This is what efficient packing used to look for me: I’d take everything out of my wardrobe, I’d consider whether I liked each individual item and if I liked it, in the suitcase it went. With three kids, this packing method is no longer possible. Now I need to pack at lightning speed and zip up the suitcase before the little tsunamis have managed to take everything out again. Unsurprisingly, my luggage has reduced in size compared to when I was single. Surprisingly, I usually manage to find in it everything I need. So what are the secrets of efficient packing?
1. Plan ahead
Make a list of what you need a few days before your trip and add things to it as you remember. Pen and paper will do a great job, but if you want to make use of technology, you can download a packing app. You’ll be able to take notes of your personal requirements and also take advantage of sample lists to jog your memory.
2. Check the weather forecast
This may seem obvious, but I never used to check the weather, until after I found myself on a tropical island with a bag full of long pants; and in Brisbane, in winter and in the middle of the night, without a jacket. I had to learn the hard way not once, but twice!
3. Pick clothes that are practical
When you’re choosing what clothes to take, keep in mind what you’ll be doing while you’re away. Bring more bottoms than tops and pick clothes that you can mix and match. Use accessories to freshen up your look instead of bringing too many clothes and give preference to clothes that don’t need ironing.
4. Wear your bulkiest clothes and shoes during the trip
You will save heaps of suitcase space if you wear your heaviest items. It also helps if you layer them, for example, wear a short sleeve shirt and a jacket instead of a one-piece long sleeve item. Not only will you have less to pack, but you’ll also make sure you’re comfortable enroute.
5. Keep your essentials with you
If you’re checking in your luggage, make sure you have everything you need in your carry-on bag. Even if your luggage is with you at all times, it helps to make the essentials easily available so that you don’t have to pack and unpack your whole suitcase looking for them during the trip.
Efficient packing doesn’t have to be overwhelming. With some planning you can make sure you have everything you need for a stress-free trip and nothing else!
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