How to Pack Clothes & Shoes for Moving

It’s finally happening. You’ve got your new home waiting and all you have to do is pack, load, and hit the road. But like many things, that’s easier said than done. The Maids can get your old home clean and move-in ready, but the packing is up to you! We know you’re in a hurry to get the move over with, but it’s worth taking the time to learn how to pack clothes for moving.

Yes, there is a right way and a wrong way. The wrong way is to throw everything into containers or bags and deal with the mess once you’ve moved into your new place. The right way requires purging and putting your clothes and shoes back into closets and drawers without wrinkles or damage. You don’t want to wash and iron a bunch of clothes when you move in, right? So keep reading to learn how to pack clothes for moving.

The Best Way to Pack Clothes for Moving Starts With a Purge

Packing clothes and shoes for moving is the perfect opportunity to get rid of all that stuff you’ve been hanging on to for way too long. Before you pull everything out of your closet, take inventory. Can you spot the clothes you rarely wear or don’t even remember buying? Are there clothes that are too small, too big, or just outdated? Pull them out and put your closet rejects to the side. Move on to your shoes and go through the same process.

Now take inventory of your other clothes. Take them out of drawers and lay them on your bed. Go through the same process as you did with your closets. Try to be objective and remember your goal: decluttering and packing less before moving to your new home. Put the clothes you’re not keeping to the side.

The items you’ve purged can be sold, donated, or thrown away. If you want to make a few bucks, you can sell used clothing and shoes on Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, and other online selling platforms. When you donate your old clothes to your local Goodwill or other nonprofit organization, you can help people in need, and your donation can be a tax writeoff. If you find purged items that are in poor condition, just throw them away.

How to Fold Clothes to Save Space

How you fold and pack your non-hanging clothes makes a big difference in how much work you’ll have to do once you move into your new place. If possible, leave your folded clothes right where they are. If you have the muscle to move dressers and chests of drawers full of clothes, that could be the perfect way to move your wardrobe without all the folding and packing. If you choose this packing solution, seal the drawers so they don’t open while in motion. Make sure you use tape that won’t damage the furniture!

When you’re learning how to pack clothes for moving, you’ll quickly see how you pack is as important as what you pack your clothes in. If you decide to fold clothes to save space, you can line the bottom of a box with packing paper and stack folded clothes inside. Pack clothes in the same order you pull them out of the drawer, so you can put them right back in once you’ve moved. You can use a piece of packing paper to designate where the contents of a drawer end and start for quicker unpacking.

When you’re thinking about how to pack clothes for moving, consider two proven packing methods: folding and rolling. Both methods protect your clothes from wrinkles and damage during the move. The rolling method optimizes the space in a box, while the folding method is the simplest.

How to Fold Clothes for Packing

Folding clothes for moving is the most common method of packing, and it’s a simple process when you know a few tricks. To fold a shirt correctly:

  1. Place it face down on a bed or carpet.
  2. Fold one sleeve and a third of the shirt body in toward the middle of the shirt and smooth out the wrinkles.
  3. Repeat for the other sleeve and third of the shirt body, and then fold the bottom half of the shirt up.
  4. Smooth out any wrinkles and pack the shirt away.

To fold pants for moving, fold one leg over the other, fold in thirds, and smooth out the wrinkles.

How to Roll Clothes for Packing

Rolling clothes for packing is also called the “Army rolling method.” This packing method maximizes storage and prevents wrinkles during a move. To roll a shirt:

  1. Place it flat on a bed or other surface.
  2. Take the three inches of the shirt and flip them inside out.
  3. Fold a third of the shirt over from the side to the middle, and then fold the sleeve back on itself.
  4. Repeat on the other side.
  5. Starting at the top of the shirt, roll it down as tightly as possible.

When you’re done, take the pouch you created at the beginning and fold it over the rolled-up shirt.

How to Pack Clothes on Hangers

If you’re like a lot of us, your closets are packed with hanging clothes. Dresses, pants, blouses, and other hanging clothes present a unique packing challenge if you want a smooth move. Your clothes are hanging up because that’s the best way to store them, so why pull them all off their hangers?

Like keeping folded clothes in drawers during a move, packing hanging clothes on their hangers is the best way to pack them for a move. Here are three ways to pack clothes on hangers:

  1. Clothing Rack – Cheap, portable clothing racks are perfect for moving clothes on hangers. Many come with wheels, are easy to assemble, and can easily be found at local stores or online. If you use a clothing rack, make sure the hangers and the unit itself are secure during the move.
  2. Garment Bags – Moving can be a dirty endeavor, and hanging clothes can get soiled and damaged if they aren’t packed correctly. Garment bags protect your hanging clothes during the move and make packing them up so much easier. If you don’t have any garment bags, check with your local dry cleaner.
  3. Garbage Bags – This is a great DIY method for packing clothes on hangers. All you need are 30-gallon drawstring trash bags and some twist ties. Organize your hanging clothes however you like into groups of about 20.Fold the bag in half and cut a small hole in the bottom at the crease for the hangers to poke through. Slide the bag over your group of hanging clothes and use a twist tie around the hangers to secure them. Tie off the drawstring at the bottom and start loading.

How to Pack Shoes for Moving

You may not have thought much about how to pack shoes for moving. But if you want to keep them in good shape (and together), here are three field-tested tips to help you get your footwear ready to relocate:

  1. Shoe BoxesIf you have shoe boxes packed away, that’s perfect. Just put your boots or shoes in the boxes and use tissue paper as filler if the box is too big. Then seal the lid to the bottom of the box with a rubber band. Don’t have shoe boxes? Your local shoe store probably has plenty of shoe boxes you can get for free or for very little money.
  2. Plastic Shoe ContainersYou can find inexpensive plastic shoe containers at dollar stores and or online. The lids usually snap on, so you don’t have to worry about them coming off during the move. Not only will these containers keep your shoes safe during the move, they make a great storage solution for your new closet!
  3. Shoe BagsIf you’ve never used shoe bags before, try them out. While they don’t protect shoes during a move like a hard side container or box, they do a great job preventing scuffs and soiling. And like the plastic shoe containers, they are an excellent solution for storing your more expensive shoes in your closet.

Now that you know how to pack clothes for moving and how The Maids can handle the final clean-up at your old place, check out our popular move-in cleaning services. We’ll get your new home move-in ready before you arrive. Get your free estimate online and let us help make your next move a good one.


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