How to Pack Your Car

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How to Pack Your Car

a href=””>Whether you’re a young student going off to school, you’re on your way to your first job, or you are going to drive your car cross country while someone else drives your moving truck, you’ll need to pack your car as well as you can. Moving in your car isn’t like most road trips, where you need to balance luggage with comfort. You’re going to need to squeeze the most out of the space in your vehicle and make sure you can get what you need to your location.

Decide What Is Most Essential

As with all moves, you really need to come up with a way to organize your belongings. For your car, this list needs to include the most essential items: passengers and animals first, of course. What else is important? Your clothes, toiletries, medicine, and necessary paperwork. Don’t forget to list your most important electronics like your phone, tablet or laptop, and chargers. Make sure to pack these items first, so that you know none of it will get left behind.

You can even try to organize what should go where. If you have passengers or pet carriers, figure out how much space they’ll need. If you’re on your own, what can you put into the passenger seat so it’s close to hand? What will be on the bottom of the pile, or the top of your trunk? What do you need to be able to reach in a hurry and what can stay out of sight?

Get Rid of What You Don’t Need

Obviously, even large vehicles like SUVs or pickup trucks don’t have as much space as you might want. If you don’t have that many belongings, this won’t be a problem, but it can be surprising how much stuff you can accumulate if you aren’t careful. If you’ve got a moving truck, you’ve got some room, but even for that you’ll want to carefully sort your items. What clothes need to be given away or tossed? What books and trinkets do you absolutely need to keep?

If you’re trying to do the move with just one vehicle, make sure you consider your room while you’re sorting. Maybe you could bring several sets of shoes or coats if you had a moving truck, but do you need more than one or two of those when you’ve only got a single car? Be ruthless with yourself–have you even looked at or used this item in the past year? If not, you won’t need it after you move either.

Pack for Your Space

One way to use your space effectively is not to overstuff it with large boxes or inflexible plastic tubs. Go for small or book-box sizes, or see if you can get plastic bags. Vacuum storage bags are great for clothing, but even if you can’t get those, strong garbage bags or large laundry sacks can let you cram your belongings into every nook and cranny. Even your luggage might have plenty of space you’re not using–can you fit some things into your rolling bag that you normally wouldn’t put in there? And take out packing materials unless they’re required for delicate items. Your XBox or tablet will be fine if you just put them in a small box, maybe with a towel around them.

It’s also a good idea to experiment with a few boxes, if you’ve got the time. Don’t even put anything in them and just see how many fit side-by-side or on top of each other, so you know what space you have to work with.

Overhead Carriers and Small Trailers Might Be Worth the Cost< Most moving companies will rent containers that go on top of your car, or small trailers that even the most compact economy-sized car can handle towing. If you’re really having trouble fitting everything you must have into your vehicle–especially if you have people or animals that take priority for space in the passenger cabin–think seriously about spending the money to increase your car’s storage space. Talk to the professional movers about the best options for you. They might seem expensive at first, but trailers or overhead carriers are fairly inexpensive compared to trucks or shipping items, and it does give you more options.

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