The best way to pack a suitcase

Updated April 17, 2017

Packing a suitcase should be a fairly straight forward procedure, but somehow putting your personal items into a suitcase can turn into a frustrating ordeal. Some people take the 'just stuff it all in' approach while others spend a day just deciding what to put into the suitcase. Organization is the key to successfully packing everything into a suitcase with the minimum amount of bother. Packing a suitcase can be simple, and it can be done in a way which makes finding what you need when unpacking stress free.

Choose the items of clothing that you want to pack. Consider choosing outfits rather than individual items. Think carefully about what you need to take, and make a pile of things that you intend to pack. Do not put anything in the suitcase until you have selected everything you wish to take.

Once you have your pile of items ready, go through them again and remove any items that you are not certain of using. It is important to avoid over-packing, so anything that is not essential leave at home.

Separate your light garments from your stiff ones. Light garments like T-shirts, underwear, knitwear and jeans in one pile, stiff items like blazers and starched cotton in another pile. Tightly roll up the light clothing and fold the stiffer items.

The first items to place inside the suitcase are your footwear and wash bag. Then place the light rolled up garments in the suitcase, followed by the stiff folded garments.

Use a dry cleaning bag to cover the pile of clothing as this helps to stop the items from creasing. If you want to separate particular layers of clothing dry cleaning bags can be used to do this.

Any other items, like books, travel chargers, belt, jewellery or first aid kit should be placed on top of this pile.

If there is anything that you will need immediately once you have reached your destination it should be the last thing to pack in your suitcase.


Small items like jewellery and socks can be placed in your shoes to save space. Take your favourite clothes to avoid taking items you will not use.


Pack you wash bag in a plastic bag in case your shampoo or sun cream leaks during transit. Anything delicate should be packed in the centre of the suitcase to avoid it being broken.

Things You'll Need

  • Dry cleaning bags
  • Plastic bags
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About the Author

Based in the U.K., Jack Taylor has been writing environmental, sports and travel-related articles since 2006. His writing has been featured in publications such as "Drift" magazine, the "Journalist" magazine and the "Newquay Voice" newspaper. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from University College, Falmouth.