How to be awesome at packing a suitcase

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

This issue presents plenty of ideas for how to get out there and explore the world. But you don't want to embark on an adventure with too much luggage, and you certainly don't want to leave important items at home. For the best travel experience, you've got to learn to maximize suitcase space.

1. Check ahead.

Avoid packing items that will be readily available at your destination, especially disposable or cheap products.

2. Roll, don't fold.

Roll your shirts into cylinders rather than folding them into rectangles. You'll be shocked how much space this saves.

3. Be shoe smart.

Leaving empty space inside those loafers would be the height of inefficiency. Stuff socks into each other, then store the sock-balls in the shoes. (This applies to other accessories, too; even bra cups can be utilized for extra space, as long as you don't crush the bra.) Once you've got your footwear filled, take advantage of shoe symmetry by packing pairs tongue-to-tongue, so one's heel lines up with the other's toe.

4. Micromanage.

Separate toiletries, shoes and other accessories into plastic bags. Depending on what kind of trip you're taking, it might be wise to pack each day's outfit in its own Ziploc too.

5. Arrange smartly.

You want a master plan for this project. The main rule is to keep heavier clothes like pants and jackets at the bottom while putting shirts, skirts and other light stuff on top. Shoes and toiletries can go wherever you find space - usually around the edges, but sometimes in the center. And if you don't have the luxury of a garment bag, high-maintenance items like blazers and evening gowns should be on the very top.