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How to Pack a Suitcase Like a Pro

by Household Essentials • May 29, 2019
How to Pack a Suitcase Like a Pro
For many people, packing for a trip is a huge source of stress, but if you teach yourself how to pack a suitcase like a pro, you’ll likely find that packing is no longer the chore it once was. Here are a few of our favorite tips, tools and tricks to help you get the job done.
Start with a plan
One of the most essential packing tips is to start with a plan. Plan out everything you want or need to bring on your trip and make a list. It’s important to begin working on this list at least a few days before your trip, so you have plenty of time to review and add or subtract from the list as your trip approaches. Often, you’ll find in the following days that you think of things that didn’t occur to you when you first created your list. Time will also help you give more thought to the things on your list and single out items that you might not really have a need for.
When creating your list, it’s important to keep it somewhere accessible, like on your phone, so you’ll be able to add things that pop into your mind at a later date.
It’s important to be specific in your planning, too. Don’t just write down things like “clothes” or “shoes.” Planning for outfits instead of individual items will help you make sure you’re not packing extraneous clothing items that don’t go with anything else you’ve packed. Don’t bring a pair of shoes just because they’re one of your favorites; make sure you’re going to wear them with the clothing you’re bringing. Planning to bring outfit pieces that coordinate with several other pieces in your closet is even better, because then you know that no matter what individual pieces you end up wearing, they match.
Going into your packing experience with a few days of thoughtful planning will ensure (or help ensure) that you’re not forgetting things or falling prey to the classic pitfall of unprepared overpacking. You can rest easy  knowing you’ve carefully thought through everything you want to bring and you aren’t forgetting anything.
Roll your clothes
This tip isn’t breaking news, but it’s a tip you have to try before you’re converted. Rolling your clothes can help save space in your luggage and reduce wrinkles. It also helps you get a better view of everything you’re bringing, which can help you identify things that you might not need to pack or things that are lacking.
Use packing storage
In recent years, packing cubes have grown in popularity as a way to help travelers keep their clothing organized and save space in their luggage. These cubes can help you organize all the individual clothing items in your bag, and because of their various sizes, can even help you identify where you might be under or over packing. Is your pants cube bursting open but your underwear cube underfilled? You might need to adjust the number of both.
If you don’t want to invest in packing cubes for whatever reason, you can also use wash bags as makeshift packing cubes. Not only will these wash bags keep certain items organized and separated from the rest of your clothing, they’re multi-function. You can use them when traveling or at home to keep delicates and other items separate in the wash or your luggage. If you plan to do laundry while on your trip, you’ll be extra glad you brought these guys along.
It’s also a good idea to pack a packable bag that you can use to keep dirty laundry separate from clean laundry in your bag.
In addition to keeping your clothing organized and separated, you’ll want to keep any toiletries in your main luggage in a sealed plastic bags, so that you’re in compliance with TSA guidelines as well as protecting your clothing from any spills or leaks.
Don’t pack bulky items
If you’re bringing a few bulky items, such as heavy coats or boots, wear or carry them with you on your travel days so that you don’t have to pack them in your suitcase. This can save you some precious extra space and weight in your luggage.
Packing light layers instead of bulkier sweaters and coats can also help you save some space and weight, and they’re also more versatile and adaptable to the conditions of your destination.
Pack travel hangers
If you have items in your luggage that should be hung up, investing in a compact set of travel hangers will ensure that you’re not beholden to your hotel or destination for hangers. Most sets fold up to be quite compact and are easy to squeeze into your luggage.
Keep essentials in a carry on
Having all your essentials and other miscellaneous items, such as chargers, electronics, and toiletries, packed in your carry-on bag (in addition to a spare outfit, if you can fit it) will not only keep your main luggage more organized, but it could also help you out of a jam if your luggage is delayed or, worse, lost.
Pack a dryer sheet
Placing a dryer sheet in your bag will help keep your clothes smelling fresh, especially during your trip, when the clean clothes start mingling with the dirty clothes.
Use the laundry facilities
If you’re staying somewhere with laundry services or facilities, washing your clothes can help you stretch your vacation wardrobe without having to re-wear clothing that’s not so fresh or pack extra articles of clothing.
Leave extra space
Be honest with yourself: You’re probably going to need to save some extra space for any shopping you do while on your trip, whether it’s new clothes or souvenirs. By not packing your bag to the brim, you save yourself some precious space to bring back extra items.
Have a dedicated toiletry bag at the ready
Invest in a toiletry bag that you bring on all your trips, and keep all your essential travel items in it at all times: travel-sized shampoo, conditioner, lotion, toothpaste, toothbrush and more. You likely won’t be using these things while you’re not on a trip, so save yourself some time by having all your toiletries ready to go any time you travel, and you can be sure you’re not forgetting anything. All you have to do while you’re packing is move the bag into your luggage.
With these tips, you’ll soon be an expert in how to pack a suitcase like a pro.

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