Tuesday, July 29, 2014

To Pack or Not To Pack

A. The beginning
 "I get ideas about what's essential
when packing my suitcase."
~ Diane VonFurstenberg

I'll be in Europe nine weeks, and I'm taking only one carry-on bag and one personal item—a rolling backpack.  My electronic stuff 
B. The bottom layer

goes in the backpack, so the carry-on has the honor of carrying clothing.  I've tried different ways of packing over the years (stacked, rolled, smashed), and last years I found a great way that has saved me a lot of room.

To do it, you need a large, flat surface.  You want to start with the clothes that are made with the lightest fabric.  If you are taking a dress, it would go on the bottom.

Lay out shirts to form a cross.  Note photos A and B. The hems overlap each other with the collars toward the outside.  The shirts with long sleeves should be on the bottom, and the short sleeves on top.  (Photo C)
C. All shirts
D. Slacks

 The heavier items—jeans, slacks, shorts, skirts—go on top of the shirts. Fold the slacks in half and lay them out in the cross pattern.  The waists should go in the middle and overlap each other.  (D and E)
E. All bottoms laid out

Longer items should go on the bottom with shorts going on top.

Once you have all of your tops and bottoms layered, You need something for the center.  Underwear, socks, hats, etc. make good centers. Since it doesn't matter if they get wrinkled, you can stuff them in a t-shirt or nightgown.  For this demo, I used my hat for the center. (F)

F. The center
Starting with one of the bottoms, fold it over the center, pulling it in tightly.  (G)

G. The folding

H. Long slacks folded twice

 Fold in the slacks on the opposite side.  If the legs are long, you may need to fold them twice (H).  Continue with the bottoms until you fold all of them neatly into a rectangle of sorts.  (I)

I. All bottoms folded

J. The shirts
K. Shirts

Bottoms folded, start on the tops.  Fold the sleeves in and wrap the first shirt over the bottoms. (J)  Continue wrapping the shirts (K) in like manner until they form a completed bundle of clothing. (L)
L. The completed bundle

In case you didn't count, I had eight shirts, two capris, two shorts, two jeans, a hat and two hats in the bundle I did for this demo.

M. The bundle in my suitcase    

M. Necessities

N. Bagged
 What, you might ask, about the delicates and such?  The pile in the first photo (M) includes two pillowcases, socks, undies, and a nightshirt.  I put everything but the undies in a gallon bag (N), partially locked it, and sat on it to force the air out and reduce it in size.  (O)
O. Air out of the bag.

To be honest, I pulled everything apart once I finished this afternoon.  I didn't get everything as tight as I like, so I'll re-do it in the morning.  Tonight I need to work on the backpack.

T-minus 24 hours and 27 minutes

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