Friday, August 10, 2012

How to pack a suitcase quickly

I’ve been traveling a lot lately. It’s all been fun, but there comes a time when I’d like to spend 7 days in a row at home! One thing I have realized is that I’m pretty good at packing my suitcase in a hurry!

I need to start with a clean surface. It doesn’t matter if I’m starting to pack at 10:00pm, I always make sure the bed is made so I’ve got an easy space to work. (It’s kind of like cooking in a clean kitchen – so much easier than when the counters aren’t covered with yesterday’s dishes!)

starting to pack
This was a working trip, and I needed to pack mostly business and business casual clothes. I start with those. I pull everything I’m going to pack out of the closet and toss them in the right side of the suitcase. I fold things and put them on the left side. I pack my pants towards the bottom of the suitcase – my tops tend to be more delicate, and I think this helps the tops keep from getting smushed down by the heavier pants when the suitcase is standing upright.

dress clothes

I also pack a rolly sticky-thing to get stray cat hair off my black pants. Or my brown pants. Or my gray pants. Or my green tops. You get the point.

Then I start with the shoes on the right side. And I try to keep the cats out of the suitcase. Sometimes I’m more successful than others.


I stick things like phone chargers inside my sneakers – this helps keep the cords from going crazy, and it keeps the prongs on the chargers protected inside the shoe.


Then I add whatever casual clothes I’m going to wear while I’m gone. I also make sure to pack comfy clothes for traveling home. And jammies. It sucks to forget jammies.

casual clothes

I don’t over pack clothes very often, but I definitely over pack jewelry. I think I only wore half this jewelry on this trip.


All the jewelry goes into a small black pouch, and that gets tucked in with the business clothes. That side of the suitcase gets zipped up, and it’s done!

pack jewelry

The night before, I collect all the stuff I’m going to be taking from the bathroom. Here is another area where I over pack. I have tons of lotions and potions. And most of them go on every trip. Just about everything in the blue tote will get transferred to the two black totes for travel. By putting it all out the night before, it’s super-easy to pack it up after I use it in the morning.

bathroom stuff

When I’m leaving early-early in the morning (which is most of the time), I put out the clothes I’m going to wear the night before. I’m already in packing mode, so this is quick and easy. And means I don’t have to think as much in the morning before I’ve had my coffee.

travel clothes

I get my carry-ons ready for the flight – laptop, camera, Kindle Fire, wallet with photo ID and some cash, sunglasses, medications, and any travel paperwork I might need (confirmations, reservations, etc).

I recently got a Thirty-One bag that fits all the stuff I take as carry-ons. I think I’m going to pretty quickly switch to this single bag as a flight carry-on instead of two separate bags.

carry ons

Then, in the morning, I toss my bathroom stuff and makeup into the suitcase, and I’m ready to hit the road!

suitcase ready to go

I can pack for a 4-day trip, including coordinating clothes and jewelry, in about 30 minutes. (To be honest, my wardrobe does have limited options, so this cuts down on time.) It usually takes me another 15-30 minutes to collect everything I need for my carry-ons, depending on how organized I’ve been with my travel paperwork. (Not always so organized.)

This is one skill that has come in very handy over the last two months, and I’ll be using it a lot more this month!

1 comment:

  1. I am inspired to start packing better...I am a light packer, but I still always overpack! :) I need to take these methods and start using them for Zoe.


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