How to Pack Hanging Clothes
Need some advice on how to pack hanging clothes without wasting a ton of time and energy? You’ve come to the right place. Packing up your closet is never easy, but these tips can greatly cut down on the amount of time and effort it takes to get your clothes ready to go.
I’ve moved quite a bit, and I have learned a lot of things the hard way in the process. One of the biggest lessons learned: there are much more efficient ways to pack hanging clothes than taking all of your garments off of their hangers, folding them, packing them, and then rehanging them at your new place. (Hard to believe, right?) If you’re ready to skip the extra steps and pack hanging clothes faster and easier, here are the tips that you should follow.
Don’t pack what you don’t want or need
Before getting in to the nitty gritty of how to pack hanging clothes, let’s start with the golden rule of all packing and planning activities: don’t pack more than you need to. This is especially true for your closet, where unwanted items tend to pile up without you even noticing.
The first step in packing hanging clothes should always be to weed through each item and pull out the things you don’t wear anymore. This includes garments that don’t fit, garments that aren’t your style, and garments that you haven’t worn in over a year. Pull these items off of their hangers and separate them into three piles: recycle and donate. Recycle clothes by putting them into designated used clothing bins, such as those provided by PlanetAid. For new or gently used items in good condition, donate them through one of the many charities that accept clothing.
Once you’ve removed unwanted or unwearable items from your wardrobe, you can get started on actually getting your hanging clothes packed.
Gather your supplies
You don’t need a lot to pack hanging clothes efficiently. In fact, you only need one of two things:
A wardrobe box (get as many as you think you need for the amount of clothes that you have)
Garbage bags (heavy duty black ones)
Whether you choose to go with wardrobe boxes or garbage bags will depend on your personal preferences and your budget. A wardrobe box will usually run you about $12 to $15, while you can get a box of 20 or 30 black garbage bags for the same price. Keep in mind that wardrobe boxes are definitely a sturdier way to go, but ultimately both options should get your hanging clothes to your new home with little work on your part.
If you’re using a wardrobe box
As with all boxes, the first thing that you’ll want to do is build your box. Flip the box over and seal the bottom first, then secure the metal bar across the top part of the box. For added durability, it’s a good idea to tape the bar in place.
There are two usable sections to a wardrobe box: the bar (which is for your hanging clothes) and all of the space beneath it where your clothes hang down. While you don’t want to over-pack the box and make it too heavy to lift, you can absolutely make use of that extra space by filling it with shoes or other accessories, or bulky items that take up a lot of space but aren’t necessarily super heavy, such as sweatshirts and pillows.
Fill up the bottom space of the wardrobe box first and then move on to packing your hanging clothes. Take items right out of your closet on their hangers and then hang them on the bar in the garment box. You can fit a deceptive amount of items on one bar, but be careful not to completely overload it, especially if the items you are placing on it are heavy. Wardrobe boxes are quite sturdy, however, so you can get away with applying a good amount of weight.
Once both the bottom of the wardrobe box and the bar are filled with clothes fold over the flap and seal the box shut.
If you’re using garbage bags
Garbage bags are incredibly versatile for moving, particularly when it comes to figuring out how to pack hanging clothes. Making sure to use a black garbage bag (since it’s significantly more sturdy than a white or transparent garbage bag) group hanged items together and then pull the bag over them starting from the bottom of the garments. Use the ties on the bag to secure it around the hangers. For added durability—or if you are using a garbage bag without ties—use twist ties or twine to hold the bag in place. From there, you can place the whole bundle in your car or truck.
An important caveat to remember any time you use garbage bags to move is to be careful about labeling so that you don’t accidentally throw out a bag that was full of belongings you intended to keep. This shouldn’t be an issue with hanging clothes since you’ll see the hangers poking out at the top, but just to be safe it doesn’t hurt to label the bag with what’s inside.
To organize or not to organize?
One piece of advice we see a lot when it comes to packing hanging clothes is to organize them by type, size, color, etc. Whether or not you do this is up to you, though be aware that it does add a fair amount of extra time on to your packing to do list. Instead of organizing before packing your clothes, organize them when you’re unloading them into your new closet—you’ll save a lot of time on the backend and won’t have to worry about things getting disorganized in transit.
Along with having to pack hanging clothes you’ll probably also have to pack loose hangers. Start by sorting out any hangers that are damaged or otherwise unusable. From there, you can either throw them all in a garbage bag or box (this is my go to), or you can stack them by size, seal them together with twist ties or rubber bands, and carefully place them in boxes. Which way you choose to go will probably depend on how nice your hangers are and how much time you’ve got on your hands.
And so there you have it. Both options for packing hanging clothes take considerably less time than other packing methods and provide you with the convenience of getting to leave clothes on their hangers instead of taking them off.
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