Keep necklaces protected and kink-free "by threading them through drinking straws, then putting the filled straws in toothbrush holders," says Anne McAlpin, author of Pack It Up.
Store earrings in a day-of-the-week pill container, or cut out a small cardboard square and punch them through.
Put all the jewelry you intend to wear with a certain outfit in a sandwich bag and pin it to one of the clothing items.
Toss silk scarves near the top of your bag to prevent them from getting crushed.
For narrow belts: Wind them into coils and place each one in a zipper-sealed bag. Put every bag in a shoe.
For larger versions: Fit them around the edges of your bag. Their size and width make them less likely to snake about.
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Blouses, Shirts, Tees
Layer tissue paper or plastic dry-cleaning bags between garments to keep them smooth. (Clothes wrinkle when they rub against one another.)
Put nice items on top to keep weight off them.
Shirts and blouses will lose their shape if they’re rolled up, but rolling works well for T-shirts, which should go near the bottom of the bag.
Because of their weight, books tend to shift to the bottom of a suitcase, near the wheels. To prevent them from dragging other items down, start by placing them there.
To help preserve their shape, stuff rolled underwear and socks in the cups and seal in a plastic bag. Tuck into the corners of the suitcase.
If a dress is long enough, you can place it directly on top of your pants and “interfold” it (see Pants). Otherwise, keep it near the top―above heavier shirts and sweaters―and fold it as few times as possible.
Either way, slip it into a dry-cleaning or garment bag to prevent it from wrinkling.
Because these are heavy, position them near the wheels, well below any delicate clothing.
Fold them at the waist, then in half, lengthwise. Or roll them, folding at the waist, then rolling upward from the bottom, stopping just below the belt line (because of the zipper and the pockets at the top, rolling jeans all the way adds unnecessary volume).
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Put all daily medications, as well as things like contact lenses and glasses, in your hand luggage. Keep prescription drugs in the original containers; the Transportation Security Administration requires you to have proof that they’re yours.
Pack at the very bottom of the suitcase, just above the layer that fills the three indentations made by the suitcase pulley (that layer can consist of underwear, workout clothes, and pajamas).
For the first pair, place the waistband against a narrow end of the suitcase and drape the legs over the opposite edge. Position the next pair’s waistband so that it touches the opposite short end of the suitcase. Continue alternating with all the pants, then put all the other items on top. Fold the pant legs over the pile of clothing. This “interfolding,” as packing experts call it, helps prevent trouser creases.
In the winter, carry on an oversize jacket or parka and bulk up with long-sleeved T-shirts, sweaters, and scarves. Packing a light jacket and several layers is more space-efficient than packing a heavy coat.
Place your jacket toward the bottom of the bag. Store gloves in your coat pockets.
Chances are your pajamas are among the things you’ll need first, so put a set in the top layer.
Keep the rest at the bottom, filling in the indentations caused by the suitcase handle.