Almost every story that starts with “I just threw some stuff in a bag,” typically ends with “I had to run out to buy…” Packing is the first and most important step to travel. If done right, it can prevent unforeseen shopping trips or being late for scheduled meetings or tours. In a year when the obsession with organization hit a tipping point, we’ve all seen first-hand how gratifying tidying up can be and also how it can streamline your life. Having a packing system that keeps your belongings separate, organized and easily accessible can be just as gratifying as a closet or pantry that is labeled, color coordinated and easy to navigate. One of the biggest benefits to an organized packing system is it prevents you from overpacking!
Packing an organized suitcase is an easy task that only gets easier each time you go through the process. Follow these easy steps and you’re on your way to an effortless travel experience!
Looking to stay organized for your next trip? Check out the packing bags that come with purchase of Samsara’s smart Carry-on suitcase.
- Schedule time to prepare.
Packing last minute goes one of two ways: you’ll either pack too much or forget the stuff you need. Either way, it’s a bad way to start your trip. Set aside time to organize and get the job done. Keep in mind there are many steps to get you ready for take-off. You’ll need to set aside a day for laundry, getting your dry cleaning, buying travel size toiletries or reusable bottles, etc. Other accessories you may want to consider buying are specialty travel accessories like packing bags, a jewelry case or a case that holds multiple pairs of sunglasses. Travel accessories help keep your stuff organized and separate.
A collapsible duffle bag like the one that is included with purchase of Samsara’s Carry-on is a great to use as a gym bag, laundry bag or to carry back souvenirs.
- Make a List
Seems like an obvious task, but how many have truly taken the time to write out a list of everything you’ll want to remember to bring with you on your next trip? There are countless checklists available on the web but creating a custom one that reflects your personal needs can be a more effective approach. Not everyone wears contacts, but if you do, you’ll want to add that and any other related items to your list. Start with these general categories in mind: Clothes, Accessories, Toiletries, Essentials and Gadgets. Create subcategories under each that get more specific. For example, under clothing you can list tops, bottoms, undergarments, and so on. Essentials can include vitamins, medicines, face mask, hand sanitizer, etc. Check your itinerary to make sure your list accounts for all planned events. If this is the first time you’re making a list, start it a few days prior to your trip. Add to the list as ideas pop into your mind. This step will be much easier for the next trip when you can simply edit this version.
If you have an iPhone, you can use the Reminders app or download an app like Remember the Milk to create your list.
- Lay it Out
Next step is to take everything you would like to bring with you out and place them in piles on your bed. Put shirts in one pile, pants in another and so forth. Account for everything on your list. Don’t overthink at this stage. You want to see all of your options.
First, set aside what you want to wear the day of your trip.
Now it’s time to scale back. Use the 5,4,3,2,1 rule for a long weekend as a reference point: 5 pairs of socks and underwear, 4 tops, 3 bottoms, 2 shoes and one hat. Adjust as needed for longer trips. If you’re adding dresses to your clothing allotment, remove one shirt or another garment. When in doubt, leave it out. Only allow yourself one just in case item.
Start with accessories. Utilize all travel cases designed for smaller items like jewelry or cases. Valuable items should always be carried on with you. Use the roll and fold method to optimize the space inside the suitcase. If you’re using packing bags, create categories. If not, keep clothing items in groups to keep things organized. If doing carry-on only, place toiletries on the top of the suitcase just in case TSA needs to check your liquids. Be sure to slip all your shoes into bags to protect your clothing.
Keep in mind you’ll want to prepare for the way back! Pack a separate bag for laundry. Leave extra room inside your suitcase if you’re planning on doing some shopping. Staying organized for your return is just as important!
Have you seen Samsara’s Complete Set? Carry-on, duffle bag, packing bags and an essentials kit bundled together at one special price for a limited time.