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How to Pack Clothes for Your Move Most Efficiently


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Organize, coordinate, and consolidate. Of these three words, consolidation will have the most impact on the efficiency of your move. It is also the most difficult of the three to execute. The task can seem daunting, but all it requires is a few surefire steps to help reduce the net amount of clothes you need to transport to your new home. Here’s the formula (New Clothes + Clothes You Still Wear – Clothes You Don’t Wear). It’s not rocket science but darn it if it’s not one of the most difficult and dreaded elements of moving. Why is it so hard? We are a nation of fashionistas. The more we possess, and the better we look, the better we feel. Whether it’s shoes, underwear, jewelry, sneakers or dress shirts, it doesn’t matter; we will always want more. This innate need makes it especially challenging to get rid of the things we no longer need. You know that blue peacoat that’s about to come back into style, or that red sweater that Grandma made, or the suit with the bell-bottom pant? If you can’t bring yourself to dispose of these extra items, then consider having a tag sale or donating them to charity. Besides the philanthropic aspects, one of the benefits of giving to charity is that you can write off those more valuable items at tax time. Once you’ve eliminated all the extra baggage, it’s time to pack what’s left for the move.

Packing Methods

Whether you’re packing to move cross country or right here within New York City, here are some of the best and most efficient ways to pack clothes for moving. Packing is an art. The best way to pack clothes for moving will be slightly different for everyone depending on your unique situation. You may have limited closet/shelving space in your new abode which requires you to rent a storage unit. If this is the case, utilizing a mix of boxes and keeping them elevated is an important safeguard against water damage from potential flooding of the storage unit.

Wardrobe boxes

Wardrobe boxes play an essential role in keeping your delicate clothing wrinkle-free. Wardrobe boxes also allow you to transfer clothes directly from the box to your new closet without any fuss over finding the right hangers. Therefore, it’s best to sort the clothes in the wardrobe box in the order you’d like it to be in the closet. Another great thing about the wardrobe box is that there is space at the bottom of the box to store shoes for easy transport. The more thought you put into it up front, the easier it will be to unpack in your new house. Alternatively, wardrobe boxes can double as containers for fragile/taller household items that you’d rather leave intact such as lamps, file cabinets, artwork, etc.

traditional sized and shaped boxes

For smaller, less fragile items, an assortment of traditional sized and shaped boxes will suffice. Depending on how you organize your closets, drawers, and shelves, you may find it easier to separate boxes by clothes type, usage, or season. For example, you might have two medium boxes with one marked winter pants, and the other marked summer pants.  Alternatively, you might choose to pack by how the item is used such as dress slacks vs. active wear. For those items that take up a lot of room, there are cool space-saving solutions to help you transport them more efficiently.

Vacuum-sealed plastic bags

Vacuum-sealed plastic bags are essential for packing items such as comforters, blankets, quilts, and other bulky items. They suck all the air out of the bags for optimal space saving. Another best practice for packing clothes more efficiently is to use a military-style folding method as seen in this example. This approach saves much more space than you’d think. By using these effective tucking, rolling, and folding techniques, you can save up to 50% of the space traditionally required.

Pack the items you wear most often towards the top of the box

The last tip can help when you need to unpack quickly after a long day of moving. Since it’s rare when you have the time or energy to unpack everything into your new house on moving day. Some communities don’t allow moving on weekends which means you most likely move during the week. Therefore, here’s a quick tip for when you’re fighting fatigue and still need to prepare for work the next day. Pack the items you wear most often towards the top of the box which allows for easy access to essential items that might otherwise be buried.

To conclude:

In summary, organization, coordination, and consolidation at the outset will influence a more efficient move overall. Your packing strategy will depend on your unique moving situation including spatial limitations, volume of items, etc. There are three awesome enablers to packing clothes more efficiently:  wardrobe boxes, vacuum-sealed bags, and military-style folding. As an added precaution, keep your most-used items close to the surface. Using these tools and techniques to pack your clothes for moving will have you well on your way to a stress-free, fatigue-free, and more efficient move.

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