Traveling? One of the things that make packing stressful is not knowing what you will need or if you actually need everything that you have packed. The constant doubt that you have everything you would need on a trip tucked into your suitcase could lead to pre-traveling anxiety. Here are tips on how to pack efficiently.
If you are like me or most people, then packing for a trip feels like a chore that you feel inclined to put off until the last minute; and then you pack in a hurry and end up forgetting something. I can’t count how many times this has happened to me. One of the things that make packing stressful is not knowing what you will need or if you actually need everything that you have packed. The constant doubt that you have everything you would need on a trip tucked into your suitcase could lead to pre-travelling anxiety.
So, how do we avoid the pressure and anxiety of trying to figure out what to pack and what not to pack; or how to pack so that we don’t have excess luggage? Good news: there is a formula and I will lay it out for you here.
How to Pack Your Clothes
Start with a to-do/packing list
This will serve as a reminder of all that you will need on your trip, and it will stop you from over-packing while helping you not to forget any important thing behind. Don’t underestimate the importance of a list nor the significance of the things that you need. If you think that you might need it on your trip, the first thing to do is to write it down on your list. As you pack your suitcase, you will decide whether you actually need it or not.
Bring out all the clothes that you think you need and then ‘edit’
Lay all the clothes you think you may need and start downsizing. Pack more tops and a few bottoms; let your bottoms be colours that will go with any colour of top that you pack (like black, grey, navy blue etc.). Essentially, you must take at least a pair of jeans, five tops, one dress and a skirt; if you are travelling for a few days. The outfit you wear to the airport also counts, so think about it carefully.
Don’t just fold, Roll
Roll soft garments to make them smaller in order to create more space in your suitcase and fold the rest. Roll your undergarments, shirts (the ones that don’t wrinkle easily), jeans and knitwear.
Your rolled clothes should be at the bottom of your suitcase, then your folded clothes should follow. Put your garments on top of each other, leaving space beside your stacked folded garments for other things. If you have belts, trace them around the perimeter of the bag like cello tape to leave room for other accessories. Place the clothes that you will need first at the top of your suitcase, depending on where you are going to and what you are going to do first when you arrive at your destination. This will make things easy for you if you need to change clothes when you get to your destination and you will avoid making a mess.
How to Pack Shoes
When it comes to packing shoes, there is a rule called the ‘Rule of Three’. It states that you pack a pair of casual shoes, a pair of sneakers and a pair of evening or dress shoes. Simple and easy. Wear the heaviest pair (which could be your sneakers) and pack the rest.
Put your shoes in resalable or nylon bags before you put them in your suitcase; so, that they don’t stain your clothes or other things in your suitcase.
How to Pack Toiletries and Beauty Products
Do not pack unnecessary things. A moisturizer, soap and shampoo, wipes that clean hands and face. And don’t forget your hand sanitiser. Take only the make-up products that you will need for the time or period that you will be at your destination. If you hear yourself saying “let me take this thing in case…” then that’s a sign that you shouldn’t take it. Put your toiletries in a resealable bag if you don’t already have a bag for it, do the same for your make-up kits.
How to Pack Fragile Objects or Breakables
Wrap your fragile items in thick clothes and put them in the middle of your suitcase. If your fragile item is glass cups or bottles, first wrap them in as many old newspapers as you can before wrapping them in clothes (only dark coloured clothes so that the newspaper ink doesn’t stain them).
Weigh your suitcase/bag on a portable scale
The last thing you want is to get to the airport and be told that your bag has excess weight. Airlines have a weight limit per bag, and you can find this information on your flight ticket or on the airline website. So, weigh your bag and pack accordingly. It is better to be prepared than to go to the airport and have your entire suitcase disorganized because you are in a hurry to reduce the weight. That alone can be demoralizing. Have a safe and enjoyable trip!