Let it be known that I hate packing. It's a stressful experience that I plan for weeks in advance by cross-checking weather predictions and itineraries. Then I make packing lists. Then I begin the packing. The actual packing lasts about a week and consists of me second guessing everything on my packing lists and taking clothes out of my bag, only to repack them the next day. Did I mention that I run said packing lists in visual form by all my friends? Even ones not traveling with me? I have a problem.
Luckily, over the years there have been a few things to help combat (some of) my packing insanity.
Roll your clothes
Anyone who travels a bunch knows the best way to save space is by rolling your clothes. This technique also keeps things relatively wrinkle-free. If you're confused about how to roll a particular item of clothing, I refer you to this site.
Make your shoes serve double duty
Shoes -- especially boots -- can double as storage in your bag! I roll socks, belts, and even hair accessories into my shoes. No space is unused!
Have a grab bag ready
There are things I bring with me on EVERY trip -- a razor, deodorant, shampoo, Advil, Benadryl, foundation, hair serum, and my meds. Since everything is travel-sized and only used when traveling, there's no point in ever unpacking this bag. It sits in my luggage and is always ready to go.
Put jewelry in straws
If you're like me, then your jewelry is in a constant state of entanglement. No matter how much my necklaces and bracelets are separated and organized in my luggage, by the time I reach my destination, everything is one jumbled nightmare and I never end up wearing any of it. This genius hack will keep everything organized AND tangle-free.
Or in a pill case
These help keep rings and earring organized and easy to spot. (I also use one of these for my actual meds).
Pack a dryer sheet
My suitcase has been with me for almost 10 years (thanks Swiss Gear!) but that means that it has developed some funky smells. That tends to happen on two- to three-week long trips, especially ones in which a bus is involved and showers are "optional." Recently, I've been throwing dryer sheets into my luggage before leaving. This helps keep things smelling fresh and bonus -- prevents static!
Pack a bag for dirty clothes
I'm pretty sure everyone can agree that they don't want their dirty underwear (especial TRAVEL DAY UNDERWEAR!) touching any of their clean clothes. Ew. Sometimes a hotel room is too small to have any closets or drawers and you're forced to live out of your suitcase (looking at you Hotel Z Victoria) so it becomes especially necessary to keep dirty things separate in your luggage.
Even with these tips I'm still bananas-crazy because they don't address the main issue -- my indecisiveness. In fact, they may enable me to pack more than I need because its such an efficient use of space. I look forward to the day I feel comfortable packing three t-shirts, a sweater, and jeans and calling it a day. Until then...