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Do a prepack
The easiest way to speed up the time it takes to pack is to limit the amount of actual packing that needs to be done. Sounds obvious, right? And yet, most people start filling their bags from scratch every time. Some things to keep in your suitcase, even when it’s in storage: a bathing suit, umbrella, a phone cable – things people often have extras of around the house. A full toiletry kit is a must for frequent travellers.
Prep go bags
A “go bag” is a kit of supplies you have at the ready, to use as needed. A dopp kit is an obvious one, as is a camera bag – but why stop there? Consider your hobbies and travel style. Outdoorsy? Store hiking supplies – walking poles, hat, binoculars, compass, etc. – in a backpack you can just grab and go. Often take long-haul flights? Create an in-flight pouch with items such as a toothbrush, earplugs and face cream.
Of course, not everything can be packed ahead of time. But you can use physical prompts for non-clothing items you might otherwise forget. A glasses case reminds contact lens wearers to pack spectacles for nighttime. A pill holder is an indicator to grab medication. A jewellery roll makes you consider whether accessories are required. Play around with what works for you.
Organize your clothes
Whether a well-organized dresser drawer or closet rail can improve your day-to-day life is up to Marie Kondo to debate – but without a doubt it makes packing a breeze. Consider shirts (although it holds true for all garments): Fold your sleeveless tops, T-shirts, sweaters and cardigans neatly and you won’t waste time rummaging. Grabbing what you need to suit the weather at your destination becomes a snap.
List in bag, review after trip
Apps that generate packing lists can be helpful, but sometimes it’s better – and easier – to DIY. At the end of your next trip, make a list (hard copy or digital) of items you found to be essential. Refer to it next time you pack and – this is crucial – next time you unpack. Did you use anything up, perhaps toothpaste or shampoo? Replace it now. Had to buy something on the road? Add it to the list.