Be it a two week holiday or a two day business trip, packing can be a very stressful operation!
Some people (like my husband) thrive on the excitement of the task in hand, planning out exactly what they will wear each day and meticulously separating garments and other paraphernalia into tessellating shapes that could give tetris a run for its money!
Others meanwhile (dearest sister this is you!), loathe this organisational task and would rather just cram everything in and hope for the best (and an ironing service) at the other end of their journey!
I however, have decided to take the middle ground…on one hand I will not be compiling a detailed holiday spreadsheet (this would clearly point out that I was taking three pairs of tan leather sandals…all differing heel heights I’ll have you know!!) but on the other hand I can admire the beauty in a perfectly “feng shui’d” suitcase and of course the benefits of being able to fit in a few extra pieces far outweigh the time taken to pack!
So, to pack like a pro I now follow these easy to manage guidelines which will have you gliding with ease and serenity to the airport in no time!
My own version of a packing list or spreadsheet. I like to consider each day and nights outfits and pack accordingly. This eliminates bringing anything random and also leads to packing hard working items that will work across a myriad of events! Outfit building will also help to streamline accessories…who knew one pair of tan sandals could in fact take the place of three?!
Never underestimate the power of a shoe!
Shoes provide the foundations for a well packed case, not only this but they can provide the vessel for many other important accessories. Wrap each shoe in a plastic bag to avoid marking your clothes (these will always come in handy at the other end!) and pack them in the four corners at the bottom of your case. Before packing your shoes make the most of the space by filling them with small items like socks and underwear, a great use of space and it also protects your shoes from getting crushed on the journey!
Rolling or Folding…the big debate!
Personally, I’m a roller as it's great for keeping creases at bay so a saviour for those who hate ironing (who irons on holiday anyway??!). As well as saving space you can also group your outfits together by rolling, making for some speedy unpacking. Of course, there are some downsides to the art of rolling. It's not ideal for suits, shirts and formal dresses, and you may want to ask yourself...is life too short to spend half an hour rolling up your knickers?!
So, when it comes to a packing for business I find folding is the way to go, ensuring I arrive looking effortlessly on point to every meeting!
My top tips for folding those work wardrobe essentials:
Shirts & Jackets (I find this method works well for both!)
- Lay buttoned shirt/jacket facedown.
- Place a rectangular piece of card or a magazine on the back, just below the collar and in the centre.
- Smooth wrinkles and fold the right side over the card/magazine - the sleeve should be folded down along the length of the shirt.
- Repeat with the left side.
- Fold the shirt in half from the bottom up.
- Simply fold in half so that only one leg is visible.
- Fold in half again (twice) and your trousers are ready to be packed.
- Fold the dress at the shoulders, aligning the seams along the side of the dress.
- Shake out any wrinkles.
- Lay flat and smooth out the dress.
- Fold the bottom third of the skirt up and the top third down.
- Then, fold the skirt upwards towards the middle of the dress and fold the top part of the dress over this.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder!
If you’re anything like me half of your case will be dedicated to lotions and potions…and anything else necessary to make me look half decent in the morning! I know that hotels will have a number of freebies in the bathroom and that holiday destinations do actually sell shampoo but its just not the same, is it??!
So rather than risk a disastrous liquid leak in your luggage I advise taking the following precautions! Zip lock bags are everyone’s best friend when it comes to packing….not only will they prevent your favourite dress from being doused in Coconut body lotion but they also come in very handy! They can be used for anything and everything: as "filing cabinets" for receipts and paperwork, “wet bags" for swimwear, "laundry bags" for dirty underwear, not to mention the perfect place to store a spare muffin from the breakfast buffet!
Another top tip is to take the lids off bottles and add a layer of cling-film to the neck of the container before replacing the lid. Then use clear tape to seal the gap where the lid joins the container. Now you can travel without the worry of any spills!
What a carry on!
Once you've packed your case, it's important not to forget about your cabin baggage. I suggest always packing a spare outfit just in case your luggage goes missing….believe me, arriving in the middle of the night to find my luggage was still in transit with an important meeting to attend in the morning was not a situation I wish to find myself in again!!
Once you’ve packed your essentials…clothes, 100ml bottles of make up, perfume etc, a good book and your flight socks…it doesn’t leave room for much else! Luckily laptop bags are allowed in addition to your cabin baggage and so it is important to use this perk to its full potential!
My Code_Republic leather laptop bag enables me to keep my valuable items safe when travelling. The padded pockets store both my laptop and tablet comfortably for the journey and I can also safely stow away my cables, chargers and phone in the easily accessible pockets. The zipped inside pocket provides the perfect secure home for my passport and travel documents and the pen loops ensure I’ve always got one to hand for filling in departure and arrival cards. I’d definitely be lost without my laptop bag when travelling for both business and pleasure!
Panic no more when it comes to packing! Reset, refresh and take off …!