How many times have you arrived at your destination and opened your packed suitcase to see a sad, crumpled pile of clothes? Heavy sigh. It happens to the best of us.
The solution is called "bundle-wrapping," and it works like magic. The premise involves layering your clothes, then gently folding them around a central core item (think: a makeup pouch or a small bundle of softer items like socks and undergarments) to form a giant mass or "bundle." This technique prevents creases and fine wrinkles, and keeps everything compactly secure. And unlike other packing methods, such as rolling, which add packing volume and might not stack neatly, there is no wasted space. Best of all, it can be repacked speedily -- especially in the event that airport security needs to inspect (more like entirely unpack) your tidy work!
It's worth mentioning that this method works best with a structured suitcase (like the one pictured here). Don’t overpack; stuffing too many items to the point where they are forced into fitting the case defeats the purpose.
Ready to try it? So here's what to do:
In order for this to work, the articles of clothing must be layered in a certain order. Larger, more wrinkle-prone articles such as jackets, blazers, dresses, skirts, trousers, and jeans form the outer layer. Start by layering these items, laid flat over your suitcase. If your first item is a jacket, lay it into the suitcase facing down. Everything else on the aforementioned list should be placed facing up. For our demonstration, we layered a pair of jeans and khaki pants, folded lengthwise horizontally.
Next, spread out your next layer. For our demonstration, we used a collection of long-sleeved shirts and blouses. Button the fronts of shirts and close up zippers, smoothing everything out as you go along to avoid any wrinkles. Layer them so that the collars align with the top edge of your suitcase and the sleeves hang naturally over the side edges.
At this point, consider what you will use as the "core." This could be a small tote for toiletries, or a miniature bundle of folded socks or undergarments. This core is placed in the center of the bundle, atop your folded clothes.
Carefully, fold the sleeves and trouser pant legs -- first one side, then the other -- horizontally overlapping each other so that they wrap around the core to form one giant bundle. Make sure that the articles of clothing are pulled taut to discourage wrinkles, but not so taut that it stretches out the fabric. (Or your clothes won't hold their shape for very long.) And voila! If you have internal straps, it's a good idea to use them to tuck your bundle securely inside. If not, you can always tuck the edges with shoes or smaller accessories like a scarf or bathing suit.