The Best Way to Pack a Suitcase – Tips from a Pro

I’ve never really known how to pack a suitcase efficiently. I was born without an organization gene.

It doesn’t matter that I’ve traveled the world for over 17 years, I’ve only ever packed a suitcase one way – throw everything in the bag, sit on it, and then zip it up.

And then get the shits three weeks later when I can’t find anything. It wasn’t too bad when I had my backpack because the different compartments helped me stay a little organized.

My shoes would go in the bottom compartment of my backpack, my clothes in the top rolled and strapped down and my towel laying on top of that. It was pretty simple.

But, now we are road tripping, with kids, we have suitcases, and a little more room. The disorganization was driving me insane. I could never find the shirt or pants I really needed as it was one tangled up mess. And finding the kids clothes was a constant shambles.

And then I discovered packing cells.

Why did I never know about these before? God, I live under a rock sometimes.

I found some in the Kathmandu store in Melbourne, but held off buying them because I felt they were too expensive to justify the benefits I’d get from the organization. I’d just keep sucking up the mess.

But, then it would lead to head explosion, so I marched down to Kathmandu determined to just put it on the credit card and pay it off later.

I believe in the magic of the Universe. When you set your intention for your heart’s desire it delivers – this time with a 60% off sale. Hello cheap packing cells.

Hello organized suitcase and a return to sanity.

How to pack a suitcase efficiently

Packing cells are bloody awesome. In each packing cell, I have rolled up each item and arranged my clothes based on type and season.

  • Cell 1: Dresses and skirts
  • Cell 2: Singlets and T-Shirts
  • Cell 3: Shorts and work out gear
  • Cell 4: Winter clothes (btw the so-called Aussie summer is crap in Melbourne right now)
  • Cell 5: Swimmers and sarongs
clothing in a travel pack
Dresses & Skirts
Pack & Go
Pack & Go

I’ve done similar packing arrangements for the girls. I have a mixture of large packing cells and smaller packing cells. You can get a pack of different sized packing cubes from Amazon here. (cheaper than Kathmandu)

In the top zipped section of the suitcase is where I put my underwear. And on top of the packing cells I lay out my folded jackets and shoes.

Not only has it made finding my clothes that much easier and faster, it also saves a lot of extra room in your suitcase.

UPDATE: I have since found the ultimate packing solution for your underwear!

All my cells
All my cells

Before my trip to Kathmandu, I also had my toiletries scattered across a few different bags, which was also driving me to the loony bin. The large toiletry bag I had my eye on for ages was also on the 60% sale – woohoo!


Happy happy days.

Now it’s all in one place and I just pick it up and walk it down to the showers when it’s time to freshen up.

This travel cosmetic bag on Amazon has rave reviews.

It’s pretty easy to learn how to pack a suitcase efficiently. It’s best to spend the extra money for the packing cells to give you a little more sanity.

Trust me, after 15 years of world travel, I’d say this is one of the best inventions ever!

More Packing Tips:

Do you use packing cells? How do you pack your suitcase efficiently?

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