The only thing that sucks worse than flying (can you tell I hate to fly?) is packing. Some people can just throw in a few outfits, fold everything perfectly, and be done. I am not one of those people. Luckily, I have a best friend who is one of those people, and most of my life, I was lucky enough to have her pack for me. Seriously, she even packed me for college! But now that I’m an adult and we no longer live five minutes from each other, I have to do it myself and my whole family (yes, I pack for my husband, and yes, we need to revisit that another time). And over the years, I’ve learned some packing hacks for clothes that has made it a lot easier. Now, I do want to say that packing is never not a stressful and largely unpleasant experience. Anticipating exactly what I want to wear stresses me out, and for some reason, I fancy myself being an uber chic version of myself when I’m going somewhere and throw in things that I just am not going to wear. In reality, when I’m traveling, I’m also eating a bunch or rushing from airport to event or meeting or tour, and therefore, not really as concerned with being chic as I am with being comfy or practical and end up wearing like 1/8 of what I packed and regretting not packing other things. Or I want to be chic but I’ve packed more with comfort in mind. I don’t know. I find it hard to get it right. Luckily, these packing hacks for clothes makes it easy to plan what you need to wear and pack it all so it fits in your suitcase and arrives at your destination wrinkle-free. (And if you’re heading on a trip, check out my ski vacation packing list and my beach vacation packing list.)
1. Pack You Shoes on Bottom
You want the heaviest items on bottom, which will help balance the weight of the suitcase and protect your clothes. Line each pair along the bottom, heel to toe for added space.
2. Cover the Soles of Your Shoes With Shower Caps
This will keep the dirty bottoms from getting your clothes dirty.
3. Stuff Socks Inside Your Shoes
This will help save space and maintain your shoes shape so they don’t get squashed under the piles of clothes.
4. Fill Any Purses You’re Packing With Lingerie and Tights
Not only will this will prevent your bags from getting squashed in your suitcase and help them maintain their shape, but it will also save you space.
5. Roll T-shirts and Jeans
It’s counterintuitive — you would think folding them flat would be more efficient. But actually, tightly rolling cotton tops, jeans and leggings will save you tons of space and prevent your clothes from getting creased where they’re folded.
6. Turn Blazers Inside Out and Roll Them
If you’re not bringing a hanging garment bag, this trick will keep your blazers from wrinkling. Again it sounds counterintuitive, but when you fold them and place them in a suitcase, you end up getting creases where you folded it, but when you roll it, no creases.
7. Cover Delicate Items Before Packing
Safeguard lace, embellished and silk items from snagging or damage by placing them in a plastic garment bag before placing in suitcase.
8. Keep Clothes Smelling Fresh With Dryer Sheets
Place a dryer sheet in your suitcase to give your clothes a fresh, just-washed smell.
9. Lay Clothes That Easily Wrinkle Instead a Plastic Slip or Dry Cleaning Bag
Lay clothes flat inside the plastic bag or slip before folding and placing in suitcase. The plastic prevents creases from the folds from setting in.
10. Fold Your Underwear
For some reason, we usually stuff socks and underwear in the corners of our suitcases, but this actually can take up a lot more room. Instead, fold your underwear and place in suitcase.
11. Use a Sunglass Case to Store Accessories
Stash breakable items like makeup brushes and loose accessories that tend to get tangled or lost at the bottom of your bag, like chargers and earbuds in a hard shell sunglass case.
12. Stack Your Bras
Then fold them in half and stick underwear inside to not only save space but to help maintain their form too.
13. Wrap Plastic Bottles in Saran Wrap
This will help seal them so no lotion or shampoo leaks out.
14. Place Perfume in Socks
Your socks will pad the glass bottle so it’s less likely to shatter in your suitcase or carry-on bag.
15. Place Belt Inside Shirt Collars
Roll a belt snd stick it inside a collared shirt to keep the collar stiff.
16. Use Buttons To Keep Earrings Together
Before throwing them in a jewelry role or bag, hook earrings through a button to keep them together and from getting tangled.
17. Stash Bobby Pins in a Tic Tac Containers
This will keep them all in one place, so you don’t have to scramble to find them at the bottom of your cosmetics bag.
18. Thread Necklace Through Straws
This will keep them from getting tangled.
19. Pack 3 Tops for Every 1 Bottom
This is one of the smartest packing hacks for clothes to ensure you can fit it all in one suitcase. If you change your top, no one will notice you’re rewearing the same pants or skirt and tops take up less space in your suitcase. Plus, shirts tend to get dirtier more easily than pants.
20. Cover Razors with Binder Clips
To avoid getting nicked by a lose razor, clamp a small clip over the razor.
21. Throw a Dryer Sheet or Bar of Soap in Your Laundry Bag
To keep your dirty laundry from stinking up the rest of your suitcase, keep it in a laundry bag and toss in a dryer sheet or bar of soap from the hotel.
22. Let Your Tech Cases Double As Clutches
Pack your iPad, Kindle and laptop in cute tech cases that can be used as clutches to save space.
23. Wear Your Bulkiest Clothes and Shoes on the Plane
When traveling during winter, big sweaters and boots can take up tons of space. If you can deal, wear your heaviest boots, sweaters, and coats on the plane to save space. You can always take them off and use as blankets and pillows on the plane.
24. Stick to a Color Scheme
By limiting your attire to two to three colors, it’ll be easier to mix and match pieces throughout your trip so you don’t have to pack as much.
25. Make Sure Everything You Pack Goes Together
A good rule of thumb and perhaps one of my favorite packing hacks for clothes: Everything you pack should go with at least one other item in your bag, so that way you can pack less by mixing and matching pieces.