One thing that has helped and hindered my packing journey is my mom. She is an expertpacker. Like she can make anything fit anywhere and that was great because she used to (and still does from time to time) help me pack. Because I would rely on her, it definitely hindered me from learning it on my own butat the same time, I've learned most of my major tricks from her so now I'm kind of a pro.
Quite possibly the greatest feat of my packing career was my honeymoon. I was able to pack a month's worth of clothing, shoes, accessories -- spanning close to four seasons worth of variety -- into a large checked bag. It was something of genius, that they will be writing about for futures to come... probably lol.
And I'm here to not only share my best packing tips and tricks with you but also walk you through how I packed for my honeymoon in the form of a video unpacking! So let's hop right into it...
Tip #1: Know Exactly What You're Packing
Half the headache of packing is getting all your things together. I usually start by making a mental list of each day of the trip, what we're doing, and how many outfits I need. Then I go into planning outfits -- from head to toe with accessories -- and laying them out in piles on the bed. At the end, I look and see what I can get rid of/reduce (like cutting from 3 pairs of jeans to 1 or 2) and folding the final looks into piles ready to go in the suitcase.
Then there are other items like toiletry, undergarments, makeup, electronics, skin/hair care, and so on. I try to do my best to grab all of these and put them on the bed before I actually start to pack. Obviously, there are always last-minute items you forget about and just throw in, but the general idea is to haveeverythingout and ready to go before you put a single item in your suitcase.
Once you have everything laid out, you can take inventory on what you have and need to pack so you can break items into categories and sizes. I like to sort by bulky, medium and small items. Bulky is your fleeces, jackets, boots, makeup bags -- things that aren't easily stuffable and take up the most room in your suitcase. Medium-sized items are things that aren't bulky nor small -- jeans, t-shirts, dresses, sandals -- all mostly foldable and moveable. Then the small things like bras, swimsuits, electronics, jewelry are saved for last or condensed together. I'm a big fan of stuffing these in shoes, hats, bags and leaving out to fill any extra space.
Tip #2: Use Packing Cubes
I didn't really buy into this craze until Andrew started using them religiously and now I don't think I'll ever turn back. I cannot explain how they work but they do. I think being able to fit things into smaller cubes just helps the overall packing experience. For the honeymoon, I stuffed like 90% of my clothes into this cube and sat on it so it would close and it worked!
I mainly just use my packing cube for clothes and the clothes I do put into it are usually medium-sized items (see above) first. You can't really maximize the space if you just pack bulky items right away since it will take up all the room! I find it works best (at least for me) to do medium and then fill in any extra spaces with smaller items.
Tip #3: Bring a Steamer
Don't fear wrinkles! I personally hate ironing my clothes so I always pack a travel steamer with me. There are a ton of options, I use this one from Amazon -- it's cheap and has lasted me 5+ years so far. You're going to get wrinkles, especially if you're packing a lot into your suitcase or packing cube. This will just help alleviate any worry you may have from doing so.