Too lazy or too hassled to pack? Does the thought of dragging your suitcase out to begin packing make you want to scream? Have you forgotten important items while dashing out of your house? Half the battle can be won by learning how to pack smart—quicker and more efficiently.
Whether you’re flying to an exotic location or planning a quick weekend getaway, packing is an unavoidable task. Here are some tricks and tips that will help you pack your suitcase in 30 minutes flat.
Step 1: A packing list
You can either make your own list or use an app like Packing List, which is more detail oriented. This app allows you to create a new list or generate a list from an existing one. Once you create a master packing list, make sure you save it and use it for all your upcoming trips. This not only saves a lot of time but also prevents you from forgetting things.
Essentials: toiletries, undergarments, denims, phone charger, laptop/iPad, book, passport (for travel abroad), personal IDs, money, travel tickets
Step 2: Keep your toiletries pre-packed and ready to go
Keep your essentials/toiletries pre-packed in a small bag with compartments. Get sachets of your shampoo or body wash or get small-sized travel bottles, which you can fill with your favorite face wash or shampoo. This not only speeds up your packing, but also saves a lot of space.
The toiletries bag should ideally be transparent and waterproof. Replenish this bag after every trip so that you’re always ready for your next one.
Step 3: Plan your outfits in advance or pack clothes that can be easily mixed and matched
Plan your outfit for every day of your trip so that you don’t end up packing extra clothes. Denims and trousers can be coordinated with multiple tops and can also be worn multiple times. Pack clothes in neutral colors because you can coordinate them with multiple outfits. Don’t forget to pack your underwear, socks and flip-flops. Whether it’s a business trip or a holiday, always travel light.
Step 4: Accessories, shoes and other travel items
Make sure to pack your accessories—a neckpiece, earrings, sunglasses, cufflinks or anything else that you might require. Pack accessories that will go with multiple outfits and that you can wear during the day and at night. Pack two pairs of casual shoes, and if you have a special occasion, then pack a third pair of fancy shoes.
Make sure you pack your phone charger, headphones, iPad, iPod, favorite book, travel pillow and anything else that will make your travel a lot more fun and comfortable.
Step 5: Lay everything out before you start packing
Lay out everything before you start packing. This not only helps you take a quick inventory but also helps you leave behind unnecessary items. It helps you figure out if you’ve missed anything.
Step 6: Start packing—flat pack or roll all your items
Start by placing all the heaviest items at the bottom of the box and pack delicate or fragile items like perfume bottles or sunglasses in the center. You can roll your clothes (e.g. denims and sweaters since they don’t take up much space). Flat pack items like dresses so that they don’t get crushed. For best results, pack each outfit in a plastic bag so that they arrive at your destination in a wrinkle-free state. Make sure all your items are packed in a compact manner—a combination of flat packing and rolling will help you achieve this—since anything loose will crush your clothes.