November 2, 2021 Posted in How-to
Anastasia Hill

Apart from being the next fashion icon, Anastasia is also a freelance writer and expert on moving (and packing clothes).

How to Pack Efficiently When Moving Across the Country

So, you’ve finally decided to move across the country, and we can only congratulate you on taking this step in your life. However, when the decision is made, you’ll have to learn how to pack efficiently for the trip that is ahead of you. While it can be tricky, it’s no rocket science, especially with our tried and true tips that optimize even the smallest of bags.

A man and woman packing boxes before cross country moving company comes to load them overlay
If a whole human can fit in a suitcase, surely your stuff can too

How to Pack Efficiently for a Move?

Boxing up your entire wardrobe to move to a new state can be really difficult, especially if you have to share suitcases with family members. Even worse would be if you have to move by plane since, in this case, you have to abide by a strict limit regarding the weight of your luggage.

Driving a car will probably be the best bet, yet most people end up shipping their vehicle well before they move to a new address. So, if you want to move efficiently, you better have the mode of transport in mind when boxing up, since that is the surest way you won’t make any of the common relocation mistakes.

Declutter Before You Start Boxing Up Your Stuff

Although most people think that one of the things people forget to do when they move is to ensure they have enough wrapping supplies, this is actually not true. This is a problem, sure, but one that can easily be solved with a detailed to-do list. However, a common mistake, and a huge one since people realize they’ve made it too late in the process, is one of having too many things to box up.

They want to box up numerous pairs of shoes, their candles, books, jewelry, fine china, and all their clothing – and put it all in one place, which is, of course, just not possible. So, if you want to box up efficiently, first go through your inventory list, and do a declutter.

Don’t Throw Away Items That Can Be Reused by Someone Else

You should leave behind everything old, worn-out, or what you don’t use regularly. And since you’ll minimize your inventory, you might as well earn a few bucks for your relocation budget. So, we recommend thinking in advance and decluttering multiple weeks prior to the move, especially if you are relocating to a smaller apartment. That way, you’ll be able to throw a yard sale or sell items in good condition online.

What you don’t manage to sell, you can give to your friends or donate to one of the donation centers in the country, supporting a cause you are passionate about while optimizing your inventory. Remember – throwing away should always be the last option if nothing else works. And if you end up by the garbage bin, at least be certain that you recycle!

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Make Sure You Go About Packing Your Suitcase in the Most Efficient Way

So, you want to know how to pack for a move efficiently? Well, there are a few methods your friends have probably tried to sell you on, deeming them the ultimate ways to box up your inventory. And surely, there are millions of ways you can throw your things in a suitcase, but here are some we find to be the greatest after years of professional experience in the matter.

Rolling Your Clothes Is the Best Packing Method

The most famous way to pack your suitcase is probably to follow the so-called rolling method. It’s an easy one and can provide you with more space than the usual route. You should start by rolling each clothing item in a small bun and then putting it inside the bag. First, you’ll want to go with the small things like socks and underwear.

These should be placed along the dents almost every suitcase has. Once you’ve managed to fill these up, then you can go ahead and toss in the larger, rolled things over them. After all, if this is the technique Marie Kondo uses, it has to be good for you as well. To see how the expert herself fills up her baggage, check out the following video:

Pack Your Bags by Laying Items One Over the Other

Another method, though a more experimental one, some might say, is to layer clothes one on top of another. Before you think this is the standard way your Mum would optimize a bag, hear us out. You want to start with a clean, empty bag. Then, you want to take your pants, clothes, long dresses – all those items whose length is well above the height of your suitcase. You’ll fold them, but just over the middle, so they stay their normal height yet become reduced in width.

Then you’ll place the upper part of your jeans or any other piece of clothing you are packing on the bottom of the suitcase and leave the leg part hanging outside, over the border of your bag. When you are done with laying down the long items, you’ll fill up the middle of the space with shirts and sweaters you folded normally. In the end, once you’ve filled the case completely, you’ll just take the remaining parts of your coat or pants and fold them across the stacked clothes. Not only is this a great way to save up on space, but a method that will also keep your clothing from wrinkling.

