How to pack in 30 minutes

Maximise space and minimise time wasted with these foolproof tips when packing your suitcase.

1. Choose the right-sized suitcase
Before you start hurling clothes, shoes and toiletries into a suitcase, take a moment to assess what your needs are for the trip you are about to embark on. Are you taking a short trip? Will a carry-on suffice? Are you taking a long vacation? Are you likely to buy more clothes, gifts and souvenirs from friends and family? You don’t want to start your trip with a bulging suitcase.

2. Prepare your toiletries
Have a dedicated plastic, waterproof toiletry bag with small sized containers of all the products you will require while you are away. Do not take a 500ml bottle of shampoo with you on your trip; decant it into smaller bottles. The same goes for your other hair products, moisturisers and body washes. Place your jewellery and accessories in zip-lock bags.

3. Coordinate your clothes
Choose a colour scheme and make sure everything can be mixed and matched. Neutral colours co-ordinate well with many outfits and one pair of pants or a skirt can be worn with three or four different tops. Resist the urge to take more than three pairs of shoes, but make sure at least one of the pairs of shoes you pack are comfortable for walking. You can purchase cheap footwear at your destination if you really need to.

4. Lay everything out
You can spot any missing items quickly if you lay everything you are planning on taking before you commence packing your suitcase. Don’t forget to include your phone and camera charger, electric shavers and international plug adapters.

Roll your softer garments such as T-shirts, jeans, knitwear, cotton pants and underwear. Fold the stiffer ones, such as starched cotton shirts, blazers, dressy pants and skirts.

5. Start layering
Place the rolled items in a layer at the bottom of your suitcase. If you have fragile items like perfume, cushion them in the middle then place the folded clothing on top. Alternate the hem and neck of the items to keep the layer even – this will make your suitcase easier to close. Fill your shoes with socks, and place them heel-to-toe around the inside of your suitcase. Keep the items you will need when you arrive at the top of your suitcase, such as your toothbrush and pyjamas and top the layers with an empty waterproof bag to use for dirty laundry as your trip progresses.

6. Finish with a final large item
Your last layer should be a large item, such as a sarong or towel to tuck everything into place.

Are you a good packer? Or one of those who throw in last-minute items in a panic?

Written by Andrea

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