How to pack rugs and carpets before moving

Have you thought about how to pack rugs and carpets for your move? Most likely, you haven’t, which isn’t surprising. Plenty of people think you can just roll them up and chuck them into your moving truck. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as it seems. Sure, you technically could do that but it might lead to damage. Not something you want to risk, especially if you own a more expensive rug. Our packing experts at Kokusai Express Moving have shared their best tips and tricks below.

Supplies you need to pack rugs and carpets

Before you get started, we advise you to get all your supplies together. This way, the packing process will go smoothly. You won’t have to run to the store because you forgot an essential item. Which supplies you’ll need depends on the quality and size of your carpet. For example, the string is great for smaller rugs. It will keep them rolled with ease. Meanwhile larger pieces might require something sturdier, like zip ties. On the other hand, you could also hire a moving service Japan and save yourself the hassle. 

an oriental rug
The best way to pack rugs and carpets is going to vary based on their size and material.

If you’re doing it on your own, here are the things you’ll need:

  • carpet cleaning solution or powder
  • a brush or sponges made for carpet
  • strong packing tape
  • rope or some string
  • packing paper
  • zip ties
  • a bedsheet or similar breathable fabric

Cleaning the rug

Once you’ve gathered all of your supplies, the next step is cleaning the rug. You don’t want to transport any dirt or pests to your new home. If you regularly get it cleaned, this process is going to be easy. Otherwise, you might find it to be time-consuming. Moisture is your worst enemy when transporting rugs and carpets. First, vacuum thoroughly to get any dust, pet hair, and bigger particles. Repeat if necessary. Next, wash it with a cleaner of your choice. A sponge or a brush can come in handy if your rug needs a deep cleaning. After you’ve done that it’s time to rinse and let it dry. Drying it fully is extremely important, even a small amount of moisture can wreak havoc.

before you pack rugs and carpets vacuum them
A clean carpet means you won’t transfer any dirt or germs to your new home.

Preparing for rolling the rug

To best preserve your carpet during transport, it is important to educate yourself on proper rolling techniques. This includes determining the direction of the nap. The nap is the direction in which the carpet fibers face. You’ll always want to roll your rug against the so-called nap. The easiest way to do this is to run your hand over the rug. Do it a couple of times in both directions. You should be able to feel a bit of resistance when your hand is going against the grain. When it’s going along the nap, it should feel completely smooth. After you’ve done that, see if you can get some help for the following steps. Depending on the weight and size, rolling it up on your own could be tricky.

Properly rolling carpets and rugs 

Before you can roll, turn the carpet upside down. The backing of the carpet should face you, and not the floor. The reason for doing so is that most carpets have stiff but delicate backing. It can easily get damaged during transport. Alongside that, if you put too much pressure while rolling, it can crack. Next, start by tightly rolling from the shorter side. Depending on the size, the second set of hands can be of great help. Start very slowly, to get a nice, even roll. The neater it is, the easier it’s going to be to pack it later on.

Packing oriental rugs

Persian rugs will require a different approach. Firstly you’ll have to fold them a few times before storing the rugs. This is because they tend to be thinner, and more fragile. Just rolling it up will be impossible. Fold it up in halves, then thirds. Once it’s thick enough, roll it up the same way you would a regular carpet. Though, you should be careful to not apply too much pressure.

two people carrying a carpet
If you can, enlist a friend to help you out with this project.

Best ways to seal and protect your rug during moving

After you’re done with rolling up the carpet, comes the most important part. Ensuring packages safety during transport should be your top priority. Properly securing it is going to make moving a lot easier. In order to keep it from unrolling, tie both ends. You can use rope, twine, string, or even zip-ties. When you feel like everything is nice and secure grab large pieces of packing paper and wrap the ends. It’s not necessary to wrap the entire carpet. Tie the paper with more string. One thing you should never do is wrap the rug in plastic wrapping. Plastic isn’t a breathable material and it’s going to trap moisture in. If you plan on storing carpets long-term, avoid plastic at all costs.

Additional tips and tricks for packing rugs and carpets

Moving rugs and carpets is often difficult, but by this point, you should be almost done! All that’s left to do is transport it to your new home. During transport, it’s preferable for your rug to stand upwards. You can also place it horizontally, laying down. In that case, make sure nothing is stacked on top of the rug. Putting heavy furniture and boxes on top can cause dents and even tears. On the other hand, if you want to save yourself the hassle of project cargo, hire a reliable moving company to transport the rug for you. A professional will know how to handle it the best.


By this point, you should be done, congratulations! The last thing to do is unroll it, and place it in its new location. Figuring out how to pack rugs and carpets efficiently is tough, but you managed to do it. With a bit of research and preparation, it’s not even that hard. Now you can finally relax and enjoy your new home.

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