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5 Simple Packing tips

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When I initially began to write this article, I have to admit I was a little skeptical. I couldn’t help imagining obsessive compulsives all over the world (including my dad) fervently taking notes from their computer or printing this very article to tape on their suitcase. But upon further consideration I began to recall vacations I had so gloriously embarked upon, only to find my belongings jammed hap-hazardly in my suitcase topped with a perfume-soaked sock swimming in a flower-scented river(the culprit being a melted lady speed stick). And So I have come to realize that this article is not just for those who color-code their sock drawer, or only eat their cookies in odd numbers, oh no…these tips are for everyone (including the girl with the crusty wrinkled clothes and the Calvin Klein scented tube socks).

 

1. The Wrinkle Fairy

Ok So I actually tried several tips on how to keep your suit-cased clothes wrinkle-free and these are the ones I found most useful: It is best to pack your clothes in the following order: Shirts on the bottom, then dresses, then pants. If you prefer to fold your clothes your shirts should be folded into on large rectangle (start with the more delicate shirts at the bottom, and stack until you have a pile with the most heavy-duty shirts on the top) the sleeves folded inward, then fold your pile in half(from the bottom) which gives you a nice, neat rectangle. Then place your dresses on your freshly folded shirts, and spread the dress to its fullest length (its ok if it drapes over the sides). Now for the pants, fold each pair in half (lengthwise) then stack on top of the dresses in the same order as the shirts (with the most wrinkle-prone pairs on the bottom) now fold the whole stack of pants in half then finish by wrapping your dresses around the pants. This was I found to be the most effective way to avoid wrinkles. Or if you are like me you could always just jam your clothes in your suitcase any ole way and hope like heck there will be an iron in your hotel room.

2. Stinky Shoes

If you need to take your gym shoes on your trip you can avoid the "your clothes smell like gym-shoe" comment by placing a dryer sheet into each shoe, and putting the offending pair of shoes into a grocery bag. I found this not only to be a fairly effective way to keep my clothes smelling good, but to also avoid the embarrassing scenario of having hotel staff direct you to the nearest soup kitchen.

3. Is that toothpaste on your zipper?

We all know that anything that is moist, spill-able and/or breakable should be kept in plastic bags but I have found that if you use regular sandwich bags the smell can still seep through onto your clothes, and who wants to smell like denture cream? Ok except for my grandma. The best bags to use are the zip lock freezer bags (just make sure there is minimal air in them so they don’t take up so much space or pop open).

4. Dirty Laundry

Most hotels don’t have washers and dryers so what to do with already worn clothing? Bring a large kitchen garbage bag and as soon as you take off your dirty clothes just toss them on into your makeshift hamper. I highly recommend the Hefty bags with the built-in odor eliminator to suck up some of the smell. You could also bring older underwear and socks and just throw them away after you wear them. This also frees up more space for those I Love Montana mugs you bought for your friends.

5. Protect yourself.

Never leave valuables (jewelry, car keys, cash, credit cards, etc.) in your non-carry on luggage. Not only will you be S.O.L. if your suitcase gets lost by the airline, airport security can randomly pick a suitcase and search the contents, and why tempt the innocent (or in some cases not so innocent)? It is also a good idea to use a business address on your ID tag instead of your home address. Thieves often target visible ID tags for your home address. Knowing that you are not at home, your house is an easy target for a burglar.

So there you have it! Some helpful tips to make your packing a little easier and your free time can be spent enjoying your vacation instead of ironing out your shirts and picking dried Colgate out of your zipper. :) Happy Packing!

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