How to Pack a Bag or Suitcase Efficiently

Packing your bag and suitcase, though it may initially seem relatively trivial and straightforward, is one of the most important elements to consider when you’re trying to ensure that you’ll have a great trip without any hitches. But what exactly is the best way to go about packing your luggage for travel?

There are a number of factors to consider — how long to pack for, whether you want to pack light or heavy, whether you’ll need a suitcase and a carry-on bag/backpack, and much more — and it can be easy to disregard or forget about some of these factors in the occasional chaos of pre-trip packing. So here’s a list of a number of things to keep in mind when trying to pack your bag or suitcase as efficiently as possible — hopefully you’ll end up packing everything you need, and feel like you’ve made the best possible use of your allotted space!

Folding Clothes

Although the way you fold and organize your clothes may seem like the most instinctive part of packing, there are actually a number of ways to pack clothes that can help you save space and make room for additional items that you want to bring along with you.

Be aware of the different weights of various clothing pieces because you may end up in a situation where you have to choose a pair of pants over multiple t-shirts or vice versa. This means that you should try and take into consideration weight limits, depending on your method of travel (e.g., plane vs. driving) — particularly in the case of flying, it’s important to plan in advance in terms of the pieces of clothing that you will bring.

Although conventional folding is usually the standard method for packing, it can largely help to save space if you roll up shirts in a cylindrical fashion to make space for other items like pants and shoes. This depends on how many pieces of clothing you’re planning on bringing, and should only really be necessary if you find yourself running out of room for items you feel that you’ll need on your trip.

In reality, though, it’s better to try and pack the things than you need rather than the things that you want — this will, in most cases, prevent you from running out of space.

Organize Based on Essentiality

When packing items for a trip or journey, it’s important to try and place similar types of products or pieces in easily accessible areas. For example, when you’re looking for all of your shirts or sweaters, it would be best to try and keep all shirts and sweaters grouped together in your luggage. While in the case of toiletries and more immediately needed products, you may want to keep a large amount of them accessible in your carry on luggage or personal backpack.

Packing for efficiency means packing so you can find things easily, but also so that you can access things quickly whenever you need them. In your backpack, make sure to keep everything you’ll need at a moment’s notice, including an iPad and/or laptop, additional shirt or sweater, a small deodorant, a toothbrush, earplugs for sleeping during the journey, that you’ll be able to reach these items whenever. This will also allow you additional space in your main luggage for other items that you need or want to bring along. It will also save you space for any items you may end up wanting to bring back from your trip (e.g., souvenirs, gifts for friends or family, etc.).

Choosing the Right Toiletries

Depending on the method of travel you’re using, there may be rules regarding limitations of size for various toiletries. Even if there’s not a limitation, depending on the length of your trip/journey, you should be okay for the duration of your excursion if you bring smaller toiletries. Finding smaller toiletries will allow you to potentially place them in your backpack for quick access, but will also allow you to have more room for a number of other items.

Choosing smaller toiletries will be particularly useful for toothpaste, deodorant, and lotions so that you’re able to use these during your trip rather than having to leave them in your luggage and waiting to access them after you’ve arrived at your destination.

Anticipation: Weather and Coming Home

When packing for a trip, it’s important to pack in anticipation of a number of factors. First and foremost, you should think about whether it will be difficult to bring back the items you’ve packed if you end up buying additional items or don’t have enough time to wash your clothes before returning home. If you make sure to purchase a compressor bag, you can place all of your dirty clothes inside of that and avoid taking up too much space with dirty clothes that may unintentionally end up making your clean clothes smell.

You should also take into consideration the weather conditions of wherever you’re intending to travel. This is a great way to know what types of clothes to pack, how many jackets and sweaters to include, and whether certain outfits you intended to wear may end up making you feel uncomfortable when you arrive at your destination.

Although packing can occasionally feel like a daunting task, as long as you have a plan before you begin and know what you should keep in mind, you’ll be sure to pack efficiently and comfortably. Make sure that you choose how you fold your clothes based on how much you’re planning on bringing, ensuring that you have an adequate amount of space.

Make sure that you organize the items you’re bringing based on how essential they are (i.e., how much you may need them during the course of the trip), to only bring toiletries that are small and easily portable, and to take into consideration the weather at your destination and how you’ll be bringing everything home.

As long as you can keep all of these factors in mind while packing, you’re sure to pack everything you need and have room for all of that and more. Here’s hoping you have a great trip and that packing goes smoothly and stress-free!

Resources — Travel and Leisure, Gizmodo


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