Tissue paper and dry-cleaner bags are essential for wrinkle-free packing. Use the paper to pad the sides of your suitcase, and place it between layers of clothing. Pack business suits and formal dresses inside the bags, then fold them neatly before placing in the suitcase.
Save space by rolling casual clothing: Lay items on a flat surface and roll carefully, smoothing as you go. Try bundling outfits together by wrapping pants around matching shirts. Stuff shoes with socks or underwear to keep the shoes from getting crushed.
Distribute weight evenly in your suitcase or duffel bag by packing the heaviest items, such as shoes and toiletry bags, at the bottom. Make extra space in an almost-full duffel or soft case by carefully dropping it onto a hard surface to help the items settle.
Don't carry full-size toiletries, which are heavy and bulky. Instead, fill small containers with travel-size quantities of such products. When you unpack at home, refill the containers so they'll be ready for your next trip. Store cotton balls and cotton swabs in plastic bags.
Assemble an assortment of helpful travel kits: A first-aid kit filled with items such as bandages, antiseptic, and pain relievers; a sewing kit with needles, thread, and other essentials; and a personal-documents pouch with copies of important papers and phone numbers.