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How To Pack A Carry On Suitcase: Women’s Version

In this video I hope to show you most of the tips that I know for packing everything into a piece of carry on luggage. This is my standard suitcase that I use for trips and I just packed it for two conferences in two different climates – one in Seattle, one in Tulsa, Oklahoma – for six full days, and everything went into that carry on. So, I’ll show you how I did that. First of all, I wore this outfit on the plane. It was probably my heaviest shoes, with some basic pants. No belt because that’s a hassle going through security, and a top and then the bulkiest cotton sweater that I have. I also had to bring on a jacket because we’re in October; wouldn’t have to deal with that if it was summertime. With regard to your shoes: yeah, normally I don’t wear socks or hose or anything, but going through TSA (barefoot, floors) gross, gross, gross! Dig out some knee-highs and stick ’em on. So: simple, comfortable, pull-on outfit to wear on the plane. Inside the carry on suitcase…. I’ll open it up here….

this is a TravelPro Rollaboard. This is what it looks like inside. OK, it’s got a pocket up on top with things that I have (you know – dirty underwear.) I’m back from the trip now, so this is the suitcase after the trip. The T-shirt that I sleep in. A sign that says “This bag belongs to:” with my information in case the front tag blows up and falls off. Hair brushes, basic things. And glasses – I normally wear contacts but you always take your spare glasses. As I mentioned, the tag only has my name and my cell phone number so I don’t have to update it, it’s always correct. This is how everything looks when I open up the suitcase. I do use the little strappy things because it sorta keeps things from moving around, and I have my quart-sized Ziplock bag of my allowable TSA fluids right here on top so I can pull it out separately from the rest of my clothing. So, we’ll just dig through this really quick; I’ll show you how I laid it out, how I got everything in here and then I’ll have – you can see across this – this is my bedroom….

you can see all the clothes laid out in a separate scene, so you can see what all went into the bag. So, those go to that side, this is a jersey knit (I’m a huge fan of knits) blazer that I took. You can iron it if you need to. That went up on top to get minimal wrinkling. This is the toiletries kit. Not that much in it, really, because just about everything else is over here in the plastic bag with liquids. Here’s how I do it: I roll everything. This is a sweater that I’ve rolled up and put into the suitcase. Roll stuff up, and then you can fit a lot more than you would be able to ordinarily if you simply folded it.

So that’s the big secret; everyone says “roll things,” they’re absolutely right. Roll ’em up, and you can fit a lot more in here. On this side, this is a pair of trousers that takes to ironing really well. They are folded-up black trousers. This is jewelry; never take really any valuable jewelry with you. I’ve got some larger necklace pieces in here; you know, dangly kinda stuff.

And then I keep all my earrings in this small snap-top thing to keep them contained inside the larger bag. So that sits in that spot. As you can see, that’s a cardigan sweater rolled up, cardigan sweater rolled up…. Huge fan of cardigan sweaters to replace blazers; looks reasonably dressed up and you don’t have to deal with that whole blazer thing. Coming back from Seattle I was even able to cram in a couple of souvenirs. This is a commuter mug from the original Starbucks, and I got a souvenir, yeah, umbrella (laughs) for Seattle.

You’ll notice I used the empty space inside the mug to stick the umbrella. Always, always fill empty space in your suitcase. I was able to bring that home. Rolled stuff up here; this is a skirt that folds up pretty well and can take to ironing. Black skirt; black is good. Another skirt, knit, and tweed – folds up, shake it out. Might need a little ironing but you can wear it. Again: simple, simple, simple. These are a couple of little souvenirs that I was able to pack in here for my kids because I made room for them.

Another top, rolled up. Another umbrella because when I went on the trip I always have an umbrella tucked down here. The important thing to remember in rollaboards is that they have been this dented spot because this is the structure for the wheels so this can be wasted space. Find things that can roll up and stuff into that wasted space right there. These items: all rolled up. So you take them out, unroll them, and you are ready to go with a whole bunch of stuff. This is a pair of trousers that I actually never ended up wearing because they needed hemming and I never got around to it, so that was kinda wasted space. Shoes. This is important with regard to shoes; I try to put them in shoebags if I can. You never waste space in your shoebags. (this is kind of hard to do one-handed here, but….) Hang on a minute. Sorry. Stuffed inside the shoes is socks and more stuff.

Never take wasted space with you. Fill up the shoes with your socks, with your underwear that kind of stuff, and then protect the rest of your clothing with a cover on the shoe. I have pumps, black pumps, here at the bottom of the suitcase. They have things stuffed in them; the belt for one of my skirts, some hose, this is another bag of hose. Yuck, when you gotta wear skirts you gotta wear hose. Bummer. They have to go somewhere. And in this pump, under here, I’ve got extra business cards stuffed inside, and in any spare spot I’ve got scarves. This is a scarf tucked here, because otherwise you’d just have an open spot here that’s kind of funky that nothing fits into.

Some more rolled items down here. Here’s a top laying inside that kind of dented spot where the wheel places are. I ended up never even wearing this ’cause I just didn’t see any need for it so that was kinda wasted space as well. A few things: energy bars tucked in here…. always take your own food so you can be your own Sherpa and you won’t starve to death. Then there’s a front pocket here as well. The top for the Starbucks commuter mug. Some more hose; I think I was really worried about, like, hose crises because I don’t ordinarily wear hose, so I had more than I needed. More energy bars because you never know when you’re going to need energy. But that’s everything fit into the rollaboard. So, here’s everything laid down on the bed that I took in the rollaboard. Six days, two conferences. One, two, three, four, five tops, plus the sixth one that I wore on the plane.

Cardigan sweaters: One, two, three plus the fourth one that I wore on the plane. One blazer out of knit. One windbreaker / jacket-ish type thing. Two skirts: one black, one gray. Two pair of trousers (one taupe that I never wore.) One black…. Actually three pair of trousers: taupe, black, and then the green ones that I wore on the plane. Three pair of shoes, including the brown ones that I wore on the plane. And then assorted sundries: some scarves, an umbrella, couple souvenirs, jewelry, eyeglass cases, sleep shirt, and toiletries, all in that suitcase. Roll ’em up, get ’em in there, never have wasted space and you can do it, too!

As found on Youtube

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