How to pack like a champ: Defeating your suitcase one blow at a time

Packing a suitcase properly takes skill.
Packing a suitcase properly takes skill.

Packing: the evil of traveling. We’ve all been there­ – sitting on our suitcases trying to shove everything in. Of course it never works. The suitcase always wins, leaving us aggravated and defeated.

But don’t throw in the towel quite yet because these tips will throw your suitcase a sucker punch.

1. Know their weakness. Find those nooks and crannies.

The key to having extra space in your case is utilizing all the hidden spots. Start by shoving your socks and underwear in your shoes to free up some space as well as preventing your shoes from being flattened in the shuffle. Be sure to fill in the gap between clothing piles with pajamas, toiletries, or my personal favorite: the straightener. Each suitcase has its weaknesses. You just have to find them.

2. Fold ‘em, don’t roll ‘em.

Most say that rolling your clothes takes up less space, but really it doesn’t. To make the most of your space, fold your shirts and pants as you would. However, instead of laying all your clothes the same direction, alternate the direction of your shirts and pants so that the folded part of your clothes doesn’t all pile up on the one side. This will guarantee everything lays flat, optimizing your space.

3. Bulk up. Wear your heaviest and bulkiest.

It may seem like common sense, but you’d be surprised by how many people pack their coats and boots. Instead of filling up your suitcase with your biggest garments, wear them to your destination. This will free up tons of space in your luggage.

4. Save your secret move; the expandable portion.

Don’t be the opponent who brings out the big guns first. I know it’s tempting, but believe me if you use the expandable portion of your suitcase before leaving on your trip, you are a lost cause. There will be no hope for you when you try bringing everything back home, including your souvenirs. Save the expandable portion for a little extra wiggle room when returning home, that way you are guaranteed everything will fit.

The next time you find yourself battling it out with your suitcase, remember these four simple tips. They will be sure to knock out the competition.

Laura Schmiedeler, '18

Just a weird and crazy girl from Arizona, laughing through life and trying to find a good bargain.