory and plan, and folding and packing your clothes by type.

There are also tips and tricks for organizing and strategically packing your accessories, as well as how to handle more delicate or valuable items. However, you choose to pack your clothes, don’t be afraid to experiment with methods that work best for you – and don’t try to do it all last minute, either.

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