Tips for Packing a Car


Hiring movers to move all your belongings from one house to your new home is definitely helpful. But what do you do if you’re moving from a small one-bedroom apartment into another and you just don’t have that much stuff? Most people use what tools they have at hand…their car, a friend’s car, or a combination of those.

Here are some tips on how to efficiently use a car to move your belongings.

  • Clear and clean out your car. This may seem like overkill, but people often overlook how much stuff they have in their trunk or backseat. A good detailing of your car (even if it’s just you doing it with $1.50 in quarters at the gas station car vacuum) will make you more comfortable putting your belongings on the floor or trunk of your car.
  • Plan on multiple trips if you’re not moving far.
  • If you are moving far…you’ll need to downsize. You’ll want to be sure that you can fit your essentials like clothing and work related items. Furniture will have to be kept to a minimum and only pieces that can be disassembled are really options.
  • Pack heavier items on the ground. Boxes of books or kitchen items are good candidates for the floor space inside the car.
  • Try to pack the car evenly when it comes to distributing weight. Having all the heavy things packed in the trunk will cause the car to be unwieldy in windy conditions and cause an unsafe situation.
  • Use pliable and flexible containers like duffel bags for clothing. This will allow you to pack things in more tightly. In fact, the less boxes you have, the easier it will be to use all the nooks and crannies of your car.
  • Use towels and winter clothing as padding.
  • Be sure all liquids are in tightly sealed containers. Double bagging things is a good idea.
  • Consider your front seat to be like your carry on luggage on a flight. Keep all the essentials there. Things like prescriptions, a change of clothes, your important paperwork, and laptop computer can all be kept there. This will allow you to be able to stay overnight in a hotel and easily take only the necessary things out of your packed car.

If you have some items that just won’t fit and you will need them in your new location, consider securing a Lock Up Self Storage unit in your new town. You can rent a unit and then ship your belongings there. They will receive them and if you speak with the manager, they will likely place the delivery in your unit for you. Go to to see if there’s a Lock Up in your new neighborhood.

Have any other tips for packing up your car for a move? Share them with us here!


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