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How to Effectively Pack a Suitcase

So you’re about to leave for the trip you’ve been planning for weeks or even months, but now comes the most dreaded part. Packing. Even if you’re not flying you still want to take the least amount of things that you can, but if you’re like most people then you tend to over pack. That sweater that you only wore once? Yeah, better pack it. The shoes that you hate because they hurt your feet? Bring them just in case. We try to rationalize taking things we’re never going to use “just in case” and our suitcase looks like it’s about to explode. Here’s tips from Michelle Higgens, an experienced traveler, on how to effectively pack a suitcase for a short trip:

  1. Eliminate things you don’t need. This is the best way to lighten your load. “If you don’t think you absolutely need it, don’t bring it! Lay out all your items and begin to take away what you can leave at home.”
  2. Drape pants/skirts on the bottom and top of your suitcase. “Pack the rest of your clothes on top of them and use them to wrap the rest of your clothes.”

    (All photos courtesy of Morgan Brown)

  3. Roll your clothes. “Rolling things such as shirts like a burrito can save tons of space, maximizing your suitcase. Roll as much as you can to create more room.”       
  4. Stuff bulkier items. “Fill shoes, especially boots, with socks, underwear, belts, chargers, and any small items that you have. Think of Russian nesting dolls. How much can you fit in it?”
  5. Solve the puzzle. Think of packing like a puzzle or a game of Tetris. Where does this item fit in? “Fill in every nook and cranny with smaller items such as socks or gloves.”

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