Friday, August 5, 2016

How to Pack When Your Car is Your Moving Van

It seems like every couple months I find myself jamming out to Meghan Trainor in a bare apartment with a sea of boxes I'm supposed to be packing around me. We started this year in Utah, moved from Utah to Virginia, Virginia to Texas, and now we are packing up to head back to Virginia. Ah the college life. As a result, we've gotten pretty good at loading our entire lives into a single small vehicle.

Someday we'll be able to afford a moving van, but it is not this day! This day we stuff and cram and force and fight to make everything fit. So, for any other young couples or college students out there facing this same struggle, I bring you my tips for fitting your world into a car. 

NUMBER 1 TIP: Become a minimalist, because you're forced to be one. Purge. I promise you don't need your whole set of pots and pans. Bring the 3 you use most often. Get rid of clothes you don't wear, expired makeup and lotion, old electronics, and boxes you haven't opened in over a year. Love it or leave it.
  • Use up every food item you can before moving. Specifically canned items because woof. Those boxes are heavy.
  • No books. I used to believe that my Harry Potter series had to move everywhere with me, but when it's books or plates to eat on, you've got to prioritize. 
  • Invest in a pop up laundry basket. For our first two moves we didn't have room for laundry baskets and left them behind, but having to repeatedly pay for them was so frustrating to me. We have this one
  • Uniform boxes-we had apple boxes from the grocery store-are the most stackable. 

Fill EVERYTHING as you pack. Your mindset should be somewhere between a Tetris game and a set of Russian nesting dolls.

For I packed a pot lid in a pie pan in an 8x8 dish in a 9x13 casserole dish, along with 2 glass bowls, measuring cups, knives, pot holders, a dish towel, and a can of tuna. :)
  • Set all your kitchen equipment out on the counter before you start packing, so you can easily see what fits with what.
  • Don't use bubble wrap!! You don't have room for bubble wrap! You have towels, dish rags, blankets, clothes...
  • Save picture frames and clothes hangers for the end. Even once your car is full, you can always slip picture frames in the cracks. The tighter the fit the safer it is. 
  • Use space bags from the dollar store for clothing. Don't do the garbage bag over hanged clothes thing, that wastes SO MUCH room.
  • Use your comforter to wrap up your flat screen TV.
I admit, this is a messy way to pack. Things don't stay neatly organized in their separate spheres of bathroom, bedroom, kitchen, etc. But for us, where everything we have is needed, all of our boxes will be unpacked upon arrival and put in their rightful place.

Happy packing! :)

If you have any strategies for car packing I'd love to hear them!! 


  1. This is great, Cort! I've been meaning to try those bags from the dollar store. We also use our clothes to cushion just about everything! This upcoming move will be lucky #8 and your post has already given me lots of ideas! ����

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