Tips for becoming a pro packer

News Hour:

Whether you’re typically stuck straddling a bulging suitcase, or are simply on the hunt for a few tips to top up the knowledge bank, become a master of the art with this assortment of packing methods from our new book, How to Pack for Any Trip.

METHOD: ROLLING

Join the jet set. Regular travellers swear by the rolling method for its space-saving, crease-free advantages.
For coats, jackets, T-shirts, jumpers, shirts, blouses, dresses:

Step 1: Hold up the garment with the front facing you, then pinch the shoulders halfway along between your thumb and forefinger, bringing your other fingers to the front. If the garment has a hood, flip it back.
Step 2: Twist your wrists inwards to turn the sleeves to the back, bringing the outer edges of the sleeves to touch each other.


Step 3: Lay the garment on a flat surface front down and fold in half, bringing the neck down to the base of the garment.
Step 4: Tidy into a neat rectangle.
Step 5: Tightly roll up the garment.

For trousers, shorts, tube dresses, straight skirts fold in half – following the tailoring – and tightly roll the garment to the hem.

Pro – Saves space, avoids creases.
Con – Technique needs mastering for speed. Must fully unpack at destination.

METHOD: TETRIS-STYLE

One for gamer geeks, this technique turns packing into a puzzle. Combine blocks of different shapes and sizes to form complete rows. Stack your rolled and/or folded clothes vertically or horizontally; there’s no need to stick to one plane in this game. Beware, this method only really works if you can unpack fully at your destination – not recommended for backpackers on the move.

Pro – Ultimate space-saver. Good for families – making a chore into a game.
Con – Need to be good at puzzles. The whole system is just one removal of an ill-placed item away from falling apart.

METHOD: FOLDING

Probably the most popular way to pack, yet the folding method is criticised for an origami-style approach that keeps the travel-iron manufacturers in business.
For coats, jackets, T-shirts, jumpers, shirts, blouses, dresses:

Step 1: Hold up the garment with the front facing you, then pinch the shoulders between your thumb and forefinger, with your other fingers at the front. If the garment has a hood, flip it back.
Step 2: Twist your wrists inwards to turn the sleeves to the back, bringing the outer edges of the sleeves to touch each other.
Step 3: Lay the garment on a flat surface front down and fold in half, bringing the neck down to the base of the garment.
Step 4: Tidy into a neat rectangle.
Step 5: Fold again as desired.

For trousers, shorts, tube dresses, straight skirts fold the garment in half vertically – following the tailoring – and continue to fold until the desired size is achieved.

Pro – Mobile chest of drawers – no need to fully unpack at destination.
Con – Creases. Less space-saving than rolling.

METHOD: BOTTOM-HEAVY

However you pack, always keep heavy items such as shoes, toiletries, electronics and books at the bottom of your luggage. This gravity-friendly tactic will help reduce creases, too. But think accessibility – your coat may be heavy, but you should still pack it at the top, especially if headed to a destination where the weather is unreliable.

Pro – Stops your case or bag falling on the person in front in the check-in queue – and won’t be top-heavy when you’re in motion. Helps reduce wrinkles.
Con – Backpackers may have accessibility issues.

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This article has been posted by a News Hour Correspondent. For queries, please contact through [email protected]
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