It’s not difficult to learn how to pack a suitcase for maximum usage. All it takes is a few simple tricks that conserve space and keep your clothes wrinkle-free.
- Roll underpants. In knowing how to pack a suitcase for maximum usage, take a tip from the military. Fold the sides of underpants into the middle, then roll the waistband down the length of the underpants. This way you can pack more underpants in the same amount of space. It works for all underpants: briefs, boxers, or boxer briefs.
- Roll socks. Lay a pair of socks together. Starting at the toes, roll them to the elastic band at the top. Then pick one of the elastic bands and pull it over the socks. This traps the socks inside and uses less space.
- Roll T-shirts. Taking the sides of the T-shirt from the end of the sleeve to the edge of the collar, fold the sides into the middle. Roll the shirt from hem to collar.
- Roll jeans. Fold jeans down the middle, legs together. Start at the hem of the legs and roll up to the waist.
- Roll towels. Most vacation spots offer complimentary towels, but if you need to pack your own, you can roll these, too. Fold the towel in half length-wise, then roll one end to the other. Towels may feel bulky when rolled, but this actually does reduce space.
- Base. Use towels, jeans, underpants, and T-shirts as the “base” in your bag by packing them first. Pack dress shirts and pants on top of them.
- Keep your rolls tight. To keep out wrinkles, keep your rolls tight. This might not matter as much with underpants and socks. But for jeans and undershirts, after you’ve folded them in halves or thirds, smooth the fabric with your hand and work out any wrinkles. That way your clothes aren’t wrinkly when you unroll them later.
- Dress pants. For your dress pants and slacks, fold them in half length-wise, then double or triple fold them from top to bottom, depending how long they are. Always place them on top of your rolled clothes.
- Dress shirts. Same goes for Polo, button-downs, or blouses. Fold them in thirds into the center of the shirt. Then fold in halves or thirds from top to bottom (depending on length).
- Positioning. For your dress pants and shirts, determining which should go on top of the other depends on how wrinkle-sensitive your clothes are. It’s up to you to decide what will wrinkle most easily. Whether you decide your pants or shirts are more sensitive, place them at the top of the pile.
- Belts. Line the circumference of your bag with your belts. Most people put these in the inside suitcase pocket, but they can press against the clothes and wrinkle them during travel. By lining the bag, you keep them from damaging your clothes.
- Shoes. By rolling underwear, jeans, and towels, you should have some space left over (depending on the size of your bag). If you don’t have extra space big enough for shoes, put them on top of your clothes. First, lay a garbage bag over your wrinkle-sensitive garments. Avoid plastic grocery store bags as they are coarse and can wrinkle the clothes underneath.
- Toiletries. First, take only travel-sized toiletries and put them in a toiletry bag. If you have smaller spaces left in your suitcase, put your toiletry bag there. If not, rearrange your suitcase to store the toiletries beneath the rolled clothes. This is the only time you should store something beneath the rolled garments. Your other option is to place the toiletry bag on top of the clothes, making sure to lay a garbage bag over them beforehand.
There you have it. Rolling clothes takes a little more time than folding them in half and dropping them in your bag. But this is how to pack a suitcase for maximum usage that will save you a lot of valuable traveling time and comfort later.