How to Pack Your Car When Moving

Full article 15 min read
How to Pack Your Car When Moving

Proper car parking is essential to your move’s success. What’s important to know is how to pack your car before your shift. Renting a moving vehicle can be pricey, so packing your car yourself will not only save you money in the long run, but it will save you time too. The less time you spend on the road, the more time you’ll have to relax after moving day. With that being said, here are some tips for how to pack your car when moving.


Clean your car

Starting with a clean slate is best in preparing your car for a move. Cleaning out all the stuff in your car before you pack will help ensure that everything fits in your vehicle when you are done packing. Another way to pack your car when moving is to remove any loose items from your car that could roll around while driving or vibrate and fall out of place while driving on the highway.

Get rid of anything and everything you don’t need. Some things that might be best to remove from your car include shovels, rakes, hoses, ladders, rods for blinds, bicycles, and extra space heaters. This might even go as far as to say that if you haven’t used it in a year, you probably won’t miss it when it’s gone.

Also Read: Things to do Before Moving Out

How To Pack Your Car When Moving

What you need to do is pack everything. Instead of just putting some things inside your car and leaving it for storage when moving, you need to fill your car with all of your belongings. Packing your car like this makes the next step easier for you because if you’re unable to fit some items inside your car, then you can immediately remove them and do not have to worry about carrying them on foot or having to find another vehicle that might be able to take them in.

Also Read: How to Use Moving Blankets | Packing Outdoor Items for a Move

Find out what can stay in your car when moving home

You might end up forgetting something if you’re not the original owner of the car, so it’s best to do a checklist before you begin packing your car for any big move. A list of items that are okay to leave in your trunk when moving will save you time packing and unpacking. For a list of items that can stay in your car when moving home, see below:

  • Aluminum foil: Aluminum foil is okay to keep in your car because it’s a good way to insulate the windows from any harmful effects that might happen while you’re moving. You can also wrap aluminum foil around food if it needs to be kept warm for a long drive.
  • Front seat organizer: A front seat organizer is a plastic drawer that keeps all of your small belongings in one place. This makes it easy to find your items if they slip down under the seats while you’re driving and doesn’t take up much room at all.
  • Emergency kit: Even though you might not think about an emergency kit as something that should be included in a list of things that can stay in your car when moving, it can be a lifesaver. You never know what might happen out on the road, and having a kit with different things that could help you in an emergency is important to have when moving.
  • Cleaning supplies: If you’re going to use your car as a temporary storage space for your cleaning supplies while you move, then make sure they fit inside your car. You might not want to leave them in your car when you arrive at your new home, but having them there can make cleaning your temporary living space a quick and easy task once all of the boxes are unpacked. Items such as dish soap, sponges, and scrub brushes will be useful during your move because it will be a big job to clean everything before you can unpack it.
  • Cordless drill: If you’re moving into a new place that needs furniture assembled or put together, then your cordless drill will be useful during the move. This way, there won’t be any need to find someone who can help you assemble all of your furniture when moving house.
  • Cereal boxes: Cereal boxes can store small items, and they won’t take up much room. If you have a lot of things that need to be kept together, then use cereal boxes as containers for different piles of items.

Also Read: Where to Find Free Moving Boxes?

  • Chip bags: You can use chip bags as a way to keep things together instead of having multiple items scattered throughout the car. If you don’t want food crumbs and empty chip bags all over your car, then make sure to wrap up the empty bags before putting them in the trunk of your car.
  • Juice cartons: Juice cartons can store liquids or smaller items. If you don’t want to leave them in your car when moving house, then make sure to take them out before you arrive at your new home.
  • Items that need to be refrigerated: If you have food items inside your trunk that need to stay cool, then they should be kept inside the trunk of your car. However, if you’re planning on using them before the next morning, then they can stay inside your vehicle during the day. Be careful not to leave anything that needs to stay cold for too long because it might spoil if it’s left in there for too long.
  • Clothes: Clothes can be stored in your trunk, but if you need them when you get to your new place, then they should stay inside the car. Make sure to dress in layers and keep an extra pair of shoes inside your trunk in case it’s too cold once you arrive at your new home.

Also Read: How to Pack Floor Lamps for Moving


Consider an overhead carrier

Consider an overhead carrier to hang bags from if you need extra space to store things in your car. When you’re moving and need to pack your car with as much as possible, having an extra room can make a big difference.

