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Suitcase Packing Guidelines

When it comes to packing I either nail it or totally blow it.  My stint in regular business travel definitely helped me learn how to pick and choose what I needed for a week away from my closet, or in a different climate.  As we are in full holiday swing, packing is inevitable for many families and parents having to pack for children have twice (or thrice) the burden.  As I try to make it my personal goal to make lives easier, here are some packing tips to help you have a magical holiday, at least once you get past security.

If you were really organized, you could print out a few of your favorite packing lists and keep them near your closet but, let's face it, if you were that organized you wouldn't need my help, right?

Now let's get started!

1.  Make a list of everything you will need: swimwear, ski wear, formalwear, shoes, even socks and underwear.

2.   Line the bottom of your suitcase with either a large space bag or clean trash bag.  This serves several functions: prevents wrinkles, keeps clothes dry from rain, and serves as a dirty clothes bag for long trips.

3.  Stash small yet bulky items (think: socks, scarves, belts, etc.) inside shoes then place each shoe inside an appropriately sized Ziplock bag.  If pairs of shoes are bagged separately they better utilize space.  Arrange the shoes along the wheel base of suitcase with soles pointing outward.

4  Place any other heavy items (think: train case, dop kit, hairdryer) against the shoes.  Place anything containing liquid in its own container.  You certainly don't want to know which bag is yours by the overwhelming smell of your favorite perfume that spilled in transit. This will place the weight where it should be to prevent toppling when the case is upright.

5  Roll all of your clothes, military style.  When I say all, I mean all…swimsuits, unmentionables, everything.  Place socks and unders in plastic bags.

6  Start with tightly packed, heavy clothing (think: jeans, sweaters) on the bottom toward the outside wall of the case.  Place more delicate or crushable items (think: molded bras, formal dresses) on top.

7  Slippers, flip-flops, and flats can slide into the outer pockets.

8  Use the lid compartments to stock essentials, loose toiletries, and chunky costume jewelry. Store delicate earrings in pill cases, and string dainty bracelets and necklaces through drinking straws, taping the clasps to one end. Then secure the straws in a plastic bag.

9  Tuck small pieces (think: hosiery, underwear) into corners and remaining nooks.

10  Cradle fragile gifts in your bulkiest sweaters and arrange them in the center of the bag, where the least movement occurs.

11  If you're using a soft-sided bag, like a duffel or a weekender, place flat shoes along the bottom, with the soles pressed against either side of the bag. Add rolled clothes, packing them tightly to prevent shifting in transit, which causes wrinkling.  From there, follow the accessories tips, with these exceptions: Lay heels and boots flat on top of the bag then add the toiletry kit.

Follow these steps and you (and your clothes) should arrive in good shape.  I would like to add that I would highly recommend shipping gifts from home to your destination via FedEx or UPS instead of trying to lug them through an airport and weigh down the car.  These services offer insurance and detailed tracking options.


Happy Holidays!
Jennifer Snyder, CPO
Neat as a Pin Organizing Experts

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About the Author

Jennifer Snyder

Jennifer Snyder

My name is Jennifer Snyder CPO, Chief Executive Organizer of Neat as a Pin Organizing Experts, a Waco-based company of Professional Organizers that is not only focused on organizing the clutter in your home or office but also clutter of the heart and mind. 

I am happy that you are taking an interest in the benefits of getting your home and life organized.  Living an organized life is for everyone!

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