Pack Like A Pro

This guy show off a cool “clown-car” technique for packing a lot of clothes into your luggage.

The key is to place the the shirts and pants into the luggage with the arms and legs sticking out. Alternate the sides the legs and arms are coming out of. Only after all the shirts and pants are in do you fold all the arms and legs into the bag.

Since the bulk of the material is in the torso of the shirt, or the hips to knees of the pants, you can stuff more clothes in your luggage.

Handy! I’ll have to try this next time I take a trip.

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  1. rpm773 says:

    “Sir, I know your flight leaves in 15 minutes, but we need to inspect your bag…”

    Re-cue the Benny Hill theme…

  2. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    Very clever – until the TSA inspects your luggage and can’t get everything back in.

  3. MDSasquatch says:

    Nothing like looking like a wrinkled up Raggamuffin for an entire trip

    • DarthCoven says:

      …or you just use the hotel iron when you get to your destination.

    • mrscoach says:

      I use this technique, along with rolling certain things. Your clothes come out with LESS wrinkles by packing this way. For one thing, there is no shifting to allow clothes to wrinkle in transit.

      • Leksi Wit says:

        +1 I guarantee you there will be little to no wrinkles if you pack this way.

        Also, as pointed out, most hotels now have irons. And if you are bringing dress clothes or clothes made with dry-clean only-type material, just hang them in the bathroom while you take a hot shower and it will steam out most wrinkling.

        I’ve been using the above packing technique for years, as I hate checking bags. I first heard about it from a friend who roles smaller pieces of clothing up nice and tight, she hides her socks in her shoes and does the same folding technique for long skirts/dresses/pants/large shirts as the guy in the video above.

        Note: Shoes being separated and placed against the exterior walls of the bag, with the sole out is a great space saver too. The guy in the video above does this, nonchalantly, but it makes a huge difference in packing.

  4. Moosehawk says:

    When I pack I roll my shirts and pants up real tight. If you do it right you can avoid wrinkles this way too.

  5. humphrmi says:

    Rolling FTW. I once spent 3 weeks in Asia with just a carry-on that was smaller than most rollerboards.

  6. Beeker26 says:

    Nice touch on the use of Yakety Sax.

    • Hrustar says:

      A couple of thoughts. FIrst, he has what seems to be 15 shirts and only two pairs of pants. Odd ratio in my opinion. Second, how come no one ever packs toiletries in these how to pack videos.

      • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

        Buy on the other side at any drugstore? Many hotels will provide basic things for free as a courtesy($5 of toiletries is a small dent in a 3 night stay at $50 a night to them)?

  7. Aeirlys says:

    The packing tip I’m waiting for is the one that does this for shoes, accessories, toiletries, and gadgets. It’s not the clothes that cause the bulk – it’s all my peripherals.

  8. JRules says:

    Thats going to suck if you are traveling hotel to hotel, you have to unpack everything instead of just a few things at a time

    • DarthCoven says:

      I do that anyway. I hate living out of the suitcase and would much rather unpack into the drawers and closet at the hotel. My grandfather keeps two empty drawers for me at his place for me to unpack into. It makes life so much easier.

      • shepd says:

        You don’t want to use the hotel furniture like that unless you’re certain the hotel is bed-bug free. Better to keep the luggage in the bathtub or at least on a luggage stand away from the bed and furniture.

  9. Aeirlys says:

    The packing tip I’m waiting for is the one that does this for shoes, accessories, toiletries, and gadgets. It’s not the clothes that cause the bulk – it’s all my peripherals.

    • c!tizen says:

      whoa, deja’ vu.

    • ARP says:

      A few tips:

      You can stuff underwear, socks, or other small items into your shoes.
      Reduce the number of shoes- have your walking shoes and your dress shoes. If you’re lucky, they can be the same.
      If you’re traveling, you probably don’t need a lot of jewelry.
      Depending on where you go, you can buy many tolietries instead of bringing them with.
      Buy travel size items (even if your full size version technically fits). A little more expensive, but saves precious space.
      Ask yourself what’s the worst that’s going to happen if you don’t bring that item with and you think you need it.

      Much of it depends on where you’re going. If you’re going to vegas or other place to heavily partake in the “scene,” looking just right may be really important. If you’re going to Paris for a few days, you’ll need to look good, but the world won’t end if you don’t have the perfect shoes.

  10. wiggie2gone says:

    take a video of the soldiers packing while leaving Iraq at customs. You will know how to pack your stuff in less then 10 minutes.

  11. mac-phisto says:

    i have