How to pack a suitcase if you have too many clothes

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  • Knowing how to pack a suitcase might not seem like an essential skill, but it can make all the difference when you’re trying to save space.

    There are many holiday packing tips you can follow, however our fashion editors at Marie Claire know a thing or two about packing clothes, thanks to travelling for shoots (pre-Covid of course).

    We have some good rules when it comes to narrowing down your wardrobe, whether it’s for a weekend break or a longer holiday.

    What clothes to pack for a holiday

    First off, prepare your case up to a week before your trip, adding clothes and accessories in as and when you remember them. It really helps making a list of all the activities you plan on doing (eg, sunbathing, sightseeing, going out for cocktails at a fancy bar, having dinner on the beach) as this will dictate which outfits to pack.

    It may seem like overkill, but planning a daily outfit diary will save any last minute panics, and when you’re on your holiday, you won’t think twice about what to wear. If you can, unpack your clothes when you get to your destination, and organise them by day.

    If you can’t be bothered to plan too much though, here’s a simple rule: don’t pack things you wouldn’t wear at home, and choose layers in neutral shades, as they have better chances to go with everything else.

    How to pack a suitcase

    Practically speaking, there is a way to pack clothes that can make the difference between lugging a medium suitcase around versus a massive one (on that note, do shop our pick of the best luggage here).

    Always lay shoes in first, in pairs on the sides. Fill in any gaps with belts (rolled up), jewellery and lingerie. Then lay clothes flat. Alternatively, pack shoes and accessories in the top section of your suitcase, and roll your clothes up in the bottom section.

    Another easy space-saving solution is rolling up socks and underwear and stuffing them in handbags or shoes, this will also ensure they keep their shape instead of potentially getting flattened during your travels.

    If using a soft holdall, use the same rules for shoes and accessories, but roll your clothes. For tangle-free jewellery on the move, store your daily treasures in a daily pill dispenser (we like this one from Amazon) for a cheap and easy alternative to a jewellery roll or pouch.

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