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March 31, 2022

How to Pack Clothing, Bedding, and Linens

Reviewed By: Benjamin Johnson, Sr. Director of Operations, Atlas Van Lines - 10+ Years in the Moving Industry

  • Packing
  • Tips and tricks
two young people dressed casually folding clothes and packing them in moving boxes

Helpful Tips for Packing Clothing, Bedding, and Other Household Linens for Moving

Out of all the unique belongings both big or small you’ll have to pack when moving, clothing, bedding, and other household linens might seem like the easiest—and for the most part, they are. However, even with these non-breakable and deceptively light items, there is some strategy you can use while packing to make sure you maximize precious space and keep them safe from damage during transit, loading, and unloading. Atlas® Van Lines has been moving people across the United States and abroad for decades. Here are some tips for how to pack clothes, bedding, and other linens we’ve learned along the way.

How to Pack Clothes for Moving

Before you begin to toss all your clothing into boxes, consider using the opportunity moving has given you to pare down your wardrobe. Most of us have pieces hiding in the darkest recesses of our closets we rarely if ever use, so why not sell or donate what you no longer wear and free up some space in your new home?

Once you’ve decided what you’ll be taking with you, use these tips and tricks to pack up your clothes for moving: 
  • Pack off-season items first. If you are moving in the summer, pack your cold-weather items first as you won’t need them during the warmer months. You should always pack what clothing you currently have in rotation last for easy access.
  • Choose the correct vessel—then label it. We’ve all seen people use garbage bags or other plastic bags to pack clothing, but these types of bags aren’t very durable and can rip or tear, exposing your clothes to damage or loss. A better method is to use cardboard boxes, plastic containers, or even your luggage for packing clothes. For delicate or formal pieces, wardrobe boxes are great options that allow your special items to remain on their hangers or in their garment bags for extra protection. With every box you pack, use a marker to denote which room the box goes to and what items it contains. This will make locating your work slacks or cozy socks much easier.
  • Check your progress. Even though most items of clothing are lightweight on their own, the pounds can add up. As you pack your clothing into boxes, press down every so often to remove air pockets and maximize space, while always checking the weight of your boxes as you as go so you don’t overload them.
  • Use them as packing materials. Casual clothing like T-shirts or pajamas can be used as a cost-effective and environmentally friendly option to typical packing materials like bubble wrap when packing fragile items like dishes and glassware. 
  • Pack a moving day kit. The last thing you want to do after a long day of moving is to search for clean clothes. Pack one box or duffel bag with a change of clothes, a bath towel, and perhaps even bed linens to make your first night in your new home clean and comfortable.

How to Pack Bedding for Moving

After a long day of moving, climbing into a cozy bed at the end of it will be a welcome and well-earned moment. Packing bedding is a quick and easy process, but be sure to use these tips to avoid a frustrating search for your favorite blanket or pillow come bedtime:
  • Save bedding for last. Why? One, you’re probably still using it up until moving day. Two, smaller bedding and bedding accessories like pillows can be used as filler for containers with fragile belongings or other items you don’t want jostling around inside cardboard boxes. 
  • Choose the correct packing dimensions. Bedding is generally lightweight, but items like comforters or certain pillows can be quite bulky. Using medium boxes for things like sheets and throws is appropriate but be sure to use large boxes for fuller and fluffier items. Whatever size box you are using, it’s recommended to line your boxes with packing paper to protect your bedding from moisture and potential staining. You can also use plastic bags in this instance if you still place the plastic bag itself within a box for transport.
  • Label everything. Don’t just write “pillows” on a box—be specific. Write descriptive phrases such as “primary bedroom pillows,” “kids bedroom pillows,” or “living room pillows” on your boxes so you or your professional moving crews place them where they need to go, giving you easy, quick access to those items when you need them.
  • Save space or fill it with bedding. As with clothing, make sure to press down on your items as you pack them to remove air pockets and maximize space inside your boxes—while still monitoring your progress to make sure you aren’t overloading them. Additionally, use smaller items like throw pillows or bed sheets to fill in the space inside other boxes to keep items safe and sound and save money on unneeded packing materials.

How to Pack Other Household Linens for Moving

Clothing and bedding are top-of-mind items when it comes to packing, but what about other things like curtains, towels, or even rugs? Use these simple tips to make sure all your soft household goods get where they need to go the easy way. And, as with the previous items, be sure to properly label every box with what it contains and where it should go in your new home.

How to pack towels:

•    Bath, kitchen, or other types of towels can all be packed in medium boxes by simply rolling or folding them flat. Or you may choose to use them as padding or wrapping for other boxes that contain delicate items. Also, make sure all your towels are clean and fully dry before packing to avoid any instances of mold or mildew.

How to pack curtains:

•    To avoid wrinkles from folding, consider using wardrobe boxes to hang your curtains instead. Simply fold the drapery lengthwise and then place over a hanger and secure in place using clothespins or other clips that won’t damage the fabric. Another great tip is to wash your curtains before packing so that when you arrive in your new home, they are fresh, clean, and ready to go up.

How to pack rugs:

•    As with clothing, bedding, and towels, small cloth rugs can be used to line the bottom or top of boxes that you pack with other household goods—just be sure to wash and dry them thoroughly beforehand. For larger area rugs, roll them up tightly with the underside of the rug exposed on the outside to keep the fabric portion of the rug safe. After securing the rolled rug with twine or packing tape, cap each end of the roll with paper, secure with tape, and wrap the entire rolled rug in plastic to protect it for transit.

Having a hard time locating the right packing supplies for your clothes, bedding, and other household linens? While using containers you already own is a great way to save space, sometimes you need specialty boxes to make loading up the moving van a little easier. Check with your local moving company to browse their stock of boxes, like wardrobe boxes, mirror and picture boxes, and mattress bags. 

Or Let Us Do the Packing for You.

As you can see, packing your clothes, bedding, and other linens can be a cinch. But we understand that sometimes you can’t (or simply don’t want to) do the packing yourself. That’s where Atlas® comes in. We offer a full range of professional packing options through our moving services to make the process of moving as easy and stress-free as possible.

Find your local Atlas mover today to discuss packing service options, or any other services we can help you with—or get started now with your free online moving quote. If you’d prefer to speak to someone directly, give us a call at 800-638-9797 to chat with one of our moving experts.