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How to Pack a Suitcase in an Efficient Way

Updated on February 28, 2018
Charlotte Doyle profile image

Charlotte is an artist, freelance writer, wife, homeschooling mother, and college student pursuing a Master's degree in psychology.

Carefully packed bag.
Carefully packed bag. | Source

There are a few steps that should be taken before and during the packing of a trip. Some are simple, while others require a bit of creativity. The difference between stinky and soil filled clothing and fresh threads can be a fabric softener and a shower cap. Read on to find out more hacks, tips, and tricks to ensure packing success.

Make a Plan

Try to avoid over packing. It's a mistake that many make due to poor planning. Over packing can cost one extra money, especially if what started off as a carry on goes over the weight limit? Find out if the hotel one is staying at has a laundry area. If not, find out if there are any laundromats in the area that are convenient to get to. Plan for souvenirs. A too-packaged bag may not leave enough room for extras that may be purchased.


Find out what laws regarding toiletries exist for the airports that one will be encountering. Many small toiletry kits exist. They can be pre-filled, or customized. Either way, they have to follow TSA regulations.

Look at Future Weather Reports

Dress for the predicted weather. Make sure that clothing that is taken reflects the weather that is expected at the destination area.

Packing Hacks

Roll clothing, instead of folding them. Shoes, when stored in bags, can be covered with a shower cap around the soles to prevent soil from getting on clothing. Packs two top pieces for every bottom, as bottoms are more often worn than tops. Packing clothes in a way that is considered inside out can help prevent stains or debris. Items that are heavier, like shoes should be packed toward the wheel-end of the carryon luggage.

Keep Clothes Smelling Fresh

How to keep clothes smelling fresh? Use dryer sheets! For those with extra sensitive skin, use dryer sheets that are meant for sensitive skin, or use organic or natural sheets that are scented. Dried up baby wipes can be used as well, and infused with a favorite essential oil and packed in with the suitcase.


Keep wires for charging, earbuds, and any other loose cables hidden in a case for sunglasses. IT's a great way to roll them up and avoid them becoming easily tangled.


Anything that could be easily broken, and anything that is glass that requires extra care, can be placed into a sock for extra cushioning. This goes for perfume bottles or hair products, or anything that may break or scratch and requires an extra layer of protection.

Fill Up Empty Space

Many items, like shoes, contain empty spaces that could definitely be maximized. Within shoes, one can store sunglasses, earbuds, a small makeup kit, a small container or Q-Tips, just to name a few.

Empty Totes to the Rescue

Empty totes could be helpful for transporting laundry. They could also be helpful for emergency store trips, or for collecting shells on the beach. They are great for impromptu shopping trips. Sometimes, people end up buying bags they don't need to when all they needed was a good quality tote.

Choose Unique Luggage

Find a piece or set of luggage that looks unique and completely different. Use ribbons, stickers, or cloth pieces with bright colors to differentiate one's luggage. One’s luggage is pretty much an extension of one's style, so it's important to make sure it's comfortable, portable and sturdy.

Take a Shawl or Sarong

It gets cold or chilly sometimes! A light, easy to fold, colorful piece of cloth could serve as a cover-up on a chilly flight or airport. It could be used to cover up one's shoulders while attending or in the presence of a religious type setting. These could be utilized pool-side, or at the beach as well, as a cover-up.

Consider planning what you will wear.

Doing this, and sticking to a color scheme, can help save time, frustration and unnecessary stress. One can try to stay close to a color scheme to make mixing and matching easier. Don't pack stuff that doesn't fit, or that might fit. Don't pack things that you haven't worn before or don't feel comfortable in. Chances are, they won't be worn, and no matter how good one's intentions are.


Don't' just put the laptop in the overhead bins, in a carryon bag. Consider buying a hard shelled laptop case. Overhead bin items tend to move around. A spillage can occur as well if someone carelessly packed something they weren't supposed to. People may drop other's items in their haste, or crush the items as well. Either way, laptops aren't safe in carrying on bags.

Organize the Tiny Stuff

Those large pill cases are excellent for storing rings, earrings, small jewelry, travel makeup and much more.


For thin necklaces and bracelets, consider stringing them through a straw. This will help avoid the issues of the jewelry tangling up or being knotted.

Hacks for Other Tiny Stuff

Use Tic Tac containers to store bobby pins in. Use contact lens containers to store small amounts or face or eye creams. Use recycled medicine bottles to store makeup swabs, Q-tips, or cotton balls. Makeup brushes can be put into a sunglasses case so they can be easily retrieved and stored.

Planning a bit before a trip can ensure a less stress-riddled time. Using up-cycling products and maximizing space within luggage or carry on can be the difference between a relaxing time and a frustrating one.

© 2018 Charlotte Doyle


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