Instructables
Picture of How to Pack a Suitcase
how to pack1 002.jpg
how to pack 002.jpg
This instructable couldn't have come at a better time for me, as I am off to England on Friday. However, I had already actually packed my suitcase - but - being eager to explain how I did it, I tossed everything out of my suitcase onto the bed and started again - just for you!

I tried to pack light, but don't think it worked that well, as I travelling across two seasons. It's warmish now, but will be cold by the beginning of November when I come back to the States..
 
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Step 1: My secret to packing a suitcase

I must admit I am not the greatest folder up of clothes, etc., that's not my style. Therefore, I have gathered together over the past couple of years some of those little zip up mesh bags that are especially designed to pack your clothes, shoes, and things in. I use these for everything, and fold as best I can - and it works. Everything is kept neat - and unpacking is also made easy. You can buy these individually or in sets, and sometimes pick them up at the thrift store.

Step 2: Pack it in!

Some of the bags are drawstring bags - and these are very good for shoes. Why do shoes take up so much room!? I am taking three extra pairs.

The staunch walking shoe
The frivolous Sandal
and - the very posh strappy shoe - hey you never know!

Each pair will go in its own drawstring bag, which actually has a picture of a pair of shoes on it!

Step 3: Keep on sorting and folding

Necessary items must be packed, like underwear, socks, nightwear, etc.

I love the way that when I fold everything up (sort of) and shove into the mesh bags, everything gets flattened down without any effort on my part. I love these bags. Some of them have pictures of what you should put inside them - but you can ignore that - unless it suits you.
Great advice. Where can I pick up some of those bags? I've scoured ebay but can find only one listing vaguely similar. Any advice or help would be great.

Thanks.
those are called mesh packing cubes, and you can ones like them by eagle creek, look up there website for were to buy; REI.com has them and they come in lots of sizes.

A cheaper option is the ones Rick Steves has for sale on his website rickstevesDOTcom (change the DOT for . but you should know that by now) the Rick Steves cubes come in a set of three and are the cheapest ones I have seen, they are also all mesh, so TSA and Customs dont usually insist on pulling your stuff apart to look through them.
hammer98765 years ago
I learned to take a day's outfit, i.e., shirt, pants, and undergarments, and roll them altogether to pack it. That way you don't have to find the bag of socks, then the stack of pants, then, well, you get the point. I have wondered whether you could take knitting needles on a plane in a carry-on. They are not the list, so I suppose so. I always figured I could do a lot more damage with a knitting needle than I could with a nail file. (Now I am probably on the feds' watch list.) I have always wondered when they are going to start confiscating everyone's pens and pencils....
sgsidekick5 years ago
I might suggest that, as it is a good idea to carry your electronics on you and not pack them, the same goes for the rechargers. The day I pack away my rechargers is the day the luggage is lost, never to be seen again!
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stinkymum (author)  DELETED_KillerBruin5 years ago
Actually it was nearly two frigging months! Also we women like to have a choice - don't you know that? As for bathing suits, I like to wear a dry one!
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stinkymum (author)  DELETED_KillerBruin5 years ago
It's a mother's job to feak out her kids. Glad to hear yours is keeping up the good work.
teftef6 years ago
I found a fantastic way to pack at : expan-zion.net - A new type of suitcase with a special system that makes the all difference !
gnomedriver6 years ago
Are we going to see your poncho instructable? Its great to take hobby or interest that is lightweight with you on trips. There are down times when traveling, like waiting for a bus or train or the last hour before bed in a hotel room and a hobby fills that time. I take a short wave radio with me when on the road. I am all fingers and thumbs when it comes knitting. And how was your trip? I get a little envious of people who are going away on a trip.
stinkymum (author)  gnomedriver6 years ago
You may do, but not till I get back to the US after November 4th. I am having a great time at the moment, although the weather is deteriorating!
inquisitive6 years ago
Lovely, but tuck socks in the shoes to keep shape and use some of that space as well. Greatest discovery on my trip to London was a Safeway grocery store not far from my B & B and it is easier to pick up some of the soap and shampoo there-or at least be adventurous and try some new stuff. Have a great trip!
stinkymum (author)  inquisitive6 years ago
I am in England now! Everything is so expensive, it's unbelieveable - good job I am staying with relatives or I would starve to death!
Now that you mention it I lost about 20 something pounds on my 3 weeks in Europe and found my favorite eats were breakfast (even if at times it was loading up on cocoa and brioche), salami, cheese from a tube (euw you say, but tasty), bread, and oh I remember a certain rotisserie chicken and pretzels from the Munchen train station...oh the memories. Too bad I didn't leave all those pounds off...ha. Climb the stairs of St. Paul's Cathedral to the spire for me! Go Girll!
Cabe6 years ago
I do alot of gigs in foreign (usually hot) lands and I always *ALWAYS* carry spare drawstring bags with those nappy (diaper) deodorisers for the return trip.

I seldom get around to washing those unmentionables and they can get pretty ripe, stuffing them into a drawstring bag keeps my clean cloths from absorbing any of it.
stinkymum (author)  Cabe6 years ago
What a great tip - I shall buy some
Awesome! I'm going to England for two months, leaving in November. I'm also going to the Dominican republic. So this is great timing, haha! I roll my clothes instead of folding them, also. It can save a lot of space
You're so organized! When I came back from Asia I just dumped everything in my suitcase and it was a 6 week trip. I can't understand how everything fitted! Some thing are better left unexplained...
Plasmana6 years ago
This is a great instructable! I don't think anybody can beat you!
stinkymum (author)  Plasmana6 years ago
All I need is someone to carry the thing for me! Even with wheels I will have to negotiate a lot of steps and escalators on my trekk from the airport to my final destination!
Don't say "final destination" to me...
This is really great! I've added it to the contest group, but before I can feature it it's got to have a more appropriate intro image. Do you think that you can switch to any one of your more helpful images and then send me a quick message letting me know you've made the change? Thanks, BQ
stinkymum (author)  Burning Questions6 years ago
I switched the first image to a shot of all my clothes lying on the bed in heaps! Thanks for the tip!
jdege6 years ago
Don't fold your clothes, roll your clothes. They take up less space, and if you do it right, it prevents wrinkles.
gah, you beat me to it! I was about to say that. and it saves space, if you roll tight.