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If you’re getting ready to travel, you’ll want to know how to pack your suitcase efficiently. That alone might seem like a bother—why worry about efficiency when you can just fold your clothes quickly and shove it all in your suitcase? Taking the time to properly pack your suitcase, though, will give you more time to make sure you don’t leave anything behind while making sure your clothes don’t end up a wrinkled mess before you get the chance to put them on. Here are some tips on how to pack your suitcase well next time you take a trip.




Avoid the temptation to overpack by gathering everything you think you’ll need first, then putting half of it back. Think logically about your selections: if you’re going on a five-day trip, you don’t need five pairs of jeans and twenty shirts. Pack more shirts than you do bottoms, but do so in a way that makes sense. Two pairs of jeans will be fine for a five-day trip, for example, and five shirts will last you five days. If you can, pack wrinkle-resistant clothes. 


When you’re packing everything away, don’t just fold your clothes: roll them as well. You don’t need to stick to one packing technique to get the job done, so roll your softer garments and fold your stiffer ones. Arrange the clothes in your suitcase by placing the rolled items first, then your folded clothes. Your middle layer should have your longest items lying the length of your suitcase, alternating waistband directions to save space. Belts should go around the perimeter of the bag. Place the clothes you’ll need first at the top of your pile so you don’t need to go digging.




You don’t need a ton of shoes for your trip, either. Follow the rule of three: one casual pair, sneakers, and an evening pair of shoes. Wear the bulkiest of the three, then pack the other two away. If they’re clean, shove some items into the shoes to save some space: socks, sunglasses, chargers, and other small items. Place the shoes in resealable, gallon-size bags to keep your clothes from getting dirty.




When you’re traveling, get yourself travel-sized toiletries rather than attempting to bring the full-sized ones from home. You won’t be able to bring the full-sized toiletries anyway if you’re flying unless they meet the current TSA guidelines for liquids. There are empty travel-sized bottles that you can buy and fill with your favorite products, but don’t fill them to the top. Use more resealable bags and designate them as a cosmetics bag, a hair products bag, and skin-care bag. Tuck your bags into the corners of the suitcase, or zip them up in a pocket outside of your suitcase.