Life Lessons with Emily: Pack a suitcase

If one day you find yourself about to embark on a trip, be it home for the weekend, Europe for study abroad or Asia for Mercer on Mission, you will need to know the best and most efficient way to pack your suitcase. It is important to pack everything you may need, but it can be hard when to know if you’ve overpacked. Here are some tips that will make preparing for your trip easier.

Make a list of everything you may need. Think about where you are going and how long you will be there, then make a list of the type and number of clothes you will need. Don’t forget to add toiletries to your list. It’s helpful to act out your morning and evening routine, grabbing what you use along the way. This will reduce the chances of forgetting something essential like your toothbrush.

Think in layers. Pack light-weight clothes that can be layered. This will prepare you for any kind of weather. If you get cold, you can simply add another layer. If you get hot, you can take one of your layers off. Also bring clothes you can mix and match. If done correctly, you can make more outfits out of fewer clothes.

Spread everything out. Before packing, spread everything you intend to take on your bed or floor. Look at what you have, and see if you’re forgetting anything. Also, see if you are bringing anything unnecessary. If in doubt, leave it out.

Pack strategically. Examine what you have, and pack bulky, heavy items such as coats and sweaters first. Fold them neatly, or try rolling them. Rolling reduces wrinkles and preserves space. After all your heavy items are packed, pack your other clothes, saving delicates for last. After your suitcase is full, fit underwear and socks in the sides. When packing toiletries, remember that travel sizes save space. Put shoes in a plastic bag before packing so as not to dirty your clothes.

Test the weight. If you are taking an airplane, make sure your suitcase meets the weight requirements. Also, make sure you can carry it comfortable for long distances. You never know how long you’ll have to hold your suitcase for.

Leaving Room. Think about what you might bring back with you, and leave space for the souvenirs you might buy.
Sometimes, you need to practice packing a suitcase over and over before you can adequately pack for a trip. Veteran travelers are usually more apt at packing than new travelers. Then again, packing a suitcase is an art, and some people (like myself) may never be able to fully master the art. But that doesn’t mean