How to Move Across the Country in Two Bags

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Moving doesn’t have to be a big deal. I promise. Whether you’re moving to start a sick new job, to get away from a shitty ex, or it’s just time for a grand new adventure, you can do this. If you’re not the road tripping type, you may find yourself with a one way ticket, and we all know that TSA baggage rules can be a bitch. Don’t panic. I’m here to tell you that if I can consolidate my things down from a 10 foot closet into two bags, you can, too. Here’s how.

1. Consider the season

One of the first things you must absolutely understand before we get started is that you’re not going to need everything. This is best demonstrated in seasonal terms. For instance, if you are moving to Florida in May, you are not going to need your Monclair. You probably never will. If you are moving to Chicago in October, you shouldn’t add extra poundage by slinging your Kork-Ease sandals into the duffel. Yes, seasons change wherever you are, but that takes time. More often than not, you will spring at the chance to buy a seasonal item the second the weather changes.

2. Buy a large cheap no-frills bag

Hopefully you’re not moving every two months, so you really only need a bag that will last for one or maybe two flights. Yes, the one printed with strawberries is cute, but those extra inside pockets are only going to make the packing more complicated and runs the risk of an unpacking WHERE IS MY FAVORITE NECKLACE nightmare. Stay simple and big, this one is great. Remember the bag itself adds weight so the simpler the bag the more of your stuff you can take.

3. Only take one (maaaybe two…)

Serious question: how many black sack dresses do you have? I have twelve. When I moved, I got to take two, because I wear them a ton. You don’t need your entire canon of LBDs because, if you are being really honest, you have a favorite. Take that one. Then, if you REALLY MUST, take one that is the exact opposite of the one you wear all the time. So if you are taking one short body con strapless, you may want to bring a long-sleeved maxi as well. Everything in-between is just going to take up space.

4. Weight Matters

Each bag needs to be under 50 lbs unless you want to buy another plane ticket for your $20 duffel. So, consider the platform. Unless you wear platforms on a regular basis, you don’t REALLY need them. Personally, I buy platforms for special one-off events, so they tend to be on the cheaper side, and I don’t get too upset when they get thrown into the Goodwill pile. This said, if you DO wear platforms regularly (and bravo to you for that), try to stick to ones made of foam or plastic. Wood and other heavy materials will add unnecessary weight, and, if they are I-only-wear-this-on-New Years shoes, then you can probably find another pair in your new home. Which brings me to my next point. If you really MUST bring those 10 lb Jeffery Campbell’s, try to wear them on the plane; it may be uncomfortable but the weight of your wood sky-highs is equal to about one week of t-shirts.

5. What you can buy when you land

You don’t need to bring every white t-shirt you own. I learned this the hard way when I had to repack my entire duffel because it was half full of my extensive Hanes collection. Hanes is a multi-million dollar company that sells their goods almost everywhere. This goes the same for underwear. In the age of 7 for $27 deals at pretty much any store, you can find shiny new undies for a steal and if your underwear collection is anything like mine—holey and stretched out—you probably should.


I hate to sound like your mom, but FOLD YOUR CLOTHES. Not only does it save an immense amount of space, it keeps your clothes crispy and fresh for your first night out in your new city. There is no way to get around it. It will be tempting to just throw everything in your giant bag, but don’t.