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Packing light is something I’ve never really been that good at. I seem to have learned over the years that I can pack less, but that still doesn’t mean I’m packing light…but more so light-er. I get better with each trip and hopefully with some of these tips, you can, too!

Many of the tips I’m sharing with you are also helpful for travelling with carry-on only.

5 Tips for Packing Clothes

Here is a look into my packing process for clothing. This process has helped me to pack more efficiently and effectively for my trips.

Step 1: When I pack for a trip, I like to do all of my laundry first so that I can choose from everything I’ve got. I then pull out what I think I want to bring based on the number of days I’ll be away, considering the activities I’ll be doing and potentially how many outfits that might require.

Step 2: I look at my pile and determine which items can be worn multiple times and be mixed and matched with other pieces and do an initial ‘pare down’. This is where having a capsule wardrobe is helpful. A trip might be a good time to experiment with a capsule wardrobe!

Step 3: Deciding if I’ll be able to do laundry on this trip, and if so, at which point. If I can do laundry on Day 5 of a 10 day trip, I’ll pack 6 pairs of underwear, for example (enough for 5 days + 1 extra, just in case!).

Step 4: I pare down the pile once more, based on laundry access and a good, hard look at “do I really need this?” (hint: you don’t need multiples of most items).

Step 5: I fold or roll everything neatly and place it all together to determine the size of bag I will require. Ensure there is a bit of excess capacity available for souvenirs and other new purchases.

5 Tips for Fitting More in Your Suitcase

Maximizing the space in your luggage is key when packing for any trip, even when packing on the lighter side. Whether you’re just travelling with carry-on or you’re packing a large bag for a several week expedition it’s important to be efficient with your use of space.

#1: Roll Your Clothes: Rolling clothes does make it much easier to fit more in your suitcase. It keeps wrinkles at bay, allows you to see everything you’ve got with ease and helps to keep things tight and tidy in your bag.

#2: Packing Cubes: If you’ve never used packing cubes before, they are a gawd-send. Once you start using them, I promise you’ll never go back! They’re a great way to organize all of your items in your bag, but also keep everything neat and uniform, allowing you to maximize your space. More on packing cubes here.

#3: Compression Packing Cubes: Okay, so these are cheating a little bit. They aren’t going to cut down the weight of your luggage, but they’re sure going to allow you to fit a lot more in your bag. My advice is to opt for compression packing cubes over suitcase space bags – the compression cubes won’t make your stuff all wrinkly. Shop my favorite packing cubes here.

#4: Group Items Together: My favourite items to layer on top of one another are bras and hats. They both have a similar shape and when I stack them in my suitcase, they tend to help each other maintain their shape a little nicer.

#5: Always Leave Extra Room: You’ll always want a bit of extra space in your suitcase, whether it’s for souvenirs or to account for poor re-folding. It’s likely that you won’t re-fold items after they’ve been worn with the same care you used when packing for your trip, so consider the little bit of extra space this might take. When traveling somewhere humid, account for the extra weight from the moisture that your clothes will absorb.

Looking for more packing tips? See all of our What to Pack articles here!

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