I am in the very throes of packing right now, you guys. It is so hard to pack up my life and fit it into two suitcases, let me tell ya. Especially when those suitcases have weight and overall size limits…
So in order to keep my own sanity (and hopefully help yours the next time you’re packing) I wanted to make a little list of all my packing tips and tricks.
Sure, I could just say “pack less.” But sometimes you want to have wardrobe options when you travel – whether it’s for an unexpected weather change or a fashion emergency. Especially when you’re like me and you’re MOVING there – I need options!
Keep reading for seven ways to fit all your stuff in a suitcase – and don’t miss the bonus checklist How To Pack For Two Weeks With One Carry On at the end!
Everyone from frequent flyers to pilots themselves know this trick: Rolling your clothes is the best way to maximize your space in a suitcase. Plus, rolled clothes tend to wrinkle less than folded clothes.
Bonus anti-wrinkle tip: Add some tissue paper between layers. Instead of your clothes wrinkling, the tissue paper will absorb them instead! My mom has been using this trick for years, and it’s never failed us yet.
We all have those overflow items that just don’t seem like they’ll fit. This may sound silly, but try closing your suitcase all the way. Even if all your stuff isn’t in it yet. Just get it closed.
Then, unzip your bag and open it and then try adding the items in any available spots – like corners, little crevices between big items, etc. A lot of times, once you’ve compressed the bag by zipping it shut, you’ll find some more room once you open it again!
My boyfriend swears by these. You’ve probably seen the infomercials for the magical space-saving bags that can shrink bulky items into a small, easy-to-pack unit. Get the travel version of these magical wonders and you’ll save space and keep your clothes organized and wrinkle-free. Then, when you get to your location, it’s as easy as decompressing and grabbing your items! Yay!
Shoes. We love them but we hate to pack them. Make those shoes work for it by stuffing them full of small items like jewelry, ties, socks and underwear. You can always put those items into baggies and then into your shoes if you’re worried about keeping them spick and span during your travels. Pack your shoes on their sides to maximize space. I also like to put mine at the bottom of my suitcase – it helps them to lay flat!
These are a zipply little alternatives to space-saving bags. The packing folder is basically what the name implies: folders for your clothing. They usually come with boards, which help you fold your clothing efficiently and compact multiple items to save space. Your bag will be neater and seem emptier!
Okay, so this might cheating… but only a little. One of the best ways to fit more into your bag is to have a suitcase that grows with your packing needs. Expandable suitcases double as two bags in one, often starting out carry-on size but expanding to a larger bag when needed. What’s not to love?
This may come as a surprise (not), but there’s hundreds of helpful how-to videos that can help you with folding and maximizing your luggage space on youtube. There’s all sorts of folds and methods I had never even heard of, and they’re actually really helpful. So before you’re tempted to just light your suitcase on fire and call it quits, check out a few videos like these:
Best of luck! You know I need it!