Get Away With More: Effective Packing

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Packing effectively involves wrapping of clothes around the core such as the gray tshirt in the middle. There are rolled shirts and socks on the left side, another way to conserve space when packing. (Photo By: Colby Ann/ TU Student).

Feeling the sun in your face, sand between your toes, and condensation from you ice beverage sitting on the beach during vacation is a relaxing feeling, but what about the hassle it took to get there.

Packing for vacation is the most dreadful part. It is no simple task, lots of time, energy and thought goes into packing, much like an art or science. Yes, packing is comparable to a fine art, making all items fit perfectly and neatly.

“The technique I use, folding clothes inside of each other then placing my clothes vertically in my suitcase opposed to stacked on top of each other, really creates a lot of room allowing me to fit all my clothes and toiletries neatly,” said Allie Ruddy, Towson University Senior who has traveled abroad multiple times. “I always would get very nervous my suitcase would be over weight or not close correctly, but with the folding method I really don’t have those fears much any more, everything is really consolidated.”

There are different methods to packing ones clothes in a suitcase or carry on bag in a tidy, space- conserving way and with summer right around the corner, now is the time to brush up on ones packing skills.

To start and keep the weight of your suitcase or bag to a minimum, it is a good idea to wear your heaviest shoes and your heaviest jacket, that way you are holding much of the weight on your body opposed to taking up space in your bag.

In order to fit all your clothes in your suitcase or bag in a tidy fashion, one technique used is “bundle packing” first coined by Doug Dyment, a traveling public speaker for companies of sales engineering training.

Begin by laying your clothes flat a surface, stacking each article of clothes on top of the next. Start by creating a core, by bundling socks, underwear, bras, etc. together tightly folded in a tshirt.

Next, layer clothes flat, unfolded on top of each other, beginning with jackets, placing them zipper down. After, you will layer long sleeve button ups and blouses, placing them buttons up, vertically. You will alternate the way the way the shirt is facing, meaning if the collar is closest to you when laid on the jacket, your next shirt collar will be away from you, having the bottom of the shirt closest to you.

Each shirt you layer, you will alternate. The shirts should not be perfectly aligned, but rather having the sleeves to each shirt/ jacket aligned on top of each other.

After this step, you will continue to layer pants. Place your pants horizontally, having the pant legs align with the sleeves of your jacket(s) and long sleeve shirts. Again, you will alternate the placement of the pants; if the first pair of pants stacked waistband is the left, the next waistband will be to the right.

Following pants, you will continue to stack the rest of your tshirts onto the pile. Continue to alternate the placing of the shirt, as you have with the rest of your clothes.

After all your clothes are stacked on top of each other, grab your core tshirt with your undergarments bundled inside and place it in the center of your stacked clothes.

You will now begin folding the stacked clothes onto the core piece. Wrap your clothes around the core piece, starting by folding sleeves over first then the torso of the shirts. Make sure you are wrapping the clothes entirely around the core, keeping the material flat, wrinkle-free and somewhat tight.

Wrap the pant legs around the core, folding the legs over then wrapping the excess material around the core. Continue wrapping your clothes until every article is neatly wrapped around each other, with the final product a square bundle with your jacket on the outside.

Another popular method of packing is to roll ones clothes. When done correctly and tightly, your article of clothing will be rolled down to about the side of bundled socks.

For this technique, you will take your article of clothing you wish to pack and lay it on a flat surface. A tshirt, for example, you will lay out. Start by folding the bottom of the tshirt, flipping the end pieces up about three inches so there is a cuff-like fold at the bottom end of the shirt.

Now taje the sleeves of the shirt and fold them back, creating an X across the torso of the shirt. Take your tshirt and fold it in thirds. At this point, your shirt should be folded like a hotdog.

Once this step is completed, fold back the small parts of the sleeves. Be sure to keep the shirt flat and wrinkle free. Now, turn your shirt around, having the collar/ neckline closest to you.

You will begin rolling the shirt, but make sure you are making your rolls as tight as possible. Roll the shirt all the way to the end. Once completely rolled, take the folded/ cuffed end and pull the extra material around the fold, as you would when folding a sock, to keep your roll in place.

This method works the same for pants or jackets.

“The rolling and tucking method is called the “ranger roll” and I use that for longer trips with more clothes,” says Andrea Miniño, Towson University student from Puerto Rico who travels often. “I use this for most trips and have been using this method since I was 13-years-old, so about eight years. But, I also use a method where instead of placing clothes normally flat in the bag, I place them horizontally in a filed-like position. This saves me space and lets me see all of the clothes at the same time. I also sort my clothes in my drawers like this.”

Even if you aren’t packing for vacation, create more space at home for clothes by using special folding, wrapping, and rolling techniques.

“I have never tried a specific packing method,” says Abby Watson, Towson University Sophomore. “I don’t travel much, but even when packing for short vacations or even just a weekend trip home, I struggle fitting all my items neatly into my bag. After learning that there are so many different, clever ways to pack, I am definitely going to try. I think it would make the dreaded act of packing much more bearable.”

Allow your vacation to start with packing, opposed to it being another burden to get to the destination.


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