How to Save Space When Packing for Your Move

How to Save Space When Packing for Your Move

items set aside to be packed inside moving boxes

Who doesn’t like to cut costs while they are moving? One of the easiest ways to do so is to know how to save space when you are packing. There are many tips and tricks to help you utilize all your packing space without leaving any empty gaps.

Time to Declutter

The most important step to help you save space while packing your bags is to declutter first. This means before you even start to pack your bags you need to go through all your items and decide what you still want.

Items to Keep

The easiest thing to decide when you are moving is what you want to keep. Everyone has items they know for sure will be coming with them during the move. They immediately want to save space to pack these items in their bags. The key to this is rationalizing with yourself. If you haven’t used an item in months or you can’t see yourself using it in the future, then it isn’t worth the space it will take up during your move.

Items to Sell

Another thing to think about when decluttering is what items you could potentially sell. This is an easy way to make some extra money to help fund your move.

There are many different options for you when it comes to selling your items. You can choose to sell your items online or you could have a rummage sale. When it comes to selling your items online you can look into sites such as Facebook Marketplace, eBay, and Craigslist.

Items to Donate vs Garbage

When you are going through your items you are always going to find things you no longer want. There are a few options on what to do with these items. You could either donate them or throw them in the garbage or recycling bins.

As you are picking out what you are going to donate you want to consider what condition they are in. If an item is broken or in poor condition, you want to throw it away or recycle it. This is a common courtesy since you don’t want to gift your local thrift store with garbage.

How to Save Space in Moving Boxes

Moving boxes are a common essential when it comes to moving. The hard part is trying to save space when packing items into the boxes.

Real Life Jenga

Packing a moving box is a lot like the game Jenga. The goal is to fit all your items into the boxes safely and to leave no empty spaces. To do this, you will have to think about how certain items will fit next to each other.

Pro tip: fit similar items into the same box. For example, putting just flat books into one box allows them to fit snuggly on top of one another. This also goes for non-flat items such as kitchen mixing bowls which you put in one box by nesting them inside of each other.

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No Space Left Empty

A key to saving space while packing is to leave no spaces empty in the box. Ultimately you are going to have some boxes filled with odd-shaped items that just don’t fit snuggly next to each other. This will cause some gaps. To fill those gaps, you can find small items or soft items that can fit easily into the empty space. This will ensure you make use of all the space in the box.

Utilizing Empty Spaces

While packing you are going to end up with empty spaces, and that’s okay! You can take those empty spaces and turn them into more storage.


When moving your furniture, you will often come across pieces you are moving that have drawers in them. A lot of people clean out these drawers before they move to make the furniture easier to carry. An easy way to save space is to refill these drawers with lightweight items. This keeps them light while still allowing you to use them as additional storage space.

Suitcases and Bags

Another good way to save space packing your bags is to fill your suitcases and other big bags. A lot of people own suitcase sets which come with multiple, different size suitcases. Instead of just moving these to your new home, you should fill them up and take advantage of the space they provide.

Many suitcases have wheels on the bottom of them. This makes them perfect for storing slightly heavier objects since you can wheel them instead of carrying them. One good thing to pack in a suitcase is books since they are heavy, and they sit flat in a square suitcase.

Vacuum Sealing

Vacuum sealing is where you have an item in a plastic bag and you use a vacuum to take all the air out of the bag. You then seal the bag without any air inside of it.


The nice thing about vacuum sealing is it gets rid of all the empty air space within a bag. When you finish vacuum sealing a bag it is typically smaller than it originally was. Remember, the air is empty space too!


There are only a few items that vacuum seal nicely like bedding, clothes, and stuffed animals. Vacuuming sealings items can also cause them to badly wrinkle if they are stored for a longer period.

Alternative for Clothes

If you are worried about your clothing getting wrinkled in a vacuum seal there is an alternative option. Instead of just normally folding your clothes, you should roll them up. This is similar to how you would roll a sleeping bag. This technique both saves space and helps to prevent your clothes from getting harsh wrinkle lines.

The Waste of Packing Material

One item that takes up quite a bit of space is packing material. People often use materials such as newspaper, bubble wrap, and rags to wrap up delicate items. Instead of using those materials, which you will ultimately throw away afterward, you can use soft clothing you already have. Items such as blankets, clothes, and towels make for great packing material. It also helps to save space while packing since you will want this material in your new home anyways.


Saving space when packing for your move can often be a challenge. However, with these tips and tricks, you are set on the right path for a successful packing experience before your move. In the long run, this will help to make your move both less expensive and easier.

Jessica is a students at the University of Northern Iowa. She is majoring in English Education with a creative writing minor. In her free time she loves to read books of every genre, write short stories, and spend time with friends. In the future she hopes to share her love for reading and writing with her future students.