Organizing for Travel: Maximizing Space in Your Suitcase! [Video]

If overflowing luggage is one of your travel troubles, you’re not alone.

“Maybe if I just sit on the suitcase, it won’t be a problem.”

This was my packing method for many years. It wasn’t until I started traveling for business or international vacations that I figured out not only was the ‘squish-the-luggage-and-cross-my-fingers’ method not working, but also that it was very annoying!

Well, I finally found a packing tool that helped me maximize the space in my luggage. I even managed to pack for 8 days in Japan -in the winter!- with only carry-on luggage in tow. The tool I’m talking about is affordable and I’m guessing you already have several of them in your home.

Behold and make way for the magical, mystical, enchanting: hair tie! (Or rubber band.)

What? That’s it? That’s your secret tool, Brianna?

Hold on. Hear me out. Many people have heard of the ‘roll your clothing‘ trick for packing. Yes! Do it! I’m a big fan.

OK, after you roll your clothing, you can secure that roll with the elastic band so that the clothing stays compact and keeps its shape.

Benefits include:

  • zen at airport security – some gate checks require you to take everything out of your bag and then you’re left trying to fit items back in, which can be difficult and frustrating. It may even make you want to punch someone in the face. Do not get charged with aggravated assault, get sent to jail and miss your flight. Roll and secure those little packets of clothing goodness and you’ll find that putting things back in order is not a problem!
  • real estate’ assurance – as you’re Tetris-shifting items around your luggage, you know how much ‘real estate’ (space) the item needs within the confines of your luggage. Imagine you’ve rolled and packed a semi-puffy jacket. There’s a good chance it could unroll on its own due to the slick material. With the elastic, it stays compact and easy to move about, if you need to.
  • outfits made easy – depending on the clothing materials, you could roll outfits together such as a top with a skirt. If you’re type-A, you could even add a label to those rolls with the day of the week that you want to wear the outfit. Ta-da! No guesswork as to what you’ll be wearing on Saturday. I find the outfit-bundling to be particularly helpful if you’re packing a deeper bag (e.g., duffel) where it’s harder to see what you have in the abyss.

To see the hair tie and outfit labeling tips in action, watch the related video blog:

I welcome your comments, questions and suggestions.

Wishing you happy, safe and organized travels!

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