3 Ways to Pack Your Clothes

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Unlike arguments about which internet browser is best (Chrome, clearly), there is not just one best fit for packing clothing for a move. Each of the three main methods—rolling, folding, stuffing—has advantages and disadvantages depending on who you are, how you’re moving, and what you wear.

Stuffing – Not Just for Turkeys
Starting off with the easiest packing method – stuffing clothes wherever they fit is a surprisingly legitimate strategy. Though this generally works best for easily replaceable items like socks and underwear, if you have significant disregard for your apparel any article of clothing fits the bill.

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Photo by Hi! It’s Jilly

Although stuffing might seem self-explanatory, let me clarify. If you’re packing up your life and see daylight in any boxes, cracks, crevices, holes, or cup holders – stuff away. Instead of wasting money on packing materials like bubblewrap and tissue paper, using extra t-shirts provides cushioning and is a great way to save space. If you need to save even more space, using vacuum packing bags can pack a dresser’s worth of clothing into a shoe box. Well not really, but pretty close.

For those that well and truly do not care about the state of their wardrobe, stuffing clothes into tie-top garbage bags provides a number of moldable cushions for larger fragile items like TVs and lamps. The major disadvantage to the stuffing approach is how difficult it can make unpacking, along with the risk of ending the move with 23 unmatched socks.

Haute Roll-Up
For small- to medium-sized moves, rolling clothes up is a great way to pack quickly and save space. If you have a number of backpacks or duffel bags, rolling might be the way to go as the military has proven it’s the best way to utilize bag space while cutting down on wrinkles.

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Photo from Lifehacker

Beyond saving space and saving your clothes from the wrinkle-induced nightmare stuffing causes, rolling and storing clothes in gear bags is a great way to keep all your clothes in one easy-to-carry place. Unfortunately, if you’re running low on duffels or have a big wardrobe, rolling can only get you so far. You may find yourself stuffing excess clothes wherever they’ll fit or moving into boxes.

And for boxes, the safe bet is to fold.

I Fold
Boxes—the be-all and end-all in the moving world—are one of the least efficient ways to pack clothes. But then again, some people don’t want to wrap a cocktail dress around their coffee maker or make a burrito of their best dress shirt.

Folding should only ever be used for clothing that is delicate or susceptible to wrinkles. To keep those nicely folded clothes looking sharp, it’s generally best to set aside a box or two just for them. The downside is how much room these relatively underutilized boxes occupy. The upside is when unloading you have some really light boxes that make you feel way strong.

If space truly isn’t an issue, a hanging box is another fantastic option that allows movers to move straight from closet to box and back to closet without taking a single item off its hanger. “So why didn’t you make ‘hanging’ its own separate section?” you ask.

Because of all the headline puns I came up with, a hanging joke seemed super inappropriate. Happy packing!

Featured photo from CBS MoneyWatch

About the author

Jonathan packed his whole life into a backpack and two years later needed an entire moving truck for everything. He enjoys traveling, getting lost and laughing way too hard. Contact him at jonathan.deesing@imove.com.

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