Effective Packing

With the holiday season once again upon us, many of you may be traveling to visit relatives or just to get out of town!  With all the restrictions of the airlines these days we no longer have the luxury of showing up with numerous pieces of luggage for a quick weekend jaunt to…..anywhere! Packing has to be efficient and effective to get as much as we need into a bag that fits airline standards. I feel that packing is an art. My husband is always amazed at how much I can get into a suitcase. Here is a simple strategy that I always follow.

Separate your shoes and place in plastic or cloth bags individually.  Place these around the perimeter of your bag or at the base together the way they come in a shoe box – heel to toe.

The spaces between the shoes are perfect to stuff rolled up underwear, coiled up belts, socks, etc.

Now fill the center with any cosmetics or toiletries – naturally wrapped or in cosmetic cases to avoid leaks or spills.

Atop the shoes and such, I usually place things that can take being squashed such as jeans, fold in half otherwise they become too bulky, t-shirts and sweaters.  Keep the layers even, think of a cake – fill to the edges.  Fold your items wide and flat, this way you have more even layers and your clothes will arrive less wrinkled.  Often people think that if you roll or try to make your folded shirts small you will have more room.  On the contrary, think of the neat stacks of polo shirts you often see in stores.

Finally, and here is my best tip!  Save those dry cleaning bags, because as I once learned from a flight attendant, when you wrap your clothes in plastic they miraculously arrive unwrinkled.  Believe me this works.  Place the item you wish, flat in the dry cleaning bag, then fold as normal.  The bag actually becomes part of the fold.  Place these items as your top layer.  The plastic acts as a cushion and protects your clothes.

Happy Travels!