In this post, I'm teaching you how to pack a luggage Marie Kondo style.

Packing can be a drag when you don't know the best way to pack a suitcase. As a survivalist, I make it a point always to pack light and smart. Here, we'll be breaking down packing tips and tricks so you can always be road-trip-ready.

From New York to San Francisco to anywhere in the world, this ultimate guide is all you need to learn how to pack your baggage.


How To Pack A Luggage To Maximize Space

Traveling has always been one of my favorite hobbies. Packing, however, isn't one of them. At least, not for a while.

When I first learned about the KonMari method from Japanese organizing expert Marie Kondo, I thought, "maybe I should try this strategy for packing?". I did, it worked, and it was a game-changer.

Generally, the whole idea of maximizing your suitcase space is about being purposeful with what you pack and how you pack.

It's more than just writing a packing list. It's not just about stuffing shoes, clothes, or toiletries in your luggage. It's also about choosing each item wisely and arranging your luggage to fit your travel style. It doesn't matter if you're traveling North America, Europe, or Asia. Knowing a few packing tips and tricks really makes a difference when traveling.

#1. First Things First

I hate unpacking. If you're like me, who hates digging into a suitcase, organizing your items according to your schedule works best.

Say you're going on a road trip for seven days and wondering how to arrange a suitcase for a week. Plan out your outfits ahead of time and arrange them based on your itinerary instead of laying your clothes randomly to maximize your suitcase space

If you're planning to wear a button-down shirt, jeans, and boots on your first day, put that outfit on top of your pile. Accordingly, your outfit for your second day should be under the first pile and the last outfit on the bottom. Got the idea?

In the case of your other travel items, remember to put essential items such as your toiletries, first aid kit, and accessories on the top of your stack.

Doing so will make it easier for you to access your clothes, accessories, or toiletries without rummaging through your luggage.

#2. Choose Clothes That Are Transitional

Travel light but don't skimp on style by picking clothes that are transitional and sticking to clothing pieces you can mix and match.

Choose tops that go well with any pants and one or two shoes that match any type of outfit.

Neutral-colored shirts like black, khaki, brown, navy, or grey provide a good base for any attire. For pants, jeans, chinos, and joggers made of lightweight and breathable fabrics will keep you comfortable day in and out.

When packings shoes, pick functional pairs like sneakers, loafers, and combat-styled boots.

#3. Take Advantage of Laundry Facilities

If you're worried about not packing enough and running out of fresh clothes, you can always wash your dirty laundry on the road!

When traveling, I take advantage of cheap or free laundry facilities. Most hotels and vacation rentals offer laundry services for their guests, which should be readily accessible.

This strategy works best for people with an active travel style. If you're backpacking, hiking, or mountaineering, bringing fewer clothes will make your steps lighter and travels easier.

I also suggest bringing an extra plastic bag or Ziploc bag to keep your dirty clothes separate from your clean ones.

#4. Make a List

When traveling, you're away from your home for days. Having all the essentials with you will help you stay comfortable and safe, which is why I never start packing without making a checklist first. As a survivalist, I always make sure that I have everything I need when traveling, but I also make it a point not to overpack. So I like to make my packing list logically.

The first thing I do is jot down everything I think I'll need- clothes, toiletries, accessories, etc. Next, I edit and check my list twice to make sure that I'm only bringing necessary things with me. Opting for multipurpose products such as a water repellant blanket, Dr. Bronner's liquid soap, or a pack of travel sink packets also makes your travel a breeze.

For clothing, I use the 5,4,3,2,1 rule. That means bringing only five sets of socks and underwear, four shirts, three pairs of pants, two pairs of shoes, and one hat. For toiletries, I only bring essential items such as shampoo, toothpaste, soap, facial wash, deodorant, sunscreen, and a comb. Of course, your list will depend on what kind of traveling you'll be doing, so adjust it accordingly.

Don't forget to pack a first-aid kit and medicines for emergencies.

Planning a camping trip? This camping checklist will help you get started.

Tools To Help You Pack Your Suitcase More Efficiently

Traveling is a lot easier now than traveling a hundred years ago. You can fly on a plane anywhere, book your travels online, and all these packing tools to make your life easier.

