Packing for a big trip or move can feel overwhelming. When you're frustrated by the pile of clothes in front of you, it can be tempting to shove everything into your suitcase at once and call it a day. But your future self will be thankful to have something smooth to wear once you finally reach your destination. If you want your clothes to stay wrinkle-free in transit, here's what you should do.
According to MarthaStewart.com, the secret to neat, efficient packing is something called bundle-wrapping. Start by gathering the biggest items that are most likely to get wrinkled in your luggage, like dresses, jackets, and stiff pants. Lay down the garment that will make up the outer layer of your bundle face-down into your suitcase and lay the other items face-up on top of it. Part of the clothing should be spilling out of the bag.
Once those items are taken care of, add the next layer to the pile. This could include shirts and blouses. If you're packing button-up tops, make sure to secure the fronts and have the collars parallel to the hinge-side of your case. Don't forget to smooth out each item as you lay it down to prevent wrinkling.
The last step is key to ensuring your clothing looks the same in your suitcase as it did on the hanger. Find something small and soft to act as the "core" of your bundle—this could be a makeup pouch, a toiletry bag, or a ball of socks and underwear. Place that bundle in the middle of your clothing pile and carefully wrap the sleeves and pant legs around it. After crossing one side of clothes over the other and making sure everything's tight and secure, you should be ready to zip up your bag.
With this method, you can keep your garments safe without covering them with unsightly wrinkles and creases. It may even be faster than other popular folding techniques espoused by the internet. Here are more travel hacks to try before your next vacation.
[h/t Martha Stewart]