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14 Tricks to Turn You Into a Packing Ninja

Aug 12 2015 - 11:00am

Trust us when we say that you've never really known how to pack before this. If you face common packing annoyances like forgetting something that you should've packed or just packing way too much every time, read on to see our best packing practices [1].

Roll your clothes.

Roll up your clothes when packing so they take up less space.

Pack an unwrinkle spray.

You'll definitely have some wrinkled clothing when you're traveling, so pack this wrinkle-release spray (which you can make yourself [2]!) to straighten your clothing with just a few spritzes.

Add plastic wrap to toiletries.

Make your toiletries spill-proof by adding plastic wrap over the opening and then screwing the cap on it.

Place valuables in your carry-on bag.

If you don't want to run the risk of losing your valuables — tech products, jewelry, money, etc. — then put them in your carry-on bag, and don't pack them in baggage that you plan on checking.

Bring these single-use packets.

Create these single-use packets [3] if you're going on a short trip instead of packing big tubes of toiletries.

Find a hiding spot for your money.

Hide your money in a safe place where no one would think of looking for it, like in an empty tube of Chapstick.

Bring a stain stick.

A stain stick is a must when you're traveling, because you might not be able to immediately get back to your hotel to remove the stain before it sets in. The fact that you can make this stain stick yourself [4] and put it into a small chapstick container is just a bonus.

Remove a quarter of what you've packed.

We're all guilty of overpacking, but this trick will nip that problem in the bud. When you're done packing, go through your things again, and remove a quarter of what you've packed. This way you won't have to sit on your bursting luggage to zip it shut. Or, at least, that's what I hear people do.

Stuff clothing into purses.

Stuff clothing items you aren't afraid of wrinkling — like socks, underwear, and t-shirts — into a purse that you're packing. This helps to keep the shape of the bag and gives you more space in your luggage.

Use a shower cap for your shoes.

Wrapping your shoes in a shower cap is a handy way to prevent your shoes from dirtying the other items in your luggage. You can also put them in plastic bags.

Place a belt in the collar of a shirt.

To prevent the collar of a dress shirt from getting flattened in your luggage, roll up a belt and put it in the collar of the shirt before packing.

Assume you will lose your luggage.

Prepare as if you're going to lose your checked luggage. This means that you should have duplicate copies of important items in both your carry-on and the baggage you're going to check in. For example, have copies of your passport in both bags and have a day's worth of clothes in your carry-on. If you have medication, then remember to place extra doses in your carry-on.

Use a compression bag.

Increase your suitcase space with a compression bag, which traps your luggage in an air-tight seal. It will leave extra room for other things!

Customize a packing checklist with a few clicks.

TravelsChecklist.com [5] creates a free checklist tailored to your trip after you input options such as where you're traveling to, your gender, and what activities you plan on doing.

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