You’ve decided to move, you’ve hired movers and everything is finally falling into place. But there’s one concern that’s living rent-free in your head and won’t go – packing the whole house before moving day.

It shouldn’t be that hard right? After all, most items in your home can be easily put in boxes and moved. But for a lot of us, there’s one area that we don’t like going through even on usual days, and that’s our closets. Moving is always compared to starting again, so with it also comes the pressure of actually starting with a clean slate.

With clothing, this turns into a big stressor; after all, you don’t want to lug your entire closet there. At the same time, clothes are made of different materials. So how do you ensure that they don’t get damaged? You’ve come to the right place since we’ve given you all the steps you need to follow to pack your clothes for moving.

Things To Do Before Packing

When it comes to packing clothing, there’s a lot you need to do before you get to the actual packing bit. We’ve outlined these for you down below:

1. Start De-cluttering

If you’ve hired movers or if you’re going to store your clothing somewhere, you’ll be well aware that you’re going to be charged based on the space your items occupy. So, why not take this amazing opportunity and sort through your clothes to save some space in your truck and some money?

Start the process bit-by-bit by taking your clothes out and going through them individually. As cliché as it sounds, we really suggest you Marie Kondo the whole process and ask yourself if an item of clothing sparks joy or not. If not, set it aside. Do this with every piece of clothing you own, be it cocktail dresses or sweatpants.

Also Read: Decluttering before Moving

2. Make Categories

As you sort through your clothes one by one, also put them into different piles so that the following steps are easier for you. You can have the following piles if you choose:

  • Clothing based on seasons
  • Clothes belonging to different members of the family
  • Clothes based on material

Tip: Always start by packing seasonal clothing first. You won’t need them for the coming months so it’s best to put it out of the way first!

3. Make a Keep, Giveaway, And Donate Pile

We all have sentimental value attached to some of the other items of clothing. Be it the blanket that was used when your child was born, or the first jersey you got when you joined a new team, we have it all. But this can become a problem if you attach sentimental value to every item you own and won’t willingly let that go.

If you don’t want to throw it away, what you can do with clothes that you haven’t worn much and are still in good condition is donate them. This way you’re helping someone in need while also giving something that was dear to you a new life. At the same time, you’ll only be keeping clothing that you’ll actually wear in the months to come. So when you sort through your clothing, we suggest you also check if there are clothing items that can be given to many family members or friends.

Charities like Goodwill, Room to Grow and Project GLAM are some that you can visit if you have clothes to donate. If you don’t have enough time to make trips to these charities for donations, you can also contact them and ask if they offer pickup services because most of them do!

Tip: If you’re calling charities to pick your donation pile up, get a tax-deductible receipt for the donation from them.

4. Start Selling Trendy Items

We all have some clothing items that we spent too much money buying and never wore it as much. If you’re not going to wear them in the months to come at all, then it’s best to actually sell them. Not only will save space but this way you’ll also get a significant amount of cash in your wallet.

You can sell your clothing on online stores like Depop, Poshmark or Craigslist. If that’s something you don’t have the time for considering that you have to take images, coordinate with buyers and ship these clothes. Maybe you can host a yard sale. The bonus is that you can sell clothes and all the things in your house that you don’t need in the yard sale.

Another option is selling these clothing items to consignment stores in your locality. They’ll take care of the whole process for you for a small commission.

Also Read: Where To Sell Clothes For Cash Online?

5. Make A Move Box

Wondering what this means? Keep a pile of clothing only for the moving day and to be worn on the day you arrive at your new home. This is something many of us forget to do and then we end up ransacking all possible boxes to find clothes to wear once the move is over. But trust us, you’re not going to have the energy to do that, so just keep a pair of clothes ready to wear separately.

We suggest you add clothing that’s comfortable and won’t give you trouble. Also, add towels and pajamas to this pile since you’ll be needing them on your first night in your new home. There’s another thing you need to consider especially if you’re moving cross country – how will the weather be? If you know it’s going to get unbearably cold at night, pack yourself a few woolens.

See Also: Guide To Best Cheap Moving Boxes

6. Wash And Dry What Has To Be Taken

If you have clothing in your laundry bins and you’re thinking of dumping it in a box and washing it once you move, we suggest you drop that idea right away. Not only is it an added burden to lug these dirty clothes along, but it’s also extremely unhygienic. You don’t want other clothes to smell, nor do you want the pain of washing them the first day you move.

So, wash or dry-clean your dirty clothes well in advance. If you’re washing them, don’t forget to check if they’re completely dry before you pack them. Damp clothing can give rise to mildew and you don’t want that!

Methods To Pack Clothes

Let’s talk about the various ways in which you can actually pack your clothes once you’ve decided which pieces to take along with you. While packing them in cardboard boxes might seem like the default method, there are many others that you can use.

1. Leave Them In The Dresser

You’ve definitely seen people in moving videos leave their clothes in the dresser and then move the entire dresser! It’s the easiest option out of many and it also helps save an ample amount of time. But, there are certain points that you need to keep in mind before you decide to go ahead with this idea.

