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Moving Tips

How to Pack Clothing for a Move: 5 Tips for Moving Clothes

Are you dreading the thought of packing up your entire wardrobe for a move? Packing and moving clothes can be one of the most time-consuming parts of relocating. But what if we told you there are ways to make it easier, quicker, and more efficient? Keep reading to learn how to pack clothing for a move and find answers to common questions about the best ways to pack clothes for moving.

Is It Better to Pack Clothes in Boxes or Bags?

When it comes to the best way to move clothes, both boxes and bags have their advantages. 

Pack clothes in boxes when:

  • You have bulky items like jeans and sweaters that can be folded flat.
  • You want a cost-effective option, as cardboard boxes are generally more affordable.
  • You need various sizes to accommodate different types of clothing.
  • You’re moving and need to store your clothes for an extended period.

Pack clothes in bags when:

  • You’re traveling with your clothes and need a portable solution.
  • You want to maximize space by using vacuum-sealed bags or packing cubes.
  • You have delicate or wrinkle-prone clothes that need extra protection.
  • You’re transporting clothes on hangers and prefer using garment bags or trash bags for convenience.

How Do You Pack Clothes for a Long-Distance Move?

When it’s time to pack your clothes for a long-distance move, start by sorting and purging. Go through your wardrobe and decide what you really need to take with you. Consider the climate and lifestyle at your new location. Once you’ve pared down, categorize your clothing into items that can be folded, those that should remain on hangers, and delicate items that need special attention. Use wardrobe boxes for hanging items to prevent wrinkles. 

For folded clothes, consider using vacuum-sealed bags or packing cubes to save space. Delicate items should be wrapped in tissue paper or bubble wrap for protection. Don’t forget to clearly label all boxes, bags, and containers so you can easily find everything at your new home. Lastly, pack a suitcase with essentials you’ll need right away so you’re not digging through boxes for pajamas after a long day of moving.

Is It Better to Pack Clothes Flat or Rolled?

When it comes to how to pack clothing for a move, you’ll want to go flat in some situations and rolled in others. 

Pack clothes flat when:

  1. Packing Formal Wear: Dress shirts, blazers, and other formal wear are often better packed flat to avoid creases and maintain their shape.
  2. Dealing with Delicate Fabrics: Clothes made of delicate fabrics like silk or lace should be packed flat to prevent damage.
  3. Storing Clothes Long-Term: If you’re storing clothes rather than packing for a trip, laying them flat can help maintain their shape over time.
  4. Packing Large Items: Larger items like sweaters or dresses might be better packed flat as rolling them could take up more space.

Pack clothes rolled when:

  1. Traveling Light: If you’re trying to fit a lot of items into a small suitcase or bag, rolling your clothes can save space.
  2. Preventing Wrinkles: For many types of clothing, especially those made of synthetic materials, rolling can help prevent wrinkles.
  3. Packing Casual Clothes: T-shirts, jeans, and other casual clothing items tend to fare well when rolled.
  4. Organizing Your Suitcase: Rolling clothes allows you to see everything you’ve packed at a glance without needing to dig through layers.

Is It Okay to Pack Clothes in Cardboard Boxes?

Yes, packing and moving clothes in cardboard boxes is okay. In fact, it’s one of the most common ways to pack clothes for a move. Cardboard boxes are readily available, inexpensive, and easy to handle. They also provide a good level of protection for your clothes, especially if you’re moving locally or storing them for a short period of time. However, if you’re moving long-distance or planning to store your clothes longer, consider using plastic bins or vacuum-sealed bags for better protection against moisture and pests. Also, remember to clearly label your boxes so you can find your clothes easily when you unpack.

How to Pack Clothing for a Move: 5 Tips for Packing and Moving Clothes

When it comes to how to pack clothing for moving, use these tips to ensure a fast, efficient, and safe process.

1. Decide What You’ll Pack

Categorize your clothing into three separate groups: keep, donate, or sell. Although it may seem like an added step, sorting through your clothing first before packing it will save you time and money. Sort through your clothing and decide on gently used pieces that you can part ways with. You can either donate them or try to sell them with apps like Poshmark.

Once you’ve decided what you will keep, try to group the clothing by season, material, size, or whatever will make sense for you. Be sure that you label each box and container with the specific category or grouping of your choice. You’ll be very happy you did this once you arrive at your new home.

clothing in a box labeled "donation"

2. Keep What You’ll Need

Be sure to pack a separate moving bag with 1-2 weeks’ worth of clothing that you can access while all your other clothes and belongings are packed away. Be sure that the clothing is comfortable and lightweight so that you can move with ease.

If there are any pieces of clothing in particular that you value, keep them with you in a separate box. It’ll give you peace of mind to have them on you during the move. You’ll also be able to focus more on other important details during the moving process. Here are more tips on how to protect valuables during a move.

3. Keep Your Dressers Full


One of the best ways to pack clothes for moving is to keep them in your dresses. Keeping your dressers full saves time, space, effort, and energy as long as they don’t contain any fragile items. This way, you can just worry about moving the piece of furniture, and the clothing transports itself without needing to be unpacked and reorganized.

4. How to Pack Clothes When Moving – Containers

Wardrobe Boxes

hanging clothing

Wardrobe boxes are a no-brainer for your hanging clothing. They allow you to keep your clothing intact and on the hanger, helping you move it from your old closet to your new closet with as little effort as possible.

Regular Boxes

packing boxes

Regular boxes don’t handle hanging clothing very well. However, they’re perfect for folded clothing as they can be packed and stored away neatly for transport due to their standardized size. Be sure to organize each box thoughtfully so that it’s not a mishmash of different items that belong in different places.


person packing suitcase

Suitcases are another great way to transport non-hanging clothing. They are beneficial because they offer an extra layer of protection for delicate or valued items. Also, they make it obvious where your clothing is when you’re trying to navigate through a room full of homogeneous-looking boxes.

Vacuum Bags

vacuum laying on an area rug in a living room

Vacuum bags are a compact option for packing and moving clothing. They are especially good for bulky items like comforters, winter clothing, and jackets. This can save you lots of mental energy. Just be sure to find sturdy storage for the condensed bags themselves.

5. Pack Hats and Shoes Separately


Both shoes and hats should be packed separately from the rest of your clothing. Shoes can easily get scuffed, crushed, or lose their shape when stored improperly. Hats are especially at risk of losing shape in storage.

We recommend you use as much space as needed to be sure to keep these valuable accessories intact. The best thing you can do is store the items in the shoebox or hat box they came in. Otherwise, use tissue paper or towels as padding for these items, and don’t be afraid to use extra boxes if necessary.

6. Hire Professional Movers Is the Best Way to Move Clothes

metropolis moving truck

The best way to protect your clothing during a move is to hire professional movers. At Metropolis Movers, we have experience with moves of all sizes and scopes and can confidently transport your important clothing and other belongings to your new home. We have earned a reputation as one of the most reliable and professional moving services in New York City and are ready to serve you well. Request a moving quote today to get your process started.

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