1. Packing Cubes

Remember what I said about rummaging through your luggage? Well, packing cubes were invented to avoid just that. The humble packing cube is simply a fabric pouch with a zippered slit but is a very efficient time and space saver.

There are three ways to organize your clothes in a packing cube. One, you can categorize your clothes and group them each in one pouch. Shirts on one cube, socks, and undergarments in another, and pants in a third. You can also categorize your clothes by activity. You can pack your swimwear in one cube and casual wear in another. Lastly, you can sort your outfit per day and put them each in a cube.

2. Garment Folders

No one likes spending hours in front of the ironing board in a hotel. Nobody got time for that! If you're bringing a lot of wrinkle-prone clothing such as a dress shirt, slacks, a silk dress, or linen, garment folders are your best friend. All you have to do is fold your clothes and stack them in the folder.

3. Compression Bags

Using a compression bag to pack your garments works wonders if you're trying to limit your baggage.

Compression bags are like next-level packing cubes. They both work the same. The only difference is that using a compression bag gives you extra space in your luggage and allows you to fit more items.

Using a compression bag is pretty easy. Pack your clothes, seal them in the bag, and squeeze the air out through the built-in one-way pressure valve.

4. Portable Luggage Scale

If you're wary about paying for extra baggage costs, a portable luggage scale is a handy tool you can use to avoid overpacking and paying for overweight baggage fees at the airport.

You can choose between a digital scale or an analog scale, but I recommend getting a digital one as I find them more accurate, smaller, and more compact, making them easier to carry around.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Traveling the world has always been exciting, but it can also be nerve-racking if it's your first time. Here are some traveling tips every new traveler must know:

What is the best luggage brand?

A suitcase is a must when traveling- it keeps your belongings safe and can pretty much hold everything. That is if you invest in a really good one.

Personal taste and style should be the least of your worries when shopping for a suitcase. Instead, check for the quality of materials, wheels, handle, lock systems, compartments, weight, and value for money.

If you're not a frequent traveler, brands like American Tourister and AmazonBasics offer efficient and budget-friendly options. On the other hand, Samsonite and Hartmann have a proven track record of high-quality and durable luggage options, complete with multifunctional compartments perfect for an on-the-go lifestyle.

How do I avoid overpacking for a trip?

Aside from making a checklist, packing transitional clothes, and using packing tools, doing your research can also prevent you from overpacking.

Does your hotel room come with essential items like towels or a hairdryer? Is the weather going to be hot or cold? What are your airline's baggage restrictions?

Knowing these things before you travel will keep you from bringing unnecessary items and obtaining extra baggage fees.

How many clothes should I pack for a 3-day trip?

If you're going on a weekend trip, pack lite and streamline your items to just a pair of shoes, three to four outfits, three sets of underwear, 3 pairs of socks, 1 set of pajamas, and toiletry bag, a water bottle, and a charger.

You can also add a hat, scarf, or gloves if you're going on a winter trip.

Does rolling my clothes make my suitcase lighter?

Rolling your clothes does not make your suitcase lighter, but it does save a lot of room in your luggage.

If you're going on a long trip and trying to fit all your stuff in one bag, compressing your clothes will allow you to maximize every nook and crannies in your luggage.

More Helpful Article To Explore

Traveling is one of the best ways to learn about the world around you, meet new people, and grow out of your comfort zone. Here are more articles to check out before your next adventure:

  1. Looking for a budget-friendly suitcase? Check out these cheap luggage sets under $50.
  2. Make sure you have all your essentials with you so you can stay fresh while you travel. This list of men's travel toiletry bags is worth checking out.
  3. Not a fan of suitcases? Mantelligence listed the best travel backpacks for men.

In Conclusion

It's true what they say, "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." But first, you got to pack.

Knowing how to prepare your suitcase efficiently will save you a lot of time, space, and extra baggage fees.

These packing tips are all you need to keep your travels easy-breezy.

Make sure to share this ultimate guide on how to arrange a suitcase with your other globetrotter friends. Sharing is caring.