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There’s a science to it…

Packing is not a multi hour sob fest. Well, at least it shouldn’t be. Packing should be a well timed and orchestrated concerto, lead by a master conductor. That’s you, by the way. As decluttering becomes the new craze, it’s important to take a step back and realize that packing a suitcase is a system of well thought out ideas and should never be like throwing trash into a garbage can. Here’s how to pack your suitcase with brilliance, every time…

Start In Order Of Importance

Open your suitcase and pack one item at a time, in order of importance. This will also help to ensure you don’t forget the “one thing” you need. Declutter guru Marie Kondo’s Konmari method suggests going a step further, only adding things which are either necessary or bring joy. Socks and underwear are always amongst the first necessities. Aim for flexible items which can be both casual or professional. For example, a blue blazer turns t shirt and jeans into a fashionable outfit.

Get A Suitcase That Doesn’t Suck

Sucking at packing is a temporary thing. In fact, you’re a few minutes away from no longer falling into that category. But if you have luggage that lets you down you’ll never realize the full potential of your packing guru status, and will always fit in less than you should. Here are a few of the best carry on options for all budgets. We personally swear by the Away Travel brand.

Stop, Fold And Roll

Going item by item, you can really think “am I actually going to wear this?”. If the answer is yes, fold the item in half along the most logical line and then roll it tightly. It’s scientifically proven that rolling clothes while packing creates more space, but also helps with wrinkles. By rolling things into one layer of lots of “little items”, you’re also able to see your entire packed wardrobe and sort through it more easily. This take a bit more time, but it’s worth it.

Maximize The Rules

When you travel, there are many rules you’re forced to play by, but use them to your advantage. People forget to put effort into their “small personal item”, which is allowed in addition to a carry on bag. By shifting (and rolling) a few items into something such as a backpack, in addition to a full sized carry on, you may be able to ditch the checked bag entirely, making travel both faster and cheaper. That’s a lot of upside.

Think What You Can Get

There’s hardly a hotel worth staying at which doesn’t offer complimentary shampoo, soap and other things which can take up way too much space. Whenever possible, think about what you can easily get at your destination for free, or with a quick trip to the pharmacy. But don’t stop there, many hotels now provide loaner work out gear, even including shoes. Never miss an opportunity to leave something behind, if you can easily acquire it where you need to be.

Actually Use Those Straps

Any great piece of luggage has straps inside. They’re not designed to make packing any more miserable, or create additional hurdles for you to climb through, they are there to compress your stuff. Un toggle them, pull them to either side of the bit you’re about to pack, and once you’ve got everything in – latch and pull. It’s actually amazing how much more you can pack if you give these little gems a good yank. Just don’t pull your back out, the pool might be less enjoyable.

Now go practice. This level of brilliance doesn’t just happen on the first try…

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