Simple as it seems, packing is a science or an art that some of us seem to master and others seem to fail miserably at. You find yourself wondering ‘how do I fit everything in?’ or ‘should I roll or fold my clothes?’

So, how do you pack a suitcase to fit the most items in?

The answer is strategic and efficient packing by using packing lists to plan the process and packing cubes to organize your suitcase and maximize the space you have.

So we have included for you some tried and time-honored packing techniques, to save you the most space in your suitcase.

What is the best suitcase for space?

Aim to buy a suitcase that has expandable sides so once you’ve packed to the top, you can expand it for a little more wiggle room and a smooth zipping experience. Having an expandable suitcase is also useful if you’re planning on buying extra items on your trip.

Hard-shell suitcases are durable and protective however keep in mind, that they aren’t as flexible as fabric suitcases when you want to squeeze more items in.

How do I pack a suitcase to fit everything in?

So you’ve got your empty suitcase ready and you’re feeling overwhelmed with how much you need to pack for your trip. Not to mention the added worry of having to pay airline fees if your luggage is overweight.

Get started with these organizational tips:

  • Start by writing out a packing list. This ensures you remember everything important for your trip and discourages you from overpacking.
  • Buy travel-sized toiletries to save space.
  • Before packing, lay out everything you think you’ll need and start trimming it down — always ask yourself “do I really need this?”

Once you’ve got your final (and hopefully shorter) packing list, you can get started with packing your suitcase.

Although there’s no golden rule to packing, here are some tips you can follow that will make your life easier when trying to fit everything in your suitcase.

Think about how your suitcase or luggage opens and pack accordingly

If it zips open from the top, then pack items you won’t need as often on the bottom. This will help keep your suitcase tidy and organized when you’re searching for items.

Fill every inch of space

As you pack, try and fill all the spare space in between the larger items with smaller items, like socks, underwear, t-shirts, and accessories. This means you’ll use the maximum amount of space available.

Pack your shoes in plastic bags to protect your clothes from dirt and pack them heel to toe, to save space.

Don’t leave anything empty

If you’re taking a purse or bag to wear on your trip, use them to act as storage for other items whilst in your suitcase.

Slide into the pockets

Store flat items such as books, make-up palettes, or charging cables in the flat inner pockets of your suitcase.

Packing cubes

Packing cubes are your friend for space-saving and for the organization of your suitcase. Buy multiple packing cubes and pack all t-shirts in one, pants in another, underwear in another, and allocate another for your dirty laundry.

That way, when you need something, you simply grab the packing cube instead of searching through your whole suitcase for it.

Cushion fragile items

Pack any fragile items cushioned in between clothing for extra protection. Items like hairdryers, headphones, or hard drives are much safer from impacts when they’re snuggling in between a few sweaters.

Rolling or folding your clothes

Rolling your clothes can save you space in your suitcase and is great for smaller items like t-shirts, shirts, tank tops, underwear, and activewear. Rolling is also the perfect solution for keeping your clothes wrinkle-free.

However, for bulkier items that are too thick to roll up easily like pants, sweaters, and jackets, folding them is more efficient for saving space in your suitcase. Instant Space Saver bags are also great to use for bulker items. Just fold, stick in the bag, push or vacuum out the air and it is ready to put in the suitcase.

Use your shoes

Your shoes are extra valuable spaces where you can stuff socks, underwear, or other small items and they also add protection.

Keep toiletries in plastic bags

Keep your toiletries in clear Ziploc plastic bags and within easy reach. This avoids any spills and also keeps T.S.A. airline agents happy if they need to check your luggage for liquids.

Remember These Packing Essentials to Save Space

So now you know how to pack like a pro and save the most space in your suitcase.  Make sure you grab these packing essential items to make things easier.