How to Pack a Car for Moving Long Distance - Long Distance Usa Movers

How to Pack a Car for Moving Long Distance

The first vehicle was invented in 1886, by Carl Benz. Nowadays there are about 276 million registered vehicles in the United States. In fact, about 35% are cars. So, answering a question like how to pack a car for moving home will be more than needed. Because just randomly putting some belongings in the vehicle isn’t the best option.

A man putting suitcase in the back of a car before long-distance movers near him come to pack other stuff
With good organization everything is possible

You decided it’s time to move and you opted for using professional long-distance moving services. But, on the other hand, you don’t want auto transport because you’ll drive your precious four-wheeler. In that case, you’ll have to organize the move and know how to best pack a car for moving. If you are wondering how much can you pack in a car, you’ll be surprised at the number of items that can actually fit in. However, without adequate preparation, neither you’ll be able to do it nor have an efficient move. So, let’s take a look at what you should do.

Why It’s Important to Know How to Pack a Car for Moving to Another State

No matter the distance of the move, your car must be in top-notch condition at every moment. You should be able to rely on your four-wheeler especially when relocating to a new home. Not only will it help you adjust to the new environment (because you’ll be able to explore the area), but it will also make sure you do some errands in no time.

Being able to experience all those benefits from your car, you have to know what is the easiest way to pack when moving and how to do it efficiently. Not only you’ll have more free space, but you won’t worry about the safety of your belongings during the transport.

Think About All Road Safety Standards Before the Move

Safety is one of the first things you have to think about, no matter whether you’re driving the car or not. Although you’ll think about maximizing the space when loading the four-wheeler, you should also ensure that you and your passengers are safe during the trip. So, don’t avoid the necessary maintenance check of:

  • Battery charge,
  • Tire pressure,
  • Mileage,
  • Fluids.

Be Aware of the Storage and Space Capacity of Your Car

One of the relocation hacks when it comes to preparing your car for shipping is to be aware of the actual storage space. Although you’ll put most items in the truck, there are other places that could be well used. For example, the place between front and back seats and also under the seats is great for storing some small items.

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Explore Which Items Shouldn’t Be Transported in Your Car

People move for many reasons. Whether it’s a better job opportunity or they just found a better home. No matter the reason, if you are driving your four-wheeler, take advantage of some storage in it and put some things inside. However, the first thing you have to decide is whether you’ll drive or you’ll let the professionals do it. If the cross-country movers do it, then you have to consider all the items movers won’t move. This means something just can’t be inside the truck, but neither inside your car.

Pretty much the same thing stands for the you-driving option. Liquids and hazardous materials shouldn’t be inside during the trip because you never know what can happen. And even if you have relocation insurance, in those circumstances, it won’t be covered.

Keep in mind that people that let the professionals take care of the cars should know how car shipping works and read a shipping guide beforehand. However, they don’t need to study all the safety road standards professional drivers got that covered. Just be sure all the documents are prepared – registration, your driver’s license, proof of insurance, and car ownership.

Carefully Pick What Things You’ll Take With You

Having a successful packing mission will depend on many factors. However, once you realize all the benefits of relocating you won’t be doing much more than planning and organizing, right? That’s why you should plan ahead what will go inside your car because the storage is pretty limited.

If you’re relocating with pets, ensure there’s enough room for them, then your essentials and important stuff like personal documents and valuables. Also, make some room for your plants because they surely won’t survive the tip in the back of the truck.

Potted plants gathered near the window before a long-distance moving company comes for other stuff
Pets, plants, and valuables should be with you during the move

Start With Preparing Your Vehicle for the Move

If you’re wondering how do you pack a car to move, you should start with preparing it first. Make sure you do all the preparations that will ease the whole upcoming process of packing the car. It’s like when you prepare your home for the same process – you need a plan first. With a game plan, there will surely be some mistakes you could avoid.

So, start with cleaning the interior before you begin putting the stuff inside. It’s best to get everything removable out and use the vacuum cleaner. Not only will you have a nice cleaned car, but the whole trip will be more pleasant for you and your passengers.

Get Rid of All the Clutter First and All Unnecessary Stuff

Once you have all the stuff out of the car, ensure those you don’t need or use anymore don’t go back inside. We all know the benefits of downsizing for a move, but when you’re dealing with limited storage, then it’s essential. So, decide what to get rid of and, if possible, donate the unwanted items to the local charities or online on websites like Goodwill.

