Moving a Closet: Pack & Unpack in 3 Stages

New home, new living…new wardrobe? Nope! A slimmer, newly organized closet.

Guest post by Co-Founder NorthStar Moving Company Laura McHolm

We all know your closet is miraculous because it holds everything you ever bought. But, that miracle is turning into a horror story. You’re about to move. Do you really want to move everything in that closet? Think go-go boots, prom dress and sequin leggings…

This is your opportunity to purify your wardrobe. At least two weeks prior to moving day, start the closet packing process by sorting your wardrobe to get rid of clothes that have been hiding in the back of your closet for way too long. Why move things you don’t wear? Spend at least a few days determining what are the hidden gems and what’s just taking up space. If you give yourself the gift of time and follow these three stages, not only will your wardrobe be kept in mint condition, you’ll have less clutter.

Empty & Sort

Empty everything out of the closet onto the floor. I mean everything!

Create three piles: keep, give away and throw away.

Having trouble letting go of nostalgic items? Ask yourself:

  • When was the last time I wore or used this? If you can’t remember, get rid of it. You should’ve worn it at least 2 times in the past year to warrant keeping it. Be ruthless!
  • Still can’t part with it but it never leaves the closet? Take it’s picture on your phone. Does the real thing do anything that the picture can’t

Look at your give away and throw away piles, could someone else use this item even if you can’t? If so, box them up and donate them to a charity. Remember to label the box: “Donate.” If it is too worn, add it to this week’s trash or recycle pile. Again, why pay to move items that you no longer wear!

Pack, Boxes Do Matter

For folded clothing, use medium size/linen size boxes and carefully fold clothes before placing them inside.

 Place hanging clothing in wardrobe boxes. These boxes are a fast and easy way to move your hangers and clothes. The box is tall and has a rod built in so you can hang your clothes inside and don’t have to fold them. It also makes unpacking really easy. Use them for suits, slacks, blouses, dresses, heavy coats and more. Check out this video about packing clothes in a wardrobe box.

First, dust out the wardrobe boxes to clear them of any debris. Then, pack with a plan. Sure, you can just throw everything into the boxes, but if you do you will make the unpacking process a lot harder.

A great way to have a truly miraculous closet in your new home is to organize your wardrobe boxes by season. Pack winter wear separate from summer wear and spring wear separate from fall wear. This will also help if you need to store your clothes.

Place shoes at the bottom of the wardrobe boxes, toe to heel. Heavy boots should be on the bottom while light shoes such as sandals can go on top.

Stuff boots and pursues with paper or t-shirts to keep their form.

You can also use the bottom of the wardrobe boxes for pillows, sweaters or light weight blankets.

Unpack & Organize!

Once you are in your new home and ready to unpack, think of your closet as prime real estate. What items do you want easy access to? Unpack for the season you’re in first. If you find you don’t have space for all the seasons in your new closet, keep the other seasons clothes in the wardrobe boxes and store them. Be sure to throw some cedar chips in with anything you store away.

Once you have unpacked the current season clothing, decide how you want to categorize your clothing within each season. If you choose your clothing based on event (sports, dressy, work) organize your closet that way. If you choose what to wear by time of day, organize your closet that way (morning, day, night). The key is to make your closet organization match how you decide what to wear. Within each season, organize by your chosen method and then by color, light to dark. You’ll be able to find everything quickly, even on a hectic Monday morning!

Place your shoes by use or occasion. For example, sport vs. work, and then break down your dressy shoes by flats to heels and light to dark. You can even put your shoes into clear plastic containers so you can see them. Take it a step further and take photos of your shoes and tape their photo to the inside of their container with the photo facing out of the box.

For your folding clothes: lay them on their side inside your drawer or on the shelf. (NOT stacked on top of each other horizontally, but stacked vertically so you can see everything at once!) Purchase wooden or plastic planks to use as dividers to keep clothes standing vertically.

Having your clothes and accessories all in view organized by categories and color, will make finding items fast. You’ll actually wear more of your clothes.

Last but not least, step back and take a picture of your new “miracle” closet and place it on the inside of your closet so you can keep it that way!


New home, new living…new wardrobe? Nope! A slimmer, newly organized closet. It’s going to feel miraculous to be able to see and wear your entire wardrobe.

Laura McHolm is an organizational, moving & storage expert and co-founder of NorthStar Moving Company. NorthStar Moving Company is an award winning, “A+” rated company, which specializes in providing eco-luxury moving and storage services.

Sam is the Content and Multimedia Specialist for Coldwell Banker Real Estate. He is Jersey born and bred, and currently resides in Weehawken, NJ. He is an avid reader, loves Games of Thrones and is a New York Yankees die-hard.

You can follow him on Twitter @World_Shalom

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