It’s Always a Good Idea to Put Things Inside of Other Stuff

If you want to maximize the space in your luggage, you should put things inside one another. The best and most sanitary way to do so is by filling up corresponding clothing with one another. For example, you can fill up your shoes with socks. Or, you can put underwear inside bras, or fill any bag you will box up with things like sweaters and scarfs.

Just try to organize your move and keep track of what you’ve put where so that you don’t end up looking for your socks for three days. Remember, even if you end up saving space, you shouldn’t overpack. If nothing else, spare your biceps the trouble of rolling overly heavy baggage.

A girl boxing up clothes on her floor overlay
Boxing up your things isn't fun, but that's because the fun comes after

Weigh Your Luggage Before Going to the Airport

People often start packing for a move and think to themselves: oh, this bag of mine is surely not over the limit – it can’t be. And then some days or hours later end up throwing away their beloved things at the airport or putting on multiple layers just to start sweating on a seven-hour flight. Since you probably want to avoid both of these scenarios and leave unpacking for your new home, we recommend weighing your things well before you start your trip.

It’s best not to use the ordinary scale you would use to see if it is time for a diet but rather buy a specialized one. These have a little hook to strap to your suitcase, and once you bring it up, you can see just how heavy your baggage is. If it is over the limit (which is normally around 50 pounds), you can strategize and decide which items to gift your friends or donate in a timely manner. That way, you won’t have to pick and choose which of your bellowed coats to throw away under all that last-minute relocation stress you can expect to be under at that point in time.

Wear Your Heaviest Clothing to Reduce the Weight of Your Luggage

You’ve probably seen people around the airport wearing high heels and heavy long coats, and you might’ve even laughed or looked at them funny. And although they might be strange looking in the context that they’re in, these folks are taking on the smartest relocation hacks that ever were. It’s one of the most important relocation tips actually – to wear your heaviest pieces of clothing on you, even if that includes over-the-knee boots with high heels.

That is, if you don’t want to end up taking your shoes out of the baggage and putting them in the pockets of your jacket at the airport once the staff tells you your baggage is well over the allowed limit. Oh, and a friendly reminder: just make sure you don’t wear Doc Martens or any shoes with long laces, because if a security check tells you to take them off, you won’t have the most fun of times putting them back on.

People walking through an airport overlay
It is nice to travel comfortably, but this surely wouldn't be the first time you chose high heels over comfort, right?

Don’t Forget to Pack a Carry On With Your Essentials

Whenever a person is relocating to a new city, they should have a carry-on with essentials ready. Such a carry-on should store everything you would normally take when you travel for about three days, so you shouldn’t ship it with your chosen cross-country movers but carry it with you.

The point of such tiny storage is that it contains all the necessary relocation essentials you will need right after you move because once you get to where you’ve decided to move, you’ll be all over the place and won’t have time or energy to unpack all your items. So, think in advance when moving cross country, and prepare the following in a piece of side luggage:

Buy Travel Size Toiletries for Your Trip

Toiletries take up a lot of space, and they can add unnecessary weight to your already limited luggage. So, since you probably don’t want to spend the first day in the new town you moved to go around shops to buy shampoo and toothpaste, you should get some travel-friendly sized toiletries for the trip.

These come in packaging of about 3 ounces and can be bought at any better-equipped store. If you have toiletries at home, there’s no reason you should go out to buy more in a different size. Just get some travel-size packaging and throw your cleansers, masks, and conditioners inside. And just like that, you’ve killed two birds with one stone.

Toiletries on a wooden tray overlay
Travel size toiletries aren't just for tourists in fancy hotels, and we recommend using them unless you plan to share toiletries with family

Investing in Long Distance Moving Services and Their Packing Service Could Save the Day if Everything Else Fails

When you are about to move to a different city, you are going to need cross-country moving services to help you transport everything to a new residence or a storage unit. So why not have long-distance movers help you out with the packing process as well? Not only does a long-distance moving company have quality boxes and other supplies, but also the expert knowledge to make the whole process as easy as possible. By hiring pros, you’ll reduce anxiety about moving out, and make the start of this new chapter of your life an enjoyable experience.


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