Packing Clothes and Shoes for a Move

Next to housing and food, the biggest expense you usually incur is clothing and shoes. Something as simple as a wine stain can destroy a very expensive outfit, and a rambunctious puppy can easily destroy a pair of designer shoes costing in the thousands of dollars. So, you take care of your clothes and shoes at home. But what happens when you move? How do you take care of the clothes and accessories you love?

Obviously, you want everything to arrive in perfect condition at your destination, and when you have irreplaceable clothing and footwear, and you’re not using professional packers, how are you going to make that happen? Here are the basics.

Packing Clothes for moving

Leave Them on the Hanger

Assuming that your expensive clothes are already on hangers, leave them there. Otherwise, use a wardrobe box to keep them in place. If possible, invest in padded hangers – they are more likely to protect your valuable garments, and will also allow them to maintain their shape better than wire or plastic hangers.

As to your shoes, ideally you will have kept them in boxes, packed heel to toe, so keep them there. You can transfer the individual boxes to a larger moving box. Make sure to keep heavier footwear on the bottom, since this will stabilize the box. You might also consider adding a layer of tissue paper between the shoes in the individual boxes. You could also use bubble wrap.

Keep Things Clean

If you are transporting clothes that have been worn along with clothes that are freshly laundered, keep them separate. Barely visible grime can be transferred from one garment to another, and become more visible in the transfer. Then it can be very hard to launder or dry clean.

Do Not Use Plastic Containers

Plastic containers are air-tight. Garments that cannot breathe can quickly develop mold or mildew, so if you are not planning to open up and hang your clothing immediately after moving, use breathable garment bags.

Protect Against Moths

Mothballs don’t smell all that good, but they will definitely keep pesky, destructive moths away from your clothes. Lavender also works well to repel moths. If you think that your clothes might be packed away for several months, then it is absolutely essential that you take proper precautions. Often, people think that stowing clothing in loosely-tied garbage bags is a good idea, but in fact, it is a recipe for disaster. Moths love dark places, and they congregate and breed in them. Many a beautiful wool garment has been extracted from a dark bag and found to be full of tiny holes that can never be repaired.

Keep Old and New Shoes Separate

Always keep your shoes in separate containers. Stains and scuffs will transfer, and your brand new shoes may never look good again if you keep them next to your worn-out running sneakers.


Does this sound time-consuming and exhausting? If you’re in the middle of trying to move everything else in your household, it certainly can be. If you have a valuable collection of clothing and shoes, you might be better off to call in professional movers, who have years of experiencing in transporting expensive clothing and shoes. They can pack your wardrobe for you, and unpack it as well, with no risk of damage due to improper packing or insect damage. Your clothes will arrive at your destination in the same condition as they left, ready for you to wear without the stress of unpacking and worrying about staining, contamination, mold, mildew or moths.

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Moving Tip

  • Get rid of the junk! Get rid of anything you don’t need or want, it will make packing that much easier and save you money.The more stuff you have will increase the time and or weight of the move and will cost you more money!
  • Do not move jewelry, money, coin collections, etc. Keep these items in your possession.
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