If you're anything like me, packing is always a hassle. I always bring way too much stuff, the bag never closes all the way and I'm left frustrated. Luckily for you, there are ways to make the bags if not a little lighter, a little more organized for the winter break season. Plus, you never know how much stuff you're going to get around the holidays, so knowing how to pack is a plus!

Roll loose clothes, fold stiff clothes.

Real Simple has this video that explains why this is important. Your loose clothes can be rolled up into clothes burritos, while stiffer items, like blazers, jeans, good pants, etc., can be folded on top. This leaves you with more room instead of folding everything into piles!

Heavy items on the bottom, light items on the top.

Life Hacks says that you'll want to put your heavier clothes at the bottom of the suitcase, since those are the items that you won't be able to squish down when you try to close your suitcase. So, those jeans you folded up? Put them at the bottom, and let your loose clothing burritos sit on top! 

Use the rule of three.

When packing shoes, you'll want three pairs. Real Simple says that the best way to do this is to pack (for girls) loafers or shoes, sneakers and a nice pair of shoes, like heels or flats. They refer to it as the "holy trinity," but also suggest wearing the heaviest pair of shoes while traveling, so they don't drag you down in the airport in your luggage. 

Fragile items in the center. 

This is really important. Often, people will just throw items in a suitcase, but by making sure those valuables and important items are tucked in surrounded by fabrics, you're ensuring that the items aren't going to break, move, budge or wiggle around in your suitcase. 


Replace material with digital.

This sounds weird, but refers to bringing books on vacation. While it sounds nice, sitting by the beach, or sitting inside a cabin reading a book, they can get bulky. If you have a nook, phone, laptop or other electronic device that can hold books, use that instead. This will save room and weight!

Finally, pack the right amount! Lay everything out!  

It's important to remember that you're only going on vacation, it's not a trip for a lifetime. It's a week or two! Lay out all your clothes and only pick what you think you really need. If you're going on a trip for a week, you really only need about five tops, and about three pairs of pants, no more. Being conscious about what you're going to bring is important, don't haul more than you have to!

With the holidays still in full swing, remember that the trip isn't forever and you'll have time to wear all your comfy clothes later in the year. Packing smart can only make you a smarter traveler!

Lead Image Credit: Tom Eversley via Unsplash