The overhead carrier would be attached to the roof of the car to hold on to your things like suitcases or any large bags so that you can store more things in your car while moving. Although it might look a little strange to have a bag on the roof of your car while driving, you’ll be able to fit more things in your trunk, so it’s worth it.

Pack your essentials first

When you’re packing your car, make sure to put the essentials in first. These might include items such as a flashlight, bottled water, and cash in case of an emergency. You might also want to make sure that you have a first aid kit, jumper cables, and any other items that could be of use during an emergency.

Make sure to put these items in the car before packing everything else. It’s also a good idea to have some snacks that you can eat when moving, especially if it takes a few hours or more to arrive at your new home. This way, you won’t have to spend any money buying snacks at a gas station, and you’ll be able to save some money.

Also Read: Where to Donate Your Furniture | Moving Essentials: Things You Need When Moving

Try to stay organized

If possible, try to keep yourself organized during your move so that it’s not as stressful and you’re less likely to lose important items. If there are things that need to go in certain rooms in the house, you should label them so that you know where to put them when you arrive at your new home.

When moving, always be sure to label everything so that there is no confusion about where anything needs to go after unloading everything from your car. This way, it will be easier for everyone involved and won’t take as long to get everything out of your car.

Also Read: Why Moving Feels Stressful?


Use bags instead of boxes

Although it might be more expensive at first, using bags instead of boxes will save money in the long run. This is because you won’t need to keep buying cardboard boxes to use for your move. Rather, you’ll only have to purchase a few plastic bags or other types of reusable containers that can be used again and again instead of having to purchase numerous boxes every time you move.

Do your research

Before making any purchases or renting anything, take the time to research and read reviews to ensure that you’re getting the best possible price for all of your moving needs. Be sure to ask about packages or deals that can be used if you need more than one thing simultaneously instead of renting each item separately. If you need a storage unit at first, then it might be best to rent one until everything is packed, and you’re ready to move into your new home.

Also Read: Out of State Moving Tips

Pack your car like a pro

Always try to pack your car like a pro by using suitable materials and methods to make things easier while moving. This will make things go as smoothly as possible, and you won’t be wasting your time on moving day.

If you’re worried about packing too much into your car, then it might be a good idea to ask for help from friends or family members who could come over and pack your car for you. This way, you won’t have to worry about packing as much as possible into your car, and it will be easy for everyone involved.


Packing your car for a move can be challenging, especially if you’re trying to pack everything into one vehicle. You must have the right materials on hand so that it’ll go smoothly on moving day. You need to pack your car with all supplies and essentials for emergencies, put the items that you’ll need first in your car, and try to stay organized during your move so that it’s easier on everyone. When you’re finished packing your essentials into one area of your car, make sure to pack other things around them, so they don’t shift during the drive to your new home. If possible, use reusable bags instead of traditional boxes so that you’re not wasting anything and can save money in the long run. By using the right materials and methods, you’ll be able to pack your car in no time, and it will be easier for everyone involved. Happy Moving!



What are some useful supplies that I will need for my move?

You will want to have the right supplies on hand to make your move as easy as possible. These include cleaning supplies, trash bags, plastic wrap, paper towels, packing paper, toilet paper, recycling boxes, car chargers, or batteries with backup power for cell phones and laptops.

Also Read: How to Pack Electronics for Moving?

What should I do if I don’t have enough space in my car to pack everything?

If you’re finding that you simply don’t have enough room to pack all of your items, then it’s best to rent a storage unit until you’re ready to move into your new home. This way, you can keep packing and unpacking your car as needed and won’t be wasting any time.

What is the best way to pack my car when moving?

When it comes to how to pack your car for a move, there are many ways that you can go about doing this. The best way is with reusable totes or bags instead of traditional cardboard boxes since these will not break down, and you can use them again and again.

What is the best way to keep track of my items during a move?

If you don’t want to worry about losing your keys or any prized possessions, it’s smart to create a master list. In this document, write down everything that needs to be packed in your car and anything you need to do on moving day. You have a checklist to follow this way, so nothing gets lost or forgotten about.

Also Read: Long-Distance Move On A Budget

Written by

Alex Sherr is the founder of My Long Distance Movers, a blog that provides moving information and resources for people who are relocating. He has more than two decades of experience in the moving and relocation industry, and he is passionate about helping people relocate smoothly and efficiently. When he's not writing or blogging, Alex enjoys spending time with his wife and two young children.