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Curtain Call: Lifehacks for Curtain Packing

Posted in: I'm a Mover, Pro Packing Guides

[Synopsis: We don’t like the advice that’s out there so we are giving you all our own on the subject.]

Packing curtains and drapes sounds pretty straightforward. I mean really, do we even need help with this? I mean, is there anyone out there who can give us a little more advice?

Yes. Well sort of. First, there are plenty of people out there giving advice on the subject. The thing is, their advice leaves a bit to be desired.

Common tips that you Google but aren’t so helpful

Hang them in a wardrobe on a padded hangar

A padded hangar? Padded with what? Bath towels? Bed sheets? Is there such a thing as a pre-padded wardrobe bar? If so, we’ve never heard of it. (And by the way, a hangar is where they keep planes and helicopters and B-52 bombers. The word we want here is hanger. But let’s not be picky, we’ve got more important work to do.)

Pin the drapes or curtains securely

Wonderful. Take the drapes our customer cares so much about and start sticking pins through them. Might as well staple them in place while we’re at it.

Remove curtains from rods, fold them, and pack in cartons

What, we’re not supposed to fold up the curtain rods?

Clean draperies prior to move. They can be packed in plastic bags for protection.

Okay, this is all well and good, but in the real world how many people have ‘clean draperies’ as a top priority when they are getting ready to move? If it gets done at all it will likely be last-minute, in between packing up the upstairs hall closet they forgot about and unclogging the garbage disposal. Chances are decent that if they do get washed, those drapes won’t be completely dry when they get packed in plastic. Then it’s hello mold when it’s time to unpack.

Alright, maybe we’re being a little bitter, but the advice that’s out there needs some clarification.

The secret to how we do it

If we are packing curtains or drapes in just a carton, it really is pretty straightforward. But think: curtains and drapes are open as much as they are shut, so they won’t be crisp as a starched and dry-cleaned dress shirt. Folding them up in their accordion shape is just as good as folding them up when they are laid out flat. The thing to keep in mind is fold them loosely. That is the best way to avoid wrinkles.

That is, unless you are packing them in a wardrobe box. But in that case we are looking at padded hangers and pins. One is a hassle, the other a hazard.

If your customer is telling you that their drapes are really nice, take care of both issues by wrapping a few pieces of packing paper around that wardrobe bar, then taking the drapes and wrapping them around once. This will keep them from slipping off, and therefore saves us the bother (and saves the customer the potential damage) of using pins to hold them in place. Obviously we can’t hang them like this if they are spread out flat, but in their accordion state they can be wrapped around the wardrobe bar like a scarf around one’s neck.


Wrap drapes around the wardrobe bar to keep them from slipping off.

And about pinning those drapes in place? Here’s a better idea: Wrap the curtain tie-backs around the drapes, just beneath the wardrobe bar. Use a crinkled-up piece of tape, or better yet, a piece of string or a twist-tie to hold that tie-back firmly enough around the drapes so that nothing slips.


Use the curtain tie-backs to keep the curtains on the wardrobe bar.


Make sure the tie-back won’t slip. Here we use a twist-tie to keep everything secure and pinhole-free.

As far as cleaning curtains before the move? That’s a toss-up, really.

And one for the customer to figure out. If they are dirtier than the dog’s bed then sure, giving them a wash. Otherwise it’s more a matter of the customer’s time than anything else. Giving them a good shake before packing them up may be enough. If the customer’s drapes are really, really nice then they’ll want them to be really really wrinkle-free. And no matter how well they are packed, when it comes to curtains and drapes, wrinkle-free perfection is an elusive beast.

But hey, it’s better than pin holes.


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