Avoid Buying More Things For Your New Home Before the Move

When you follow some of the best relocation tips, then you don’t have to worry about making some of the most common relocation mistakes. Buying new items for home is most certainly one of the mistakes you should avoid. Keep in mind that vehicles have limited storage capacity and the more you buy, the more problems you’ll have to fit all that stuff.

Yes, you got rid of everything and you feel like you deserve to buy something. Don’t worry; it’s an entirely normal feeling. However, it’s not such a smart decision before the move. You can always go shopping once you settle in your home.

A woman holding a credit card while online shopping on a laptop
Leave the shopping lists for after the move

Sort Things You’re Packing in the Four-Wheeler by Priority

You probably wonder why you should sort again the belongings that will go in the car when you already did it (you set aside hazardous materials and things you won’t use anymore.) However, now you have to sort the belongings you’ll actually put in the four-wheeler.

So, start with sorting by importance. There will be some bags you won’t need during the trip, for example, some clothes or electronics. If you don’t plan on using them, why put them near you and let them eat up the free space? But, if you sort the bags and even boxes, you won’t have these kinds of problems. In fact, you’ll probably make even more room.

What Is the Best Way to Pack a Car – Leave the Necessity Bag the Last

Preparing a relocation essential bag for the trip and even for the first few days after the move is something you should seriously consider doing. However, leaving it to be packed last is the best idea. That way, you won’t have trouble finding it during the trip if needed (considering you’ll put your documents, phone, charger, and medicines, the bag should be near you.)

Put heavy and durable items first, on the bottom. That way, you can put over the other more delicate items, such as china or glassware. Also, remember that the driver’s part of the vehicle should be as clear as possible. The windows shouldn’t be blocked with boxes or anything else.

Fully packed car ready for cross-country moving
Make a packing plan and have everything packed efficiently

Consider Having Overhead Carrier for Some of Your Belongings

No matter if you’re moving at the last minute, having a helping hand from professionals and their packing services is definitely something you should consider, including the storage facility. However, planning a good packing strategy for your car is something you have to do on your own.

Sometimes even with the greatest plan, some belongings just can’t fit inside the vehicle. That’s when you should check the overhead carrier option. You’ll gain more storage room, but keep in mind that this isn’t a free investment. However, it’s something worth spending money on.

Watch the video below and see how to install an overhead carrier on cars with flat roofs.

Don’t Use Cardboard Boxes and Maximize the Space Capacity

Relocating to a new state means a house full of boxes, bubble wrap, and other supplies needed for the wrapping up process. However, when it comes to your car, things slightly change because putting cardboard boxes inside vehicles isn’t the greatest approach. And the most obvious reason is that they take a lot of space. Especially if you’re wondering how to pack a small car for moving. Also, vehicles have those limited spaces (small ones even more), and sturdy boxes just can’t fit in, and you lose precious free room.

A cardboard box on a table before cross-country moving company comes and load it into the truck
A cardboard box will take more free room in already limited storage spaces

Plastic Bags for Packing Your Things Are the Best Solution for Small Cars

Knowing how to fully use the storage even in a small car is something you should think about when relocating across the country. That’s why when you make your relocation to-do list, ensure (plastic) bags are on it, besides other wrapping materials. They are flexible enough and will fit in every inaccessible place of your car easily. Squeezing them, you’ll get more room for other belongings.

Vacuum and Garbage Bags Are Great Materials for Packing Clothes

Plastic, shopping, or garbage bags are ideal for clothes or other similar belongings – sheets and underwear. If your relocation budget allows, you can get a vacuum bag that will save you even more free room. It will reduce the size of your clothes and avoid getting rid of something you thought couldn’t fit.

A woman is using a vacuum cleaner on a vacuum bag before long-distance moving
Clothes in a bag can go anywhere in your car

Hit the Road With Your Car Fully, Yet Properly Packed

We all want a hassle-free move, avoiding all kinds of stress, right? When it comes to preparing vehicles for a long-distance relocation, there will be some steps you shouldn’t avoid. First is preparing the vehicles and ensuring they are completely safe and ready for the trip. And then, you’ll transport some of your belongings inside. So, to sum up, your car will be of great help when you know how to properly prepare it for the wrapping up process.

Julie Grace

Originally from The Golden City, Julie has explored the ins and outs of moving and has written all the tips down.


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