What is the Most Efficient Packing Method?

How to Pack Efficiently

Preparing for every eventuality is not always an easy option when you’re forced to contend with airline baggage limitations. It gets even worse when you attempt to save a few grand and cope with just hand luggage.

When it comes to packing a bag, you have to decide not only what to bring, but also how to pack it.


Folding is not the most efficient packing method

Don`t assume folding is the best packing method.  Image Source

So what do you do to avoid being one of those people trying to force a holdall, bursting at the seams, into one of the airline’s miniscule baggage measuring devices? There are a number of ways you can choose to pack it all and keep it small.

It may sound a little strange, but folding neatly as you would do in a chest of drawers is not always the best option. Here are a few choices to try out:

Joint Folding

This is an evolution of the traditional folding method. Take two or more garments, for example skirts. Then lay half of one on top of the other, fold the one on the bottom over the skirt on the top. Then take the other and fold it on the top. This gives each item of clothing some cushion so it’s less likely to crease or wrinkle. Folding items along creases they are supposed to have, like along the creases of jeans, works well but unwanted creases also show up where the garment is folded in half.


The tried and tested method of backpackers, the idea being that you can roll more tightly than just laying shirt upon shirt upon shirt. Rolling clothes into compact little tubes allows for much tighter packing that fits more items into the suitcase. In 2010, the New York Times asked a selection of flight attendants how they managed to pack around 40 garments into one bag – rolling was the answer. It cuts down on wasted space and prevents wrinkling and creases.

Bundle packing

If you thought there could be no such thing as a leftfield approach to something as dull as packing a bag, then you were wrong. Many people swear by the bundle method – they also say it is the one that will leave you with the smallest amount of creases.

Laying down your largest and most vulnerable to creasing items in your suitcase, in turn add layers of progressively smaller and more robust clothing to your pile. If you are packing trousers, make sure you lay them in alternating directions; otherwise you will end up with a bulk of waistbands at one end. Once you have finished add your ‘core’ – a bundle of underwear and other items you’re not afraid of creasing. Then fold each layer into the middle of your pile until you reach the outermost garment. What you will end up with is a bundle of all of your clothes that looks like a pillow. You can pick it up in one piece. It’s compact and doesn’t waste an available space in your luggage.

Perhaps one final option would be to say if you don’t need it, then leave it behind. But that would be too easy. Always leave room for your passport.

Featured images:

Guest blog contributed by Simon Belfield, a regular traveller, his love for travelling started on his gap year, using student shipping services to travel Europe for a year.

Comments (2)
  1. Madeleine 07/06/2013
  2. cabin 07/06/2013

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