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How to Pack Clothes for a Cross Country Move

Moving across the country is an intimidating task to face. After making the trip, there is nothing worse than getting to your destination and realizing that you have no idea where anything is. Staying organized when packing is essential to eliminating this post-moving chaos. Thankfully, one of the easiest things to pack for that big move is your clothing. Here are a few steps that you can take to pack your wardrobe systematically:

1. Organize by Season

This tip seems like a no-brainer but organizing clothes by season is the best way to start. The last thing you need is to lose track of your good sweaters among all your tank tops if you are moving to Maine in the middle of winter. We recommend taking it a step further and organizing your clothing by style as well. Keep shorts and pants together and blouses and t-shirts together. This way you know what is in your bag or box when you open it up.

2. Toss Out What You Don’t Use

As you organize, take a good, hard look at each clothing item. Are there pieces in your wardrobe you no longer wear, don’t fit, or that have too many holes to pass as clothing? Now’s the time to trash or donate those ill-fitting, worn-out garments. You don’t want to pay to move items you no longer need or want.

3. Use Your Suitcases

When traveling, you already use your suitcases for clothing, so go ahead and do the same for your cross-country move! Utilizing the luggage that you already own cuts down on the cost of moving supplies and is a more efficient way to pack. You’ll also know exactly where to start when it comes to unpacking your closet.

4. Invest in Space/Vacuum Bags!

We love space-saver bags! When I from North Carolina to Washington State, space-saver bags were my saving grace. I packed all the clothes for my husband and me into only two suitcases by slipping clothes into these bags and vacuuming out the air! These bags reduce the space that clothes consume so that you can use your boxes for the bulkier items, such as dishes. Additionally, they are inexpensive, and you can use them later for storing out-of-season clothes or linens.

5. Use Clothes to Pack Fragile Items

Depending on the clothing item, you may want to consider using some clothing as an alternative to packing peanuts. For example, using your terrycloth robe to protect expensive electronics kills two birds with one stone. Also try using scarves, socks, sweaters, t-shirts, and undershirts as cushioning for your breakables.

6. Keep them on the Hangers

An attractive option for your more expensive dresses and suits is to keep them on the hanger. U-Haul sells wardrobe boxes that allow you to hang your clothing and box it up as is. Not only does that save you a lot of time on ironing and money on dry cleaning bills, but it also makes unpacking incredibly easy.

7. Get an Early Start

The final and most important tip is to start packing early. The kindest thing you can do for yourself when moving out of state is to give yourself plenty of time to plan and organize. Make it easy for yourself when you get to your destination by knowing where everything is.


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