There are a number of factors to consider when packing for a journey -- the weather, type of activities you’ll be doing and what sort of luggage you’ll be traveling with. Due to excess baggage fees these days, there’s a movement toward traveling with a carry-on only. With these next-level packing tricks, learn to be organized, lighten the load and live out of a suitcase or backpack for an extended period of time.

Marie Kondo It

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Marie Kondo, organizational consultant and author of the popular book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, introduces the KonMari method of storing clothes as part of her scheme for organizing and decluttering homes. These concepts can also be conveniently applied to packing backpacks and suitcases for journeys abroad. Kondo suggests beginning the packing process by laying out each item and grouping by category -- clothing, shoes, accessories. Lay the clothes flat on the ground and fold vertically, rolling clothing with thinner fabrics to avoid creasing. Then stand clothes upright and file in your suitcase vertically instead of stacking on top of each other so you can see what you've packed with a glance. Keep tidy while traveling by storing clean and dirty clothes in separate sections of the suitcase.


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Packing cubes save precious room by compressing your clothes, allowing you to maximize space and store a few more items. Once you reach your accommodation, simply pull out these zippered fabric cubes and be done with unpacking. Store your shoes sole side down in shower caps provided by your accommodation, so the shoes that you’ve walked a million miles in over the cobblestone streets of Europe and across dirt paths of Southeast Asia’s remote villages don’t dirty the rest of your belongings.

Repurpose Contact Lens Cases

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Contact lens wearers will discover that contact lens cases are multipurpose and can be used to store more than just lenses. For weekend getaways and shorter journeys, these leak-proof cases are useful for packing liquids. Transfer face creams and foundations from their bulky plastic packaging into extra contact lens cases to save space in your toiletries bag. They can also be used to coil earbuds in order to avoid a tangled mess of cords in your bag.

Pack by Outfit

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It’s possible to pack light but still look good. The key is to coordinate your tops with bottoms, and the number of outfits you should be able to create is determined by multiplying the number of tops with the number of bottoms you pack. Do this by selecting versatile items in neutral colors. A little black dress can easily be dressed up with a bold statement necklace or dressed down with a denim button down. To create more variation in your outfits, throw in a couple of scarves or jackets to mix it up. Outerwear items like coats and cardigans should match your tops and bottoms, and layering is essential to creating multiple outfit combinations.

Shake It Up

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Sitting on your suitcase and wrestling for your zipper to shut may work sometimes, but that could lead to an explosion of clothing once you open up your suitcase at your destination. Instead, when you’re finished packing, shut your suitcase, stand it upright and bang it on the floor a few times. Your belongings will settle at the bottom, creating instant space at the top of your suitcase- just enough room for one more pair of shoes, or for some shopping to be done abroad.