Introduction: Pack a Carry on Suitcase

If you are like me, you do more than your share of travel. Business conferences, etc... Lots of places where you ahve to spend a couple days in khakis and collared shirts, and maybe a sport coat. Life is so much easier if you can fit all your stuff into a carry on. Using this technique maximizes space an minimizes (but does not prevent) wrinkles. You may need to touch up with an iron in the hotel room.

Here is how I Pack my carry on suitcase.

Step 1: Lay Out Your Shirts.

Notice that we start outside the suitcase. Lay out your shirts flat as you can, one on top of each other on a flat surface, such as your bed. Button any shirt all the way up and make sure the collar is not folded funny.

Step 2: Lay Ou the Pants

Lay the pants as Illustrated in the picture, with the waist of the pants aligned with one shoulder of the shirt and extending out along the other sleeve. Pants should be folded in half according to whether or not you want to maintain a crease.

Alternate the alignement of the waist bands so that the pant legs extend along each sleeve.

Step 3: Add Socks and Unmentionables

With all your pants and shirts in place, lay out your underwear nice and flat on the pile. Also, un couple your socks and lay them out flat next to each other on top of the underwear. The idea is to make a solid, flat stack of clothing roughly from shoulder to shoulder to mid torso of the first shirt you layed out.

Step 4: Add Toiletries and Other Ephemera

Place your toiletries in a plastic zip-loc bag (those fancy bags are too bulky!). Lay them as flat as you can on the stack. Make sure all lids to any bottles is securely closed. I always travel with basic medicaments -- alka seltzer, pepto bismol tablets, advil, asprin, alka seltzer "morning relief" (for those buisness dinners that turn into late nites). Just put a few of each pill or packet in a sandwich bag. No need to pack all those boxes and bottles.

Also on this pile add the other stuff you need for your trip. cell phone chargers, usb cables, camera charger, etc etc. Dont put anything here that you want access to during the flight. That goes in the outside pocket.

Step 5: Fold It All Up.

Once everything is in place. Fold over each part that is hanging out of the pile. First do the sleeve arms / pant legs. Then fold up the shirt tails.

This will create a 'package' roughly the same size as your carryon bag.

Step 6: Place in Suit Case

Pick up the whole package and place it into the suitcase. Smooth out any wrinkles.
Depending on how much crap you jammed in there, you should have some room at the top.

Step 7: Add Shoes, Sport Coat, Books.

If you need to take extra shoes -- I travel in sneakers, and pack the dress shoes. Put each shoe in a platicg bag. Old grocery bags work well. Stuff those into each edge of the carry on, with the soles up. Gently fold up a jacket / sportcoat and place it between the shoes. Between the shoes is also a good place for Books, paperwork, folders, notepads. The idea with the books and the shoes is to create a relatively hard surface similar to the bottom of the carry on to protect all the stuff that is inside.

Step 8: Zip It Up

Zp it up. Add any of the things you might need in flight to the outside pockets, or keep that stuff in a small bag that you will slide under your seat. (I keep that stuff in a laptop bag)

Enjoy your flight.