"When you figure out your suitcase, you figure out your life". Wise words from fashion designer Diane Von Furstenberg. Indeed the very word 'packing' can strike fear and dread in the hearts of many otherwise very sane and organised people. Women are worse at it than men too, apparently. I can attest to that, I'm a terrible packer. I excel at the laying-it-all-out-on-the-spare-bed stage and I always write a list of each outfit day by day (including accessories....) but ask me to pack it all into a suitcase and I become instantly useless.
There are a couple of rules I do try to pack by though:
Don't overpack. This is where the list comes into its own. By writing down your outfits day by day, AM and PM, you will only pack what you actually need. This means you won't be resentful lugging around a suitcase that is heavier than it needs to be and your clothes won't be all creased. However you don't want everything swimming around in your suitcase either so it's a fine line.
Roll or fold. Choose to roll or fold your clothes. If you are not worried about weight and want to pack lots in then rolling is the best option. Fold if you have weight restrictions and are not concerned about space. Make sure everything is flat before you roll it so you don't roll in any creases.
Use the insides of your shoes. Utilise the insides of your shoes by packing them with underwear. You can also use your shoes to protect any small items. Pack your shoes in plastic bags or dust bags to protect the clothes around them. It doesn't do to arrive at your destination with footprints all over your clothing.
Fragile items in the middle. If you are packing any fragile items in your hold luggage then place them in the centre of the case for protection. Always pack jewellery in dust bags and don't put anything valuable in your suitcase; keep it with you in your hand luggage.
Pack shoes near the wheels. Chances are if your case has wheels you're going to use them so by packing shoes near the wheels you always ensure they are at the bottom of the case and will therefore cause less damage to the rest of the contents.
Pack formal wear last. Place any formal wear or more delicate outfits at the top of the case. You can then unpack them first and hang them up straightaway. You can hang items in a steamy bathroom to get rid of creases but this does take a while. Better still, pack a travel iron.
Fill in the gaps. Pack small items such as underwear, swimwear and vest tops into the gaps left by other clothing as you pack. Make the most of all that valuable space.
Wherever you're going have a fabulous holiday and remember that packing for the homeward journey is much easier: just throw it all in and shove it in the washing machine when you get back.