Tips and guidelines for efficient packing.
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12 Things You Can Do That Make Packing Easier

Making these little adjustments to your packing routine will help ensure comfortable travel.

Packed luggage

The mundane and somewhat tedious process of packing and unpacking for a trip or vacation is a procedure with which most of us are well acquainted. I don't think I'm alone in wishing that I could fast-forward through that entire process and just skip straight to enjoying my free time. I'm sure that, by now, many of you have already developed a solid packing routine. But, have you considered the possibility that your routine is more comfortable than it is efficient. Following these suggestions will help you reduce the amount of time and stress that go into preparing for your next trip.

1. Invest in quality luggage

If you consider yourself a frequent or even an occasional flyer, do yourself a favor and invest in a good suitcase or duffle bag. Ideally, you'll want something that's lightweight, durable and long-lasting. Other factors to look out for include omnidirectional wheels and adjustable handles.

2. Take advantage of space with vacuum storage bags

We've all seen the cheesy infomercials for this product. And yet, so few of us actually take advantage of this amazing space hack! Vacuum seal storage bags are especially handy for college students. Once the travel clothes are unpacked, you reuse the bags to store things like spare sheets, blankets, and pillows in your dorm room.

3. Personalize your bags

You can use just about anything to customize your bag: pom poms, ribbons, iron-on patches, etc. Adding these little, unique touches to your bag makes it easier to keep tabs on your luggage. And, in the case that your bag is lost or sent to the wrong location, these individual markers makes it easier for airport staff to fish it out of the crowd.

4. Make a list

Take a hint from St. Nick and check your list twice. Having a list to guide you through the process of packing is especially helpful if, like me, you have a tendency to forget the small things. Personally, I like to make a note when I initially grab an item and follow that with another note when I've packed that item in my suitcase. This ensures that I don't accidentally leave anything behind.

5. Line the interior of your luggage with shoes

By placing your shoes along the sides and bottom of your bag's interior, you prevent them from cluttering and wasting available space. If you're worried about shoes losing their shape, try stuffing them with smaller items like socks and scarves. Also, before you pack your shoes, you might want to consider cleaning them to prevent your clothes and other items from getting dirty.

6. Fold clothes into each other

Rather than individually folding and stacking your clothes, try layering them into each other. Doing so will confine the clothes to a certain amount of space within your bag. This tactic makes the process of unpacking much easier as you can group together similar items such as pants, dresses, and shirts.

7. Store all your liquids in a checked bag

For how absurdly long security lines usually are, they tend to move pretty darn fast. Trying to fish that regulation gallon-sized bag of toiletries out of your luggage while also keeping pace with the rest of the line is no easy task. Skip the drama by storing your toiletries and other liquid products in one of your checked bags.

8. Cover spray bottle spouts in cling wrap

Prevent spray bottles from leaking in the previously mentioned liquids bag by outfitting them with this additional layer of protection. Cut out a small square of cling wrap and twist it around the spout/nozzle of the spray bottle. If the bottle has a cap, place that over the cling wrap and voila! Your spray bottle is leak proof.

9. Separate jewelry to prevent tangles

While the internet made earbuds notorious for their tendency to tangle, jewelry is an equally infamous culprit. At the end of the day, it seems like the easiest way to prevent this phenomenon is to keep these items separate. For those who don't have space for a jewelry box or organizer, consider these easy space-saving alternatives. One option is sorting necklaces and bracelets into pill boxes. This is a great alternative if you like to keep everything in the same space. Another option you can try is storing jewelry in your folded socks.

10. Keep an outfit on standby

I don't know about you, but taking a shower is one of the first things I do when I get home after a flight. For the sake of convenience, I like to store one fully assembled outfit in the front pocket of my suitcase. This way, I don't have to waste time or energy rummaging through my suitcase, trying to assemble an outfit on the spot.

11. Keep electronics and chargers in carry on bags

Chances are the most valuable items you travel with are your electronics. It's probably a good idea to hold onto them yourself. Keeping these items in a carry on, rather than a checked bag, makes it easier for you to protect what sensitive information and material they contain.

12. Weigh your bag BEFORE leaving for the airport

With the universal weight limit of 50 lbs, this tip should be an easy one to follow. Once you've finished packing your luggage, weigh yourself on a scale. Take note of that weight and then weigh yourself again, but this time holding each individual piece of luggage. Taking these simple steps before arriving at the airport will ensure that you get through the checking line quickly and don't have to pay any extra charges on the spot.

Hopefully, these tips prove helpful as you prepare for your next trip.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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