How to pack a suitcase

Updated February 21, 2017

Packing a suitcase is a strategic exercise in maximizing space and minimizing wrinkles. You might already have a favorite packing system, but here are a few more tips and tricks to utilize all of your luggage space efficiently.

Remember this order of operations: shirts on the bottom, then dresses (if applicable), then pants.

Stack tops, unfolded, by placing wrinkle-prone tops toward the bottom of a pile and less easily wrinkled ones toward the top.

Fold the sleeves in toward the shirts' torsos.

Fold the shirts in half from the bottom. You now have a rectangular bundle of shirts; place it in your suitcase.

Drape long dresses in the suitcase so that the ends hang over the sides.

Place pants and skirts on a flat surface; fold each in half lengthwise.

Stack pants and skirts on top of one another, with easily wrinkled ones on the bottom and sturdier ones, such as jeans, on top. Fold the stack over, so that its length is halved.

Place your stack of pants and skirts on top of the dresses, then fold the ends of the dresses over the pants and skirts.

Roll ties loosely.

Stuff socks in shoes. Pack underwear in mesh laundry bags or side pockets to save space.

Arrange each pair of shoes so that the heel of one aligns with the toe of the other.

Wrap pairs of shoes in separate plastic bags, and place them along the border of your suitcase.

Protect clothes from leaks by placing toiletries in a plastic bag.

Pack essential toiletries in a carry-on bag. Include your toothbrush, toothpaste, makeup, medication and other important items.


Avoid packing money, jewelry, travel documents, medication, keys and other valuables in your suitcase. Carry these items with you.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic Storage Bags
  • Toiletries
  • Toiletry Bags
  • Garment Bags
  • Carry-on Bags
  • Luggage Sets
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