  • Ask your moving company if they allow you to store clothing in your dresser. Many moving companies have policies that prevent such things, so be sure to check them prior to moving.
  • Don’t store bulky and heavy clothing items like coats, woolens, etc. in your dresser since you’ve to be able to load and unload them from a moving truck.
  • Towels, sweatshirts, pajamas, and other clothing that you can wear when you reach your new home are some of the best things that you can fold and store in your dresser.
  • If your dresser is too big and too heavy, consider taking the drawers with the clothes out and moving them separately.
  • Make sure that your dresser is attached to the moving truck using tie-downs since you don’t want it to shift during transit.

Read Also: What’s The Right Moving Truck Size for Your Relocation?

2. Use Suitcases

You’ll definitely have a few suitcases lying around at home and there’s no point in just taking them to your new place all empty. Fill these up with clothes to save space and utilize them to their optimum level. What you can do when you pack your clothing in suitcases is use the following guidelines:

  • Line the inside of your suitcase with packing paper to avoid any form of water damage to your clothing. You can skip this step if you have hardshell luggage.
  • Fold the clothes neatly. You can either make rolls or even fold them flatly.
  • If you’re packing shoes inside suitcases, then stuff the insides of these shoes with paper. You can also stuff items like socks inside clean shoes.
  • Suitcases are a great way to transport heavy clothing items too. So instead of stuffing these in a dresser or a cardboard box, pack them in a suitcase.
  • You can also keep one suitcase for the clothing and toiletries that you and your family will require on the first day in your new house.
  • You can also use vacuum or compression bags to fit as much clothing as possible within a suitcase. They save an ample amount of space and you can keep them for future travels.

3. Duffel And Plastic Bags For The Win!

Make use of any duffel or plastic bags you’ve lying around the house to pack your clothing. Always fold your clothing in rolls when you pack it in these and we don’t suggest putting in clothing items that you don’t want crinkled.

Since these bags hold a lot, they’re a great way to store lounge wear, towels, pullovers, and other such clothing items. Just remember to tie the knots of plastic bags securely and even use double bags, if need be.

4. Time For Cardboard Boxes

The most cost-effective and low-maintenance way to move your clothing is by packing it all in cardboard boxes. There are many places where you can even find boxes for free like local department stores and save money. When you start putting your stuff in boxes, you can either put them in with the hangers on or take the clothes off from the hangers and fold the clothing.

It goes without saying that folding clothes will save space and allow you to pack a significant amount of clothing in a single box. When you pack clothes, more than the packing style, it’s the labeling that requires more attention. Try labeling every box based on the following pointers once you’re done packing:

  • The room the box should go to
  • Who the clothing belongs to
  • Specify the season
  • Type of clothing – if it’s for events or just loungewear

Don’t forget to tape the box with packing tape securely and write down the correct specifications as we’ve mentioned above. If you have clothes like suits and party dresses that you don’t want to fold but don’t want to just shove in a cardboard box either, you can opt for a wardrobe box. What are these? They’re tall and sturdy cardboard boxes with a hanging rack at the top, so you can hang your clothes without worrying about them creasing!

Related: Where to Buy Moving Boxes?

Additional Tips For When You Pack Clothing

Here are a few things you can keep in when you start packing your clothing:

  1. Place heavy and bulky items at the bottom and lighter clothing items at the top.
  2. Spray seasonal clothing that you won’t be accessed for a few months with insect repellent that’s meant for clothing.
  3. Don’t use very large boxes to pack your clothing since it can get extremely heavy to move around. Instead, use medium-sized boxes for this purpose.
  4. Clothing items like shawls and blankets can actually be used to wrap glassware. You can also use these to create padding in boxes that you’ll be packing dishware in.
  5. Never put in any jewelry or clothing item that’s extremely valuable in packing boxes that will be handled by moving companies. Always carry these with you.

Also See: List of Out of State Moving Companies in America | Tips to Pack Jewelry for your Move


Have you started packing all your clothes into boxes? Even though the piles of clothes around your floors might seem too much to handle, you’re more than capable of getting through it. Follow our guide to packing your clothes and take it one step at a time. By the end of it you’ll be very glad that you killed two birds with one stone by decluttering and packing the clothes you need!


Is it worth paying for packing when moving?

Yes, especially if you’ve a lot to pack and not much time on your hands. Professional movers are efficient at their jobs and can get your home packed in no time. You should also note that professional packers know the nitty-gritties of packing anything and everything, so nothing gets damaged however fragile!

How long before a move should I start packing?

We suggest you start packing at least 3 to 4 weeks in advance especially because sorting
through clothing takes time. Keeping this time bracket will give you enough time to pack slowly while you donate and give things away.

Is it better to roll clothes or fold?

Fold clothes that crease easily like cotton and linen. On the other hand, materials like wool don’t crease so you can roll them, and it also saves space.

What do movers load first?

Movers always load the larger appliances, furniture, and boxes first. Once that’s done, they fill all the empty spaces with smaller boxes and other knick-knacks.