Saving Hassles with Creative Packing Tips

Sooner or later you are going to go on a trip and need to pack a suitcase. For many, this onerous task can be stressful.

With the help of the following tips, packing can become a no-brainer. Think of “packing” in three areas and focus on one at a time, in this order:

  1. Clothing: Lay out an outfit for each event you are planning to attend, day by day
  2. Accessories: Take out matching items for each outfit (watch, earrings, necklace, purse, shoes)
  3. Toiletries: Keep travel sizes handy in plastic zip lock bags ready for upcoming trips

So as not to forget anything, using a checklist makes it easier. On page 69 of my book, “Don’t Agonize, Organize Your Office Now!” you will find a printable checklist to use for each trip. If you don’t have a copy of this book or the PDF version, email me for a copy at and I will email it out to you.

You can always customize this list by adding to it or highlighting the items you always take, or always forget! If you are flying, since bags are prone to get lost, these simple solutions will save you added stress:

  1. Carry on your makeup, prescription medicines, vitamins, a change of clothing (or at least one pair of clean underwear).
  2. Always place your name and contact information inside your suitcase in case your outside identification tag comes off.
  3. Pack some of your clothes in your traveling partner’s suitcase and vice versa, so you each have clothing if one bag is lost.
  4. If you are traveling to cold weather, carry on your coat, again, in case of lost luggage.
  5. Prevent wrinkles in delicate items by folding them over bulkier items like sweaters.
  6. Roll up t-shirts to make them smaller and fill in gaps
  7. Remember, current TSA rules call for no liquid items larger than 3oz. that can fit in one quart plastic bag for carry-ons.
  8. Mary Kay sells a great item for makeup and toiletries with separate velcroed compartments and a roll-up holder that can hang from a doorway when traveling, or at home.

Now for some newer, more extreme ideas. These suggestions come from, a website dedicated to “light packing” and avoiding airline baggage fees.

  1. Buy packing “cubes” in which you tightly pack items, one for clothes, one for toiletries, one for underwear, etc. into these mini-cases that then fit into your suitcase. They can be found at The Container Store or online at
  2. At you will find a wild line of jackets and coats with anywhere from 17-37 pockets. You “wear” what you would have packed into a suitcase.
  3. Roll up plastic sheets that take the air out of clothing can also save space. Find Space Bags at Bed, Bath and Beyond.

Check your bag for FREE:
Since most airlines don’t charge for carry-ons, more people are taking their luggage aboard, which then fills the overhead bins and slows down the boarding process. So gate agents have been asking people in the waiting area to check their bags for them, at no cost. So run, don’t walk if you hear this announcement, and give them your bag. At your destination, you’ll pick it up at the baggage claim.

For more smart packing tips, refer to chapter 16 and 17 of “Don’t Agonize, Organize Your Office Now!” available at
So take the stress out of packing and enjoy your trip!!!

Happy Organizing!
Diane Hatcher, CPO®

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