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How to Pack Luggage Like a Pro

How to Pack Luggage Like a Pro

If you have any plans to travel over the next few months, it’s pretty much guaranteed that you’ll be packing a suitcase or other travel case to take with you, unless you’re going to a naturist retreat or somesuch. Should your holiday plans include actually being clothed, then you can follow some of these steps to ensure that you pack everything you need.

Before you actually put anything into your suitcase, check what the weather’s going to be like at your destination of choice for the time of year that you’re heading over there, as this will give you a general idea about the clothes you should be packing. If you’re going to a tropical destination, naturally you’ll want to be prepared to dress for hot, sunny days and balmy nights, but you might also want to pack some warmer clothes for unexpected cooler, overcast days, or even rainy ones. Remember that wearing layers is optimal for any climate, as you can add more if you get cold, or take a layer or two off if you’re overheated.

Make a List

Try to plan ahead and sort out what you’ll be wearing for each day that you’re gone, and remember that the clothes you travel in count as one of the outfits. Choosing pieces that can mix and match is a smart idea, and be sure to add an extra pair or two of underwear/socks just in case.

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Once you’ve sorted out exactly what you’re going to wear, write it all down on a sheet of paper (or type it up and print it out). As you pack each item, cross it off your list—this ensures that you won’t arrive at your hotel to discover that you’d forgotten to pack something vital.

*As a side note: always, always have an extra set of clothes in your carry-on luggage. Always. You never know when/if your luggage will be misplaced, and you don’t want to be stuck in your traveling clothes until the rest of it shows up. Keep your personal medication (along with a prescription letter from your doctor, if need be) in your carry-on as well, along with your toothbrush, passport/wallet, etc.

Bottoms First

Shoes and heavy/bulky items such as hairdryers and extra handbags should be placed at the bottom of your luggage. If it’s a piece you’ll be carrying, the heaviest bits should be right next to the hinge that attaches the lid, while if it’s a luggage piece on wheels, the bulky bits should be right at the bottom, above the wheels.

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Your shoes, boots, and packed purses are ideal spots to carry smaller items within: tuck jewellery, socks, gloves, belts, extra glasses, etc. into these to maximize space. Once the heavy bits have been places where you like them, use the spaced in between them for small items like socks, underwear, rolled-up bathing suits, etc.

Fold ‘Em Up

Contrary to what some might believe, rolling your clothes to fit into your luggage is not a good idea. Items that are folded lay nice and flat, as opposed to all those rolled clothes wasting space. The first layer atop your shoes and such should be those of the thickest fabrics: jeans, khakis, woolen skirts, jackets, and sweaters. As you pack these, leave a small gap right in the center of the suitcase—this is where you’re going to nest your toiletry bag (mentioned next). If there are any spaces left around the edges, use those gaps for items like your hairbrush, an extra book, etc.

Personal Care Products

Fragile items and personal care products should be placed in a padded fabric case, and kept in the center of your luggage so they’re buffered by all of your clothes. Small bottles of perfume or cologne should be kept in zip-able freezer bags just in case they leak: you don’t want to reek of your favourite scent the whole time you’re traveling. In fact, it’s smart to pack any creams inside those bags as well to be on the safe side. Remember that if you’re flying, any liquids or gels have to be packed into travel-sized containers and stored within a clear plastic bag in your checked luggage.

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personal care product

    The Upper Layer 

    The very top layer of your luggage should be comprised of lightweight, delicate fabrics that are prone to wrinkling, such as thin cotton, linen, satin, and silk. If you want to be super careful, items like silk shirts/blouses, etc. can even be wrapped in tissue paper to protect them from any damage, and then placed between more sturdy items of clothing for extra protection. This is a smart thing to do if you’re a bridesmaid heading to a location wedding and you have a delicate dress to wear, for example. This is also the place where you’d pack a suit, unless your luggage has a special front piece that unzips into a garment bag—if it does, use that instead.

    Be sure to take a copy of the list you made with you so that you can cross things off again on your return trip: you don’t want to leave anything behind in your hotel room. When traveling, it’s best to leave your most valuable jewellery, watches, etc. at home, but if you do plan to take such items with you, either wear them, keep them in a travel belt on your own body, or store them in your hotel room safe.

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    Happy travels!

     

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    Catherine Winter

    Catherine is a wordsmith covering lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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    Last Updated on September 28, 2020

    The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

    The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

    At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

    Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

    One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

    When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

    So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

    Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

    This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

    Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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    When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

    Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

    One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

    Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

    An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

    When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

    Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

    Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

    We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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    By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

    Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

    While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

    I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

    You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

    Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

    When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

    Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

    Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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    Con #2: Less Human Interaction

    One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

    Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

    Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

    This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

    While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

    Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

    Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

    This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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    For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

    Con #4: Unique Distractions

    Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

    For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

    To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

    Final Thoughts

    Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

    We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

    More About Working From Home

    Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

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