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How to Pack a Suitcase Efficiently and Perfectly

How to Pack a Suitcase Efficiently and Perfectly

I’d always been a reluctant traveler, concerned with what taking a trip would do to the daily routine I’d worked so hard to sustain. My Type A personality caused me to take “there’s no place like home” to a whole new—and probably unhealthy—level. This all changed when I learned how to pack a suitcase: it kept my Type A personality busy while simultaneously taking away every excuse I’d make to get out of traveling, allowing me to experience… well, experiences.

Trust me, when you know how to pack a suitcase, you’re so ready for your adventure to start you literally strut to the airport. Bring. It. On.

Make sure you provide yourself with plenty of time to pack for your trip. In other words, don’t leave your packing until the night before (or the morning before if you’re uber-crazy). The more time you have to pack, the less likely you’ll find yourself carting around unnecessary items and forgetting necessary ones. (I won’t even get into the toothbrush incident of ’02.)

Below is a step-by-step guide on how to pack your suitcase so efficiently, nothing will get in the way of you putting your feet up when you’ve reached your destination.

1. Choose proper luggage.

How to Pack a Suitcase

    How long is your trip going to be? Is it a business trip or a personal getaway?

    Answering these two questions will help you determine the size and type of luggage you’ll need to take with you. If you’re going away for the weekend, you’ll only need a tote bag, whereas a 10-day excursion will require a snazzy suitcase on wheels.

    2. Check the weather.

    While no weather forecast is 100 percent accurate, having a general idea of what the weather’s going to be like during your trip will help you decide on the clothes you should pack.

    Print out your forecast from The Weather Network and set it by your suitcase for when you’re choosing outfits. Download their app to your phone or tablet so you can also keep tabs during your travels.

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    3. Go over your itinerary.

    What will you be doing on your trip? It’s important to not only pack for what you’re definitely doing, but for spontaneous celebrations and events that might pop up.

    If you’re planning your trip through a travel agent, he/she can supply you with a solid amount of information on recommended dress requirements for your destination. Travel brochures and websites are also helpful.

    Have your family or friends visited where you’re going? Ask them what they packed (or wished they packed). If you can’t get in touch with them, see if they have photo albums from their trip on Facebook to help spark ideas.

    4. Create an itemized checklist.

    One of the best tools to keep my Type A personality at bay during the packing process is a detailed checklist of what I need to bring. Otherwise, I’d be so paranoid about forgetting something, I’d pack my entire bedroom and bathroom.

    It’s also a great way to put your trip into perspective. As soon as you’re done your list, you’ll immediately start slashing what’s unnecessary. Bonus tip: take your list with you to make sure you don’t leave anything behind on your way home.

    If you’re someone who doesn’t travel often (like me), use a suggested list of items as a starting point. The two best I’ve found are courtesy of Squawkfox and The Art of Manliness.

    5. Invest in travel gear.

    Most grooming accessories and hygiene products are available in travel sizes. Some recommend purchasing your toiletries at your destination to save space, but if you’re picky about your beauty routine (again, like me), do yourself a solid and make sure you have on hand:

    • a mini brush and comb
    • travel-sized toothbrush and toothpaste
    • mini zip-top bags for jewelry
    • travel-sized bottles for your shampoo, conditioner, body wash, moisturizer, etc.
    • large zip-top bags for your bottles in case they leak, and your shoes
    • a second set of chargers for your laptop/tablet and cell phone specifically for travel
    • a mini hair dryer (which doubles as a steamer if any clothing ends up wrinkled)

    Pack these items in an outside pocket or at the top of your case so no pressure is put on them, and they can easily be accessed at airport security.

    6. Pack outside your suitcase.

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    How to Pack a Suitcase

      Collect everything on your itemized list and place the items around your suitcase so you can decide what will make the cut.

      How to Pack a Suitcase

        Focus on basic neutral colors such as black, white, grey, navy, and accent prints. The more versatile your clothing, the easier it will be to mix and match outfits, and therefore you won’t have to pack as much.

        Choose versatile styles of clothing made of fabric that doesn’t wrinkle easy. Eight versatile pieces that blend well together will create up to 24 different outfits! For example, a tank top and pair of comfy shorts can double as pajamas, and a big t-shirt can double as both a nightie and cover-up for the beach.

        Use accents such as jewelry and scarves to pump up the volume on your outfits—they barely take up any space!

