Before You Pack
- Make a packing list. Consider your destination and purpose—are you spending a week on a beach in Hawaii, two weeks biking in Europe, or five days at a work conference?
- To streamline your wardrobe, use the 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 packing rule. Assume there is a place to do laundry or have it serviced. If visualization is helpful to you, lay out everything you want to bring on your bed—then cut it down by half. Put together outfits on the bed; even better if pieces go with more than one outfit.
Clothing and Shoes
- Plan to wear your heaviest items on the plane. Items like boots, a heavy coat, or a bulky sweater—these take up a lot of precious real estate (and weight!) in your suitcase.
- Rock ‘n’ roll, baby. The roll method makes the most of your suitcase space and minimizes creases. Lay your shirt face-down, fold in and flatten the sleeves, then roll from the bottom up. Lay your pants with legs together and roll from the waist down. If you really want to save space, use these amazing compression bags. Certain items—blazers, starched dress shirts, a cocktail dress—should be folded carefully or placed separately in a garment bag.
- Roll your underwear as well; use these to fill in any gaps between clothing. Bras with underwire or molded cups should be stacked and laid flat together.
- Fill your shoe cavities with socks, tights, or folded stockings (in a Ziploc), then put the shoes heel to toe (even high heels). Place them in a plastic bag to keep your clothes from getting dirty.