You’re moving house soon and one thing that may have been worrying you is how to pack your car for moving. The thing is that you’ve decided to transport some of your stuff with your car, and you fear that you may not be able to fit all those belongings into your personal vehicle.
You shouldn’t worry too much as there are good ways to pack more in your car when moving house. Still, proper car packing is more than just maximizing the storage space inside the vehicle – it’s also about making the right decisions when it comes to which items to move. Moreover, it’s also about guaranteeing the safety the upcoming car trip.
Here are the top 7 tips for packing a car when moving house:
#1. Choose carefully what items you’ll take
The storage space in your car will be rather limited, so you must decide upfront which items you’ll pack in the car and which items you’ll leave in the hands of the professional movers. In fact, the step of sorting out your belongings prior to packing them in your personal vehicle will be critical to the success of the car packing mission.
Inventory your household items early in the process and set aside all the things you plan to transport with your car. If you’re only moving a short distance, you may plan to have multiple car trips, in which case you’ll be able to move more stuff. In the case of a single long-distance move, you can only pack your vehicle once.
Your essentials boxes, small electronics, and valuables are usually the things you should take with you during the move. Don’t forget that your dog, your cat or any other type of pet should also travel with you in your own vehicle.
Useful info: How to inventory your home before moving
#2. Clean the car interior prior to packing
When you want to know how to pack your car when moving, then the first thing you should realize is that your vehicle should be empty of all unnecessary items before you start packing it up.
Check carefully the interior of your car and remove anything that can be removed – things you won’t need to move in the first place. Needless to say, inspect the trunk for any excess items with the aim of freeing up as much storage room as possible.
Finally, use a portable vacuum cleaner to clean the seats and the space around them so that the car interior feels clean and fresh during the car drive.
#3. Consider using an overhead carrier
Naturally, you’ll want to fit as many items in the car as possible – the problem is that sometimes the space is just not big enough to let you do that. And when making several car trips is definitely out of the question, then one possible solution is to add extra storage space to the vehicle.
One good way to increase the storage room of your car is to purchase an overhead carrier that’ll be attached to the car roof. That solution can be quite an expense as high-quality overhead carriers can be pricey, but think of it as an investment – something that will continue to serve you well in the future.
If possible, opt for a lockable hard-case overhead carrier that will be great for keeping your valuable and fragile items during the move.
#4. Avoid cardboard boxes whenever possible
When wondering how to pack a car for moving, you might get rather surprised to learn that packing standard cardboard boxes inside your vehicle is not the best way to approach the packing task. And here’s why: moving boxes are ideal for stacking inside a spacious storage room like the inside of a moving van. However, those boxes do tend to take plenty of space and are not flexible enough to fit inside limited spaces like the ones found inside a small family car.
And although much smaller cardboard boxes like copy paper boxes, for example, can still fit well in the trunk of your car, the general rule of thumb when packing a car for a move is to use more flexible storage containers – see car packing tip #5.
Read also: How to move house without boxes
#5. Use (plastic) bags to pack up your things
To fully utilize the space in your personal vehicle, you’d be better off packing your things inside bags that are flexible enough to fit around and inside most spaces inside the car. Use durable shopping bags for heavier items and clean plastic bags (strong new garbage bags are also ok) to pack clothes. This way, you’ll be able to squeeze in those bags into all kinds of tight spaces – something you couldn’t possibly do with cardboard boxes.
If you wish to take with you in the car some clothes or bedding that are very voluminous, then you should use vacuum bags that will shrink considerably their volume. Ultimately, your goal when packing a car for moving is to do your best to reduce the size of the belongings you plan to pack in the car, or if that’s just not possible, to reduce their number through careful selection.
#6. Pack your most essential items first
When packing a car for a move, it’s really important to decide how many items to move in that car. As explained above, your personal vehicle offers a limited storage space so you will need to make the most of it before starting the relocation journey.
To pack up and move in a small vehicle takes good planning, so here’s something you may not have considered yet: your most essential things should be the first ones to pack in the car. This clever car packing trick will work great because you’ll still have your essentials packed up safely in case you can’t fit everything in the car.
So, figure out what your most essential items are and prepare them for priority packing inside your own car.
See also: What to pack in an essentials box
#7. Fill up all car spaces, and then some more
To move everything in the car may turn out to be impossible due to the restricted space you’ll have to work with. When you’re moving with your family members, then the actual packing room will be even less. So, what’s the best way to pack a car for a move so that you can use the storage space effectively?
The answer is simple enough: use every possible bit of space inside the car, even the spaces that remain partly hidden from view. The places you may not consider using for storage room include:
- the room under the front seats;
- the foot wells by the passenger seats (do not place anything in the driver’s foot well!);
- the room inside and around the spare tire, and
- the extra storage space in the trunk created when the back seats are lowered – in the cases when no one is using those back seats, of course.
Finally, make sure you do not block the driver’s view in your attempt to cram more stuff into the car. Remember that safety comes first!