        How to Pack a Suitcase

          When it comes to shoes, wear your heaviest shoes and choose comfortable, light ones to pack.

          7. Remove your pet.

          How to Pack a Suitcase

            By now, your pet is likely sensing you’re going on a trip and is trying to make you feel very guilty about it.

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            8. Pack awkward items first.

            How to Pack a Suitcase

              Pack items likes shoes, blow dryers, and purses around the outer perimeter, and work your way in. Perfect the use of the nook and cranny: use the odd-shaped cracks between these items to tuck in your socks, bathing suits, and belts.

              How to Pack a Suitcase

                Stuff your undergarments in your shoes to both maximize space, and keep your shoes from squishing.

                This process helps to evenly distribute the weight of your items so nothing ends up broken/crushed during your trip.

                9. Master folding techniques.

                How to Pack a Suitcase

                  Organize your clothes in bundles: tank tops in one, tees in another, shorts in another, and so forth.

                  How to Pack a Suitcase

                    Roll each bundle (thicker items such as sweaters will have to be rolled individually).

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                    How to Pack a Suitcase

                      Not only does this save space, it decreases the chance of wrinkles.

                      How to Pack a Suitcase

                        Place each bundle side-by-side in your suitcase.

                        10. Wear bulky items there and back.

                        How to Pack a Suitcase

                          If you wear your bulkier items—such as your coat, jeans and sweater—as opposed to packing them, this will save loads of space in your suitcase. Plus, dressing in layers offers you the convenience of adding or discarding them depending on the temperature.

                          11. Leave room for souvenirs.

                          You know as well as I do you’ll want to bring home souvenirs from your trip for your home, family and friends. Make sure to leave room for such items.

                          12. Organize your carry-on.

                          Consider your carry-on an emergency kit: if you were to ever lose your luggage or get stuck at the airport, what essentials would you need to have with you to enjoy your trip no matter what happens? Here are just some of the items you should consider including in your carry-on:

                          • make-up
                          • prescribed medication
                          • anti-nausea, pain killers, antacid
                          • ointment, Immodium, bug spray, Benadryl
                          • prescription glasses and sunglasses
                          • bottled water and snacks
                          • toothbrush and toothpaste
                          • swimsuit and sunscreen
                          • books/magazines
                          • cash/I.D.

                          While learning how to pack a suitcase, what’s the best tip you discovered along the way?

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                          Krissy Brady

                          A women's health & wellness writer with a short-term goal to leave women feeling a little more empowered and a little less verklempt.

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                          Last Updated on October 15, 2019

                          How To Be Successful In Life? 13 Tips From The Most Successful People

                          How To Be Successful In Life? 13 Tips From The Most Successful People

                          What is success to you? How to be successful in life?

                          To some, when they think of success, they imagine wealth; others want power; some just want to make a positive impact on the world.

                          All of these are perfectly valid, indeed success is a concept that means different things to different people. Though no matter what success is to you, it almost certainly isn’t something will come easily.

                          There are countless guides and books to being successful, however, as success is personal and unique to each individual. The advice contained in these books can often not be relevant. Therefore following the advice of a single individual can often be unhelpful.

                          With this in mind, considering the advice of a great many people, people whose ideas of success were different both to each other, and quite possibly, to you can be a good alternative.

                          What follows is a list of thirteen of the best pieces of advice from some of the most successful people who have ever lived. If you want to learn how to be successful, these 13 tips are essential:

                          1. Think Big

                            From Michelangelo Buonarroti, Great Renaissance Artist:

                            “The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.”

                            There are few artists as influential as Michaelangelo. Today centuries after his death, his work still inspires and connects to people. His work is world famous, just think of his statue of David, or the Mural in the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican.

                            Imagine then, if he decided not to work as an artist.

                            Being a successful artist has always been extremely difficult, imagine if he decided to give up this ambition in favour of something easier?

                            Oftentimes, people often decided to put their dreams aside for something more “realistic”. To give up their dream for something easier. This quote teaches us the danger of such a point of view.
                            Instead be ambitious.

                            2. Find What You Love to Do and Do It

                              From Oprah Winfrey, Media Mogul:

                              “You know you are on the road to success if you would do your job and not be paid for it.”

                              This is a good quote to remember and think about when you’re at work.

                              Imagine being as successful as possible in your current job. Ultimately you’ll probably find yourself working extremely hard and this it will take up much of your time.

