Packing is always hard. No matter what, you seem to end up with way more clothes than you’ll actually wear, and when you arrive at your destination, what was a neatly packed suitcase can be more of a disaster zone. Go Marie Kondo on your suitcase with these helpful hacks and keep your suitcase in shipshape for the whole trip!
1. Plan your outfits before you go
Why is it that when you go on holiday you suddenly think you need 5 outfits for every day of the week, you know, just in case you spill something, or you get wet, or it’s really hot. In reality, when would you ever make that many outfit changes at home? Never! Cut down by planning out your outfits. No one’s going to care if you outfit repeat when you’re overseas! Also make sure you have items that mix and match well and that you can layer up if it gets cold. Pack what you will really wear, not what you think you’ll wear.
2. Invest in some packing cubes
Once you pack with these bad boys, you’ll never go back. Using packing cubes helps to keep everything in its specific place, and stops everything from getting tossed around in your bag during transit. You can pick some up pretty cheap on Amazon or eBay and they really will change the way you pack forever.
3. Roll your clothes
If packing cubes aren’t your thing, rolling your clothes is the way to go. This simple trick compresses your clothes and allows you to stack them more compactly compared to plain, old folding. Bonus, by rolling them tightly it keeps the clothes taut, meaning there should be less wrinkles.
credit: aymilee, Flickr / CC (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)
4. Pack by outfit, not by clothing type
Whether you choose to use packing cubes or not, we recommend packing by outfit. So often you’ll pack all your t-shirts in one pile, jeans in another and skirts in another. Really, you should pack by outfit. That way you can pick up everything you need for the one day without messing up the rest of your suitcase.
5. Don't put heavy items on the top
This sounds like a logical one, but so often when packing you just throw everything into the suitcase while it’s lying down and don’t really think about what happens when you stand it up. Putting heavy things like toiletries and shoes near the wheels prevents them from squishing everything else down when you stand up the suitcase. This might help to keep everything in place, and can also help with preventing wrinkles in your clothes
6. Be prepared for dirty clothes
Keep a collapsible laundry bag or other soft bag in your suitcase that you can start filling up as things get dirty. Not only will this make it easier to know what’s clean and what’s dirty, it will keep the rest of your suitcase smelling fresher. It’s also useful to keep an extra plastic or waterproof bag in case you ever have to pack wet swimwear.
7. Get yourself a good toiletries bag
Is there anything worse than opening up your suitcase to find that your toothpaste, shampoo and moisturiser have exploded all over your clothes? Investing in a good, waterproof toiletries bag not only prevents this, but also keeps you much more organised and saves so much time when getting ready in the morning. There are many options to choose from, but our personal favourite is a roll up style which offers plenty of compartments for all your different products, and gives easy access to all of them.
If there’s any items you’re particularly worried about exploding, remove the lid and put either sticky tape, or some cling wrap and a rubber band over the opening, before replacing the lid. This will prevent any accidental explosions while in transit.
Source - pxhere / CC0 1.0 (https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/)
8. Pack things inside other things
Bringing a big, beautiful wide-brim hat for your European get away? Fill it with items before you pack it to help it keep its shape. To really maximise your space, you can even pack breakable items like perfumes inside socks, and then stuff the socks inside a shoe. If you’ve got dirty shoes, you could even store them inside a hotel shower cap to prevent the rest of your suitcase getting dirty.
9. Straws and old mint tins are a saviour for packing jewellery
How annoying is it when you go to put on your favourite necklace after packing it in your suitcase and it’s tied in millions of knots? Not only is untangling it a waste of time, it’s also super frustrating! Instead, simply thread one end of the necklace through a straw and then clasp it at the other end. It keeps the necklace rigid and will prevent those pesky knots.
If you’ve got lots of little jewellery items like rings and earrings, you can store them inside an old mint tin. Throw in a cotton ball to prevent everything from moving around, and it will all be securely stored. If you’ve got too much to fit in a mint tin, try an old soap container or glasses case instead.
10. Protect wine bottles with toilet paper
If you’re planning to bring back some wine with you, our top tip is to take a roll of the hotel’s toilet paper and slide it over the neck of the bottle. This protects the delicate neck area, and you can then wrap the rest of the bottle with some items of soft clothing to protect it during transit.