10 Tips for Efficiently Packing Your Suitcase

10 Tips for Efficiently Packing Your Suitcase

I spend a lot of time living out of my suitcase whether it’s for work or leisure travel. At this point, I can pack a capsule wardrobe with my eyes closed and organize the contents of my suitcase so they are easily removed and re-packed. That wasn’t always the case so today I’m sharing 10 tips for efficiently packing your suitcase.

  • Organize using packing cubes: There’s a lot of reasons to use a set of packing cubes: keep outfits separate, categorize like items (e.g., dresses, undies), or to keep clean and dirty clothes from intermingling. Personally, I use mine to keep like items together and also to separate my dirty clothes as a trip goes on.
  • Pack in chronological order: When you’re packing your cubes (or your suitcase for that matter), pack what you need toward the end of your trip at the bottom and then immediate items at the top. That way, if you arrive late to your hotel, you can quickly open your suitcase and retrieve your pajamas rather than needing to dig around for awhile.
  • Stow shoes in shower caps: To avoid marking up clean clothes, or depositing street-filth into the interior of my suitcase, I stow my shoes inside shower caps.
10 Tips for Efficiently Packing Your Suitcase
Pack heavier items, like shoes, at the base of your suitcase
  • Place your heaviest items at the bottom: There’s nothing worse than having a top-heavy suitcase fall over in the airport, or worse, backwards down an escalator. Arrange your heavy items toward the bottom-half of your suitcase so that the weight is at the base when it’s upright.
  • Use awkward small spaces for one-off items: As you arrange your shoes and packing cubes in your suitcase, use those awkward small spaces to your advantage. Stash your deodorant in the groves alone the side of the suitcase. Put socks inside your shoes. This will help you maximize the space in your suitcase.
  • Pack extra Ziploc baggies: These take up virtually no space and add virtually no weight to your suitcase. Extra Ziploc baggies are great in a pinch when your swimsuit hasn’t fully dried or your quart-size container for liquids gets busted mid-trip.
  • Stash your 3 oz. liquids at the top of your suitcase: Even if you have TSA Pre-check, there will come a time when you arrive at an airport that doesn’t offer full TSA Pre-check screening. That means you enter through the regular security line with a special pass that allows you to leave on your shoes, but you’ll still be required to remove your liquids and your laptop for screening. By placing your liquids toward the top of your suitcase, you can avoid a full unzip and just grab the bag should you need to.
  • Keep a change of clothes in your carry-on: Now that I have airline status, any checked baggage receives a “priority” tag, meaning it is unloaded first. With it, I’ve become a big fan of checking my suitcase, especially on long-haul trips to another country. That being said, I’m always careful to pack an extra change of clothes in whatever carry-on bag(s) I have so that I’ll have something to change into on the off-chance my luggage doesn’t arrive at its final destination.
10 Tips for Efficiently Packing Your Suitcase
I prefer folding clothes instead of rolling
  • Pick your poison – fold vs. roll: I’m a folder, not a roller. I find no difference in the amount of space you supposedly save if you roll your clothes vs. folding them. Similarly, if I fold my clothes nicely and place them in packing cubes, it’s rare that I find my clothing full of wrinkles when I go to unpack.
  • Check your suitcase’s weight and react accordingly: If after packing your suitcase you cannot lift it over your head, as you need to if you intend it to be a carry-on, prepare to check it instead. Flight attendants are not into the game of helping you and do you really want to bother your fellow seatmate (who is totally judging you)?

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