                              If it’s a job you hate, then being successful at it might only mean filling your life with something you hate to do. What’s the sense in this?

                              Instead, why not focus on doing something you love? When you’ve found what you’re passionate about, you get the motivation to keep you moving. Success at this means the fulfilment of your dreams.

                              Not sure what your passion is yet? You should learn about this Motivation Engine first.

                              Even if you’re not successful, you still filled your time with something you love to do. Many successful musicians spent years of their lives doing unpaid performances, the only reason they kept playing was because they loved to perform.

                              3. Learn How to Balance Life

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                                From Phil Knight, CEO of Nike Inc.:

                                “There is an immutable conflict at work in life and in business, a constant battle between peace and chaos. Neither can be mastered, but both can be influenced. How you go about that is the key to success.”

                                All too often, people think that to be successful, they need to make the object of their success their life.

                                If a person thinks their job will lead them to success, then they may spend countless hours per day, and well into the evening working hard.

                                However this comes at the cost of rest, your health and having an enjoyable life. Ultimately they may burn out and cease to be successful at their job anyway.

                                If success comes from having a strong social life and a good group of friends, their job may suffer; meaning that they may lose their job, and then be unable to afford going out with friends.

                                In these ways, success, as Phil Knight says above, is helped by balance. Think of it as a balance between rest and work, or work and play.

                                To achieve that balance, this Ultimate Guide to Prioritizing Your Work And Life can help you.

                                4. Do Not Be Afraid of Failure

                                  From Henry Ford, Founder of Ford Motors:

                                  “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”

                                  There is a story, it’s unconfirmed whether it actually happened, yet the message within is none the less true:

                                  Thomas Edison inventing the lightbulb was the result of several hundred failed attempts. In an interview, he was asked “How do you feel after all of your failed attempts?”

                                  His response was great, “I didn’t fail, I learned hundreds of ways not to invent the lightbulb”

                                  He saw each “failure” as a lesson. From that lesson he learned what won’t work, and also might work instead.

                                  Each failed attempt, each rejection, were key steps on his path to success. It is easy to feel like you should give up after a failure. But perhaps in that failure is a lesson.

                                  Pay attention to your failures, study them. Perhaps then you’ll learn how to succeed.

                                  If you find it difficult to fight your fear of failure, here’s a guide for you: Why You Have the Fear of Failure (And How to Conquer It Step-By-Step)

                                  5. Have an Unwavering Resolution to Succeed

                                    From Colonel Sanders, Founder of KFC:

                                    “I made a resolve then that I was going to amount to something if I could. And no hours, nor amount of labor, nor amount of money would deter me from giving the best that there was in me. And I have done that ever since, and I win by it. I know.”

                                    This, in many ways relates to the above quote about learning from your failures.

                                    It’s the easiest thing in the world to give up from a failure. The only way to push on is if you have the true burning desire to succeed, to not be moved or dissuaded from your goals.

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                                    If you are not truly dedicated towards success, then each failure will hurt more, each set back will slow you down.

                                    Success is hard; without the unwavering desire to succeed, this difficulty may seem insurmountable. With the desire, it is merely an obstacle to go through.

                                    6. Be a Person of Action

                                      From Leonardo da Vinci, Renaissance Genius:

                                      “It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.”

                                      Though it was said hundreds of years ago, it works just as much today as it ever had. It applies to literally any successful person.

                                      Think about it, picture someone like William Shakespeare:

                                      When we think of the time he lived in, we think of the time in a way shaped by him. When we think of Renaissance era Italy, we think of Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci. Or think about the present day, Bill Gates or Steve Jobs. Our current way of life would simply be incomparably different if they didn’t accomplish what they did.

                                      You’re probably reading this article on a device by a company that they either founded or companies influenced by them.

                                      All these figures were proactive, they saw ways to do things differently and did them. If they let the world shape them, then they’d simply fit into the background. Instead they shaped the world.

                                      Applying this to you?

                                      Don’t be afraid of going outside the norm. If you can think of a better way to do something, do it that way. If you fail, try again.

                                      7. Cultivate Positive Relationships

                                        From Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of America: “

                                        The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.”

                                        The best leaders and some of the most influential people (and Theodore Roosevelt is one of the best leaders and one of the most influential people to have lived) were not those who caused commotions, who fought with people or disregarded people; but were people who were friendly to those around them.

                                        People liked them. They wanted them to do well.

                                        This is key to good leadership.

                                        It’s logical. If someone likes you, they want to help you; if you give them a suggestion, they’ll gladly follow through with it.

                                        But if someone doesn’t like you, they may either refuse to help or actively get in your way.

                                        What’s more, it’s always a good idea to cultivate good relationships. You can never tell who will prove to become someone who’ll be able to help you in a big way, or even be a good and supportive friend.

                                        As such, help people and they may help you; and be good to people, and they my be good to you.

                                        8. Don’t Be Afraid of Introducing New Ideas

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                                          From Mark Twain, Famed Author:

                                          “A person with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds.”

                                          It is an unfortunate truth that those with the boldest ideas are often disregarded.

                                          Most of us are taught from an early age to think and do things similarly to everyone else. This can be great to fill an existing role. But to truly do things differently (and all successful people did things differently), you need to think differently.

                                          If you have a new idea, don’t throw it away because it’s new and different; instead, celebrate it. Your strange new idea might one day be the one that leads you to success.

                                          9. Believe in Your Capacity to Succeed

                                            From Walter Disney, Founder of Walt Disney Company:

                                            “If you can dream it, you can do it.”

                                            Success has to be something you can imagine yourself achieving.

                                            It is possible that you will come across those who doubt you and your ability to succeed. You must not become one of these people because the moment you cease believing and dreaming is the moment these dreams fall away.

                                            Keep dreaming!

                                            10. Always Maintain a Positive Mental Attitude

                                              From Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President of America:

                                              “Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.”

                                              Like the above quote says, you need to trust in your ability to succeed. This is the only way to cultivate the right mindset.

                                              Replace negative thoughts with the positive ones. You need to approach problems, not as obstacles stopping you, but merely tasks that need to be completed for you to keep going.

                                              If you stay positive and think like this, setbacks won’t affect you so much, people’s doubts won’t impact you and even the biggest obstacles will seem like minor problems.

                                              However with the wrong mindset of doubt, you’ll be much easier to stop.

                                              11. Don’t Let Discouragement Stop You from Pressing On

                                                From Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of America:

                                                “Let no feeling of discouragement prey upon you, and in the end you are sure to succeed.”

                                                It is an unfortunate fact of human nature — all of us in some way, doubt ourselves. This can be made far worse if others doubt us too.

                                                When surrounded by doubts, giving up can actually seem like a good idea.

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                                                Don’t pay attention to the doubts. If you are discouraged, ignore it.

                                                If this discouragement moves into your mind and you begin to doubt yourself. It is important to ignore this too.

                                                This is How Self Doubt Keeps You Stuck and How to Overcome It

                                                12. Be Willing to Work Hard

                                                  From JC Penny, Founder of JC Penney Inc.:

                                                  “Unless you are willing to drench yourself in your work beyond the capacity of the average man, you are just not cut out for positions at the top.”

                                                  You might have heard the quote that “success is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration” or you may have heard about the 10,000 hours idea.

                                                  Whichever way you frame it, they say one thing:

                                                  True success comes from work.

                                                  You’ll never become successful if you don’t work towards your goal in life and keep working towards it.

                                                  Check out this article and you’ll understand Why Hard Work Beats Talent.

                                                  13. Be Brave Enough to Follow Your Intuition

                                                    From Steve Jobs, Co-founder of Apple Inc.:

                                                    “Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

                                                    In ancient Greece, there was a group of Oracles who lived in Delphi. Everyone who needed advice or to know their future visited them, from the poorest of society to kings. Above the doorway of the temple were the words “know thyself”.

                                                    If you strongly believe and desire something, chances are that you already have an idea how to get there. If not, you may naturally know what things will help you and what things will slow you down.

                                                    It’s like how your body can detect danger even when things seem safe.

                                                    Ultimately then, you need to trust your own instincts.

                                                    Final Thoughts

                                                    What you might have noticed is that many of the above lessons are similar — most are about developing the right state of mind. This clearly suggests that the key to achieving success, in whatever you wish, comes down to the way you approach it mentally.

                                                    Moreover, no matter what stage of life you’re at now, you can still make a difference and pursue success. You can make resetting your life possible when you do this: How to Start Over and Reboot Your Life When It Seems Too Late

                                                    More to Help You Succeed in Life

                                                    Featured photo credit: Ryan Wong via unsplash.com

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