I am a self proclaimed master packer. I’m sure it stems from my Tetris addiction and the hundreds and hundreds of hours I spent mastering the old arcade game in my youth. Fitting things together perfectly just makes me happy. Packing to me is like real life Tetris, wether it’s packing a suitcase or backpack or my car. My Tetris obsession and my touch of OCD combined with the millions of trips I’ve taken have turned me into the packing guru I am today.
Albeit it has taken years for me to hone my skills. I used to be a massive over-packer. Ask my dad. I use to stuff a large suitcase full for two weeks back home at the beach. I’m talking 50+ pounds. I would live in my bathing suit and flip flops for those two weeks and 90% of my outfits would go untouched. Gone are those days [thank goodness]. I pride myself now that I can pack a two week holiday into a carryon or five weeks worth into a backpack.
I believe it’s not just what you pack, but how you pack that makes the most difference. Have you ever heard the phrase work smarter not harder? I find this rungs true when it comes to packing as well.
Ditch the liquids
This will be invaluable if you are planning on taking your bag as a carryon. That pesky TSA rule that all containers have to be less than 3 ounces and all of your liquids have to fit into a one litre bag often gives me the biggest headache. I have a lot of hair, and that hair uses a lot of shampoo and conditioner! Not to mention the makeup, the lotions etc.
– Trade the liquid shampoo and conditioner for solids. I discovered the Lush solid shampoo and conditioner bars before my eurotrip and I haven’t looked back. If I’m short on space this is a great alternative. The shampoo bars work amazing! They can double up as soap in a pinch. Do get the tin to store them in and do give them time to dry between uses before you pack them up as they can disintegrate if packed away wet. I won’t lie, the conditioner is okay. It’s not as good as the salon stuff I normally use but it works well enough if I can’t pack my usual hair masque. Lush also sells toothpaste tabs, solid deodorant, solid perfume, moisturizer bars, solid face cleansers. Basically just go to Lush and give them your money because their stuff is ahhhhhmazing.
Lock Those Liquids Up
If you can’t go liquidness or even if you are checking your bag and don’t have to limit yourself those damn liquids can wreak havoc. Have you ever arrived at your destination, you bag comes rolling off the carousel you head to your hotel after a long travel day, the thought of a nice hot shower and bed dancing in your head only to unpack your bag to find your shampoo has exploded over everything. Awesome. 🙁
– If you need to pack liquids, which let’s face it most of the time you do, then meet saran wrap – your new best friend. I wish I would have started doing this sooner, would have saved me so much headache! I line up all of my bottles and cut up some squares of saran wrap. Take the lid off put the square of saran wrap over the opening screw the cap back on… voila! Then I use my second line of defence and pack all of my liquids into freezer ziplock bags before I pack them away into my suitcase.
Edit, Edit, Edit
I will take out everything I think I’d like to pack and organize them into tops, bottoms, sweaters. Then I will walk away, do something else and come back to my piles. Then I edit them. Do I really need 5 black tank tops…. no. So I will remove the extra items and fold them back into my drawer. I usually do this once or twice to thin out the piles. Still be mindful of the items you know you will need and be mindful of the weather. You don’t want to be at your destination wishing you brought the extra sweater because you are freezing your butt off.
Roll it Don’t Fold it
I have been rolling my clothes for agessssss. Years and years and years and I will never go back to folding them. I am convinced that rolling takes up the least amount of space in my suitcase and I find that it usually keeps my clothes pretty wrinkle-free. Try this method out on your next trip.
I have written about my packing cubes before. I will write about them again. YES they are that good. Once I have edited out the frivolous, duplicates or unneeded items and rolled them up I will pack them into my packing cubes. 1 small cube for panties, socks, tights, 1 medium cube for swim suits and lulu lemon stuff, 1 large cube for tops and cardigans/sweaters and 1 large cube for pants, shorts, dresses and skirts. I pack all of my toiletry items into my hanging toiletry bag and those toms bags that come with your shoes are great for…. you guessed it, your shoes! This is the best packing method ever I am sure of it. It keeps everything together, and organized. No more rifling through your entire suitcase looking for your favourite top. A place for everything and everything in it’s place.
These are some of my most tried and trusted tips for packing like a pro. Do you have any packing tips that you want to share? Write them in the comments below!