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How to Pack Efficiently

How-To: Pack Efficiently and Fashionably

With honeymoon season in full gear, I thought I'd cover one of the most crucial topics for enjoying your newly married getaway: packing. The task is never fun, but it's especially un-fun when you're in a rush, anxious to get to your vacation spot, and when, God forbid, you have nothing to wear. So, I have a few of my simple tips that will allow you to pack more of your chic ensembles into your suitcase, and spare them from treacherous wrinkles. Although these tricks of the trade will certainly aid you on your next sojourn, they also apply to packing boxes for moving, shipping, storing, etc.

To learn how pack like sardines,


  1. Lay heavy items (shoes, books, toiletries, etc.) down first.
  2. Slip small trinkets (sunglasses, hair brush, etc.) inside your shoes, or any hollow items to use up space.
  3. Roll up your apparel and textiles and arrange them around the heavy items. This is the tightest way to pack them, and will minimize creases in your clothes. Fold your stiffer clothes.
  4. Lay the waist of your pants at one of edge of the suitcase, letting the hems hang outside the suitcase. Lay the next pair of pants with its waist on the opposite edge, also letting the hems hang outside the suitcase. Continue alternating with all of your pants. Then, fold the legs of your pants all at once back into the suitcase, from the left and right sides.
  5. Lay plastic wrap on top of your clothes, or in between each layer of clothing. This will prevent items from wrinkling in transit because they will slide against the wrap, not allowing them to stand still long enough to crease.
  6. Wrap your breakables in bubble wrap or in soft clothing in the middle of your bag, buffered by other clothing.
  7. Place your necessities, or the things you'll need first, on top, such as pajamas and a toothbrush if you're arriving at night.
  8. Zip and voilà!
Image Source: Thinkstock
jennyjenjen1234 jennyjenjen1234 7 years
Great ideas I plan to use when I head to the beach this weekend! Thanks!
jaxsprat jaxsprat 7 years
I love packing, crazy I know but my family moved to different countries, and then I carried on the tradition of being a gypsy.
itsallabouttheg itsallabouttheg 7 years
I'm with you, JamieLeadh526! I tend to travel with a small or medium sized duffel bag, so I really like Eagle Creek Pack-it folders and cubes for organizing.
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 9 years
Great tips. Too bad I don't need them right now. I need a vacation.
twinkledrops twinkledrops 9 years
I am hopeless at packing. Always think I know what I will carry then change my mind at the last minute and end up carrying too much because I am not sure what I want to wear!!! only to find that I have left some of the must have things at home!! Thanks for the advice.
ElleJay ElleJay 9 years
going on my honeymoon in 2 months- good advice!
aurie aurie 9 years
Number One Cardinal Packing Rule. Do Not put Anything into the luggage until you have Everything that is going Laid Out before hand. Even if you set stuff aside ahead of time, make sure everything is out and laid separate before the actual packing. This also helps visualize new combinations and any unnecessary additions. Also keep travel ziploc of toiletries ready for stowing. Always take home the shower cap from the hotel, they come in handy- way more than that manly smelling conditioner ever would.
JessNess JessNess 9 years
I am such a pro at packing. I can pack about 3 weeks worth of laundry in a normal size suitcase. Sometimes I can also fit in my bedding and towels. I go home to do laundry
MandyJoBo MandyJoBo 9 years
I use space bags.
cloudy-D cloudy-D 9 years
Good stuff !
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
I'm into the rolling...
VennieB VennieB 9 years
what perfect timing! i'm packing tonight to leave for the dominican tomorrow for a week!
beingtazim beingtazim 9 years
i like those plastic bags that vacuum out all the air. i've been able to put in twice as many things this way. i roll up the packed bags and put them on the sides, too.
geohiker geohiker 9 years
Rick Steves has great packing tips and lists on his site:
nikachu nikachu 9 years
My way of packing is similar, but instead of rolling up all my my shirts, I just use undershirts, sleep-shirts and socks to fill in the spaces. Then after laying the pants, I skip the plastic wrap,and start piling shirts, completely spread out (with sleeves to lie on top of the pant legs and the bottom half draped towards me, out of the suitcase). Then I fold the bottom big thick pile of clothing upwards, then each sleeve,pantleg over the left and right side. So now there's this giant mound that I secure with the belts from the suitcase. The best part is, when I arrive at my destination, I can lift the bundle out, unfold it on the bed, and my fitted shirts have no folding wrinkles!
The-City-Girl The-City-Girl 9 years
I'm a packing FOOL after having to constantly come back and forth between the UK and US when I lived in London, and I definitely used a lot of those tips! Emalove--I too subscribe to the rolling method ;-)
Mintie Mintie 9 years
Great tips! I consider myself a master packer... I can pack a 21" carryon bag [with dress shoes!] for a week anywhere. I do all of these things, by the way... the rolling thing saves lots of space. Also, I layer clothes, including wearing my bulkiest items of clothing on the plane [jeans, bulky sweater, etc.] so as not to have to pack them, also with so many different temperature changes, from your departure city, the airport, the plane [with its multiple temperature changes] to your arrival city, layering is a necessity.
emalove emalove 9 years
I use the rolling technique and it definitely helps save room!
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