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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 November 19, 2019

    20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

    20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

    Are you usually punctual or late? Do you finish things within the time you stipulate? Do you hand in your reports/work on time? Are you able to accomplish what you want to do before deadlines? Are you a good time manager?

    If your answer is “no” to any of the questions above, that means you’re not managing your time as well as you want. Here are 20 time management tips to help you manage time better:

    1. Create a Daily Plan

    Plan your day before it unfolds. Do it in the morning or even better, the night before you sleep. The plan gives you a good overview of how the day will pan out. That way, you don’t get caught off guard. Your job for the day is to stick to the plan as best as possible.

    2. Peg a Time Limit to Each Task

    Be clear that you need to finish X task by 10am, Y task by 3pm, and Z item by 5:30pm. This prevents your work from dragging on and eating into time reserved for other activities.

    3. Use a Calendar

    Having a calendar is the most fundamental step to managing your daily activities. If you use outlook or lotus notes, calendar come as part of your mailing software.

    I use it. It’s even better if you can sync your calendar to your mobile phone and other hardwares you use – that way, you can access your schedule no matter where you are. Here’re the 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track .

    Find out more tips about how to use calendar for better time management here: How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space

    4. Use an Organizer

    An organizer helps you to be on top of everything in your life. It’s your central tool to organize information, to-do lists, projects, and other miscellaneous items.

    These Top 15 Time Management Apps and Tools can help you organize better, pick one that fits your needs.

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    5. Know Your Deadlines

    When do you need to finish your tasks? Mark the deadlines out clearly in your calendar and organizer so you know when you need to finish them.

    But make sure you don’t make these 10 Common Mistakes When Setting Deadlines.

    6. Learn to Say “No”

    Don’t take on more than you can handle. For the distractions that come in when you’re doing other things, give a firm no. Or defer it to a later period.

    Leo Babauta, the founder of Zen Habits has some great insights on how to say no: The Gentle Art of Saying No

    7. Target to Be Early

    When you target to be on time, you’ll either be on time or late. Most of the times you’ll be late. However, if you target to be early, you’ll most likely be on time.

    For appointments, strive to be early. For your deadlines, submit them earlier than required.

    Learn from these tips about how to prepare yourself to be early, instead of just in time.

    8. Time Box Your Activities

    This means restricting your work to X amount of time. Why time boxing is good for you? Here’re 10 reasons why you should start time-boxing.

    You can also read more about how to do time boxing here: #5 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity.

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    9. Have a Clock Visibly Placed Before You

    Sometimes we are so engrossed in our work that we lose track of time. Having a huge clock in front of you will keep you aware of the time at the moment.

    10. Set Reminders 15 Minutes Before

    Most calendars have a reminder function. If you have an important meeting to attend, set that alarm 15 minutes before.

    You can learn more about how reminders help you remember everything in this article: The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

    11. Focus

    Are you multi-tasking so much that you’re just not getting anything done? If so, focus on just one key task at one time. Multitasking is bad for you.

    Close off all the applications you aren’t using. Close off the tabs in your browser that are taking away your attention. Focus solely on what you’re doing. You’ll be more efficient that way.

    Lifehack’s CEO has written a definitive guide on how to focus, learn the tips: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

    12. Block out Distractions

    What’s distracting you in your work? Instant messages? Phone ringing? Text messages popping in?

    I hardly ever use chat nowadays. The only times when I log on is when I’m not intending to do any work. Otherwise it gets very distracting.

    When I’m doing important work, I also switch off my phone. Calls during this time are recorded and I contact them afterward if it’s something important. This helps me concentrate better.

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    Find more tips on how to minimize distractions to achieve more in How to Minimize Distraction to Get Things Done

    13. Track Your Time Spent

    When you start to track your time, you’re more aware of how you spend your time. For example, you can set a simple countdown timer to make sure that you finish a task within a period of time, say 30 minutes or 1 hour. The time pressure can push you to stay focused and work more efficiently.

    You can find more time tracking apps here and pick one that works for you.

    14. Don’t Fuss About Unimportant Details

    You’re never get everything done in exactly the way you want. Trying to do so is being ineffective.

    Trying to be perfect does you more harm than good, learn here about how perfectionism kills your productivity and how to ditch the perfectionism mindset.

    15. Prioritize

    Since you can’t do everything, learn to prioritize the important and let go of the rest.

    Apply the 80/20 principle which is a key principle in prioritization. You can also take up this technique to prioritize everything on your plate: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

    16. Delegate

    If there are things that can be better done by others or things that are not so important, consider delegating. This takes a load off and you can focus on the important tasks.

    When you delegate some of your work, you free up your time and achieve more. Learn about how to effectively delegate works in this guide: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

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    17. Batch Similar Tasks Together

    For related work, batch them together.

    For example, my work can be categorized into these core groups:

    1. writing (articles, my upcoming book)
    2. coaching
    3. workshop development
    4. business development
    5. administrative

    I batch all the related tasks together so there’s synergy. If I need to make calls, I allocate a time slot to make all my calls. It really streamlines the process.

    18. Eliminate Your Time Wasters

    What takes your time away your work? Facebook? Twitter? Email checking? Stop checking them so often.

    One thing you can do is make it hard to check them – remove them from your browser quick links / bookmarks and stuff them in a hard to access bookmarks folder. Replace your browser bookmarks with important work-related sites.

    While you’ll still checking FB/Twitter no doubt, you’ll find it’s a lower frequency than before.

    19. Cut off When You Need To

    The number one reason why things overrun is because you don’t cut off when you have to.

    Don’t be afraid to intercept in meetings or draw a line to cut-off. Otherwise, there’s never going to be an end and you’ll just eat into the time for later.

    20. Leave Buffer Time In-Between

    Don’t pack everything closely together. Leave a 5-10 minute buffer time in between each tasks. This helps you wrap up the previous task and start off on the next one.

    More Time Management Techniques

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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