Roll, Don't Fold (and 10 Other Tricks for Packing Fast)
Packing for a trip can be daunting and tedious. I usually wait until the very last minute to do it. While packing last minute can add stress to the situation it does provide a few benefits, too. Namely, I'm forced to concentrate on the task at hand. (See also: Vacation Hack: 7 Tips for Single Bag Travel)
When it comes to packing fast the key is all in the preparation. While it's best to wait to pack until it's close to the time you'll be heading out (so you don't have to live out of your suitcase and so you lower your chances of accidentally leaving those "pulled" items at home) something you can do beforehand is to prepare a packing list. So let's start there!
1. Create a Packing List
Keep a template packing list, so you can whip it out and modify it before each trip. A packing list is also great because you can just keep items on the list that you always seem to forget.
But to really reap the benefits of your list, you've got to put it to use.
2. Do Your Laundry Before You Pack
You don't want to be looking for substitutions for your favorite dress or jeans just because they are in the dirty clothes hamper. By doing laundry before you start packing, you'll have all your clothes ready to go if you decide you will be needing them on the trip.
3. Lay Everything Out
If you can see all the items that you're working with, then you'll be able to make decisions faster about what is and is not needed.
4. Pack All at Once, the Night Before
Don't drag out the packing process over multiple days. It's kind of like ripping off a bandage; you've got to do it in one fell swoop.
5. Set a Time Limit
By giving yourself a time limit you can turn the packing experience into a game. Try to compete against yourself and the clock. By setting a time limit you will also be able to minimize any dilly-dallying and self-sabotaging procrastination tactics.
6. Choose an Appropriately Sized Bag or Suitcase
Nothing's worse (and more time-consuming) than trying to fit everything into one bag only to realize you don't have enough space and have to move everything to a different bag or suitcase.
7. Keep Your Travel-Sized Stuff Together
Save time by knowing where your travel containers are. This way you won't be hunting all over your house to find them when it comes time to pack. (See also: 21 Disposable Products You Can Reuse)
8. Roll Instead of Fold
Simply put, rolling is faster than folding.
9. Choose Versatile Items
While it can be more time-consuming to consider the multiple uses of one item, you'll ultimately save time both on the packing and un-packing sides of your trip because you'll be including fewer items. Include clothes that can be dressed up or down and items that have multiple uses such as an all-in-one body wash and shampoo. (See also: Guide to Better Style: The Curated Closet)
10. Think Simple and Reliable
Trips and vacations aren't the time to get adventurous with your clothing and accessories. Stick with what you know you feel good in and what you'll really wear. That bright, patterned shirt that still has its tags on it is a nice idea in theory, but we both know it's not going to get worn. It's only going to taken along and pushed aside every time you go to pick out your outfit for the day. Stick to your classic standbys.
11. Keep Calm
If you're frenzied and worried, you will add time to the packing process. Go easy on yourself. Take deep breaths and minimize stress by doing your prep work ahead of time. That packing list is your biggest asset in a speedy packing process.
What tips do you have for packing fast?