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Packing Tips

12 Packing Hacks To Live By

We interviewed experts, perused Pinterest, and polled our friends and family for all the packing hacks we could find. Here, the top 12 tricks for putting together a better bag.

A Brooklyn-based writer and editor, Chelsea's work has appeared in Matador Network, The Huffington Post, the TripAdvisor blog, and more. When not planning her next trip, you'll usually find her drinking way too much iced coffee (always iced—she’s from New England) or bingeing a Netflix original series.

See recent posts by Chelsea Stuart

Utilize Extra (Hidden) Space

Be creative when it comes to fitting in as much as possible. Capitalize on otherwise wasted space—like the inside of your shoes—for storing smaller objects like socks or breakables like perfume.

Go the Extra Mile for Your Makeup

Powder foundation, blush, and other pressed cosmetic compacts can easily break if they’re left shifting around in a bag. To ensure your precious products don’t end up smashed, pack a cotton ball or cotton pad in the case before securing the lid.

RELATED: 10 Packing Mistakes to Avoid

Carefully Consider Roll Vs. Fold

It seems like the two camps on this age old debate will never see eye to eye, but we see benefits to both. Consider rolling thinner, more wrinkle-prone items like blouses, while folding bulkier items like jeans and sweaters.

Pack Clothes Inside Out

Piggy-backing off of the roll vs. fold debate, we have another option for avoiding wrinkles (and stains!): packing your clothes inside out. While we aren’t about to guarantee professional-press status, this works particularly well for suits.

RELATED: Shop Our Favorite Spring Fashion Trends for 2019

Separate By Weight

A rule of thumb should always be to pack your heaviest items at the bottom of your suitcase. Placing the majority of weight—i.e. shoes, jeans, hoodies—closer to the wheels will leave your luggage rolling much easier.

Put Hotel Shower Caps to Use

Though you’ll likely never find us with a hotel shower cap on our head, you will find us using them to pack shoes. For those whose luggage doesn’t have a convenient little shoe divider, slipping your (likely) dirty soles into a cap means you can place them among your clean clothes with no worries.

Pack Some Plastic Wrap

Afraid of exploding toiletries? We always are! Unscrew the caps to your bottles and cover them with plastic wrap before re-screwing on the lids. This extra layer of protection will save your belongings from unforeseen spills.

Get Creative with Accessory Storage

Dainty accessories can often get lost in the mix. In order to keep everything together and damage free, try storing rings, earrings, necklaces, and bracelets in a pill container. If you’re only bringing a few pieces, buttons work wonderfully for keeping track of earrings, and weaving necklaces through straws means you won’t have to deal with any impossible knots or kinks.

RELATED: The Best Walking Shoes for Women

Keep Things Fresh

If you’re traveling for more than a couple of days, stuffing dirty outfits into a compact space can leave clothes less than laundry-fresh. To ward off odors, throw a couple of dryer sheets in your suitcase.

Pack a Sunglasses Case (but Not for Sunglasses)

If your purse is a bottomless blackhole (like ours are) then you know the struggle of fruitlessly searching for loose iPhone cords and chargers. In order to find what you’re looking for every time (and keep your power cords safe from fraying) store all of your chargers in a hard sunglasses case.

Ensure (Relatively) Smooth Sailing for Your Suitcase

Suitcases are really put through the wringer after being checked, what with myriad chutes, cramped cargo storage, rides around baggage claims, and the like. To eek out a bit of a break for your tired luggage, slap a bunch of fragile tags and stickers on your bag pre-check in. This means your stuff will ride on the top of the pile and hopefully avoid being squished.

RELATED: The Best Carry-On Luggage

Keep Your Collar in Shape

Pack a rolled up belt in the collar of your shirt to help prolong its form. Aside from maintaining your shirt’s integrity, it’s also utilizing otherwise wasted space (which you know we’re big fans of!)


Outfits to pack for your next trip:

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