How To Pack a Suitcase

How do you maximize suitcase space without wrinkling everything in the process? It's easy with the smart tips in this video guide to packing.

What You Need

  • suitcase
    resealable bags for shoes
    plastic pillbox or film canister
    items to pack
Follow These Eight Easy Steps
  1. Gather your clothes

    Gather all the garments you may need on your trip, then edit down your choices so you don’t overpack—a common mistake. Put back at least half of the items you think you need.<br /><br /><strong>Tip: </strong>Pack double-duty garments, like yoga pants that moonlight as pajamas. A sarong can double as a wrap.

  2. Roll your clothes

    Tightly roll softer, wrinkle-resistant garments, like T-shirts and cotton pants, and place them along the base of the bag. Jeans should be rolled, too.

  3. Place folded items on top

    Next, fold stiffer and/or wrinkle-prone garments like starched cotton shirts and blazers. Layer these folded items over the rolled clothes.

  4. Drape longer pieces like pants and skirts

    Fold longer items in half, filling the length of the bag with them, alternating waists with hems at the ends.<br /><br /><strong>Tip: </strong>Pick bulkier items to wear on the plane or in the car so they don’t take up precious luggage space.

  5. Add smaller items

    Look for nooks and crannies to fill with smaller items, like bras and socks.
    <br /><br /><strong>Tip: </strong>Stuff the cups of your bras with rolled-up socks to maintain bra shape.

  6. Line suitcase with belts

    Snake belts around the perimeter of the bag. Then cover the whole pile with a dry-cleaning bag. Thanks to the bag’s slippery surface, folded clothes won’t stay in one place long enough for creases to set.

  7. Choose shoes wisely

    Pick three pairs of shoes, like a casual sandal or loafer, sneakers, and an evening shoe –go for styles that can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. Wear the heaviest pair en route and pack the others along the sides of your suitcase in resealable bags.

  8. Pack your jewelry

    Stow inexpensive jewelry in a seven-day plastic pillbox or a 35-millimeter film canister. Wear any fine jewelry en route to ensure it won’t get lost or stolen.