I’ve noticed that packing can go one of two ways: an explosion of clothes or a neat and organized haven. And with myself falling in the latter group (it’s almost weird how much I enjoy packing), I feel like it’s my duty to convert the throw-everything-in people to something that’s easier to manage. If you have an interest in making your suitcase feel like a sanctuary—and not dealing with messes upon arrival—here are the packing guidelines I live by (told you I was serious about it):
First off, a hard-shelled suitcase is the way to go. I made the switch a couple years ago and wish I’d done it sooner. It protects everything really well, and your efforts packing won’t go wasted with things moving around.
Roll, roll, roll
If you’re not taking the time to roll anything that can wrinkle, start! Even the cutest outfit can be ruined by wrinkles, so if you don’t want to be steaming your entire wardrobe after you unpack, roll your stuff while packing. This not only helps items stay looking good, but it takes up less room. Make sure everything is rolled tightly and held in place (more on this below).
Be mindful of placement
Other than rolling, finding a smart way to place everything in a suitcase is life-changing. If you have anything bulky—sweaters, sweats, etc.—place those at the bottom of your bag. You don’t have to roll these items; simply lay them flat to basically line your suitcase. Next, place any delicates (things that snag, stain) and your rolled items. This will keep these things squeezed in and safe. On the very top, place any denim. Denim is pretty indestructible, so it leaves everything below it tidy—especially if your shampoo leaks.
Bag your shoes
Let’s face it, shoes get nasty. Use old purse or garment bags and place your shoes in these before packing. Tie or secure the bag, then place on top of your jeans—or on the other side of your suitcase if there’s a separate, protected section, which is ideal. Pro tip: I like to bring an extra bag for dirty socks/undies when traveling.
Hide dead space
If you want to leave room in your suitcase for new purchases, totally fine, but fill the space with another bag. If there’s dead space in your bag and you don’t have straps, things will shuffle and become a mess. To not have that happen, get rid of the empty space with a duffle bag. You can then fill that with your new things and carry it separately on the way back, or if your suitcase is large, fit it inside again.
It might sound obvious, but actually making the switch to travel-sized beauty products makes packing much easier. If a product you love doesn’t come small, take the time to buy travel-sized bottles and then fill them up. Target has an amazing selection of legit products in the travel version, so check online before your next trip. I like to use a makeup holder for all my…makeup!…and then a water-proof version for liquids (face wash, body oil, etc.).
If you want more help on knowing what to actually pack (and wear) check out this article of ours!
Do you have any packing tips?