How to Organize and Pack For A Trip

I often help my busy clients prepare for their vacations and business travels. This includes creating packing lists, organizing and packing suitcases and carry-on luggage. Here are packing tips for easier traveling:

Pack clothing tightly but without over stuffing the suitcase. Tight packing means no loss of space and fewer wrinkles. There are two basic ways to pack efficiently:

  1. The Rolling Method – Roll clothing including t-shirts, pajamas, sweaters, and slacks. Use a rubber band to keep items from unrolling. Tightly rolled clothing take up less space and are less likely to get wrinkles from fold creases.
  2. The Bundling Method – Bundle like-garments. This keeps items together and accessible. If you pack three t-shirts, neatly fold or roll them together. To reduce wrinkles, place each bundle in an airtight zip-lock bag.

More tips:

  • Make a packing list of things you need to take on the trip days or weeks in advance.
  • Know the airlines updated baggage policy and Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) rules. Changes happen all the time; read up on the airlines latest fees, policies and rules before you start your packing list.
  • Prevent wrinkling by layering clothes with tissue paper saved from holiday gifts.
  • Make use of empty space by rolling underwear, socks, ties, scarves, etc., and placing into small  zip-lock baggies, removing as much air as possible while zipping. Gently stuff the baggies into shoes.
  • Use sample-size toiletries (contact lens cleaner, shaving cream, toothpaste, etc.) or fill your own small, reusable bottles.
  • Store valuables (jewelry, medicine, cell phone charger, important paperwork) and pack a change of socks and underwear in your carry-on.
  • Minimize wrinkles by unpacking garments right away. Lay tissue paper inside hotel room drawers prior to placing your items and hang whatever clothing you can upon arrival.
  • If traveling with a passport, photocopy the page with your photo and bring an extra picture. If you lose your passport, this will make it easier to replace.

See how a flight attendant from Los Angeles demonstrates how to pack for a 10-day trip in a single standard carry-on using the rolling method.



Isabella Guajardo, also known as Girl With A Truck™, is a professional home organizer and a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO). Living in Oakland and Monterey, she travels in her truck to work with clients throughout the SF Bay Area, East Bay, South Bay, Silicon Valley, Santa Cruz and Monterey Peninsula. She shares simple and creative ways to stay organized and stylish while reducing, recycling and re-purposing. Join Bella Organizing on Facebook. Gift certificates are available.

Call (510) 229-7321 to schedule a complimentary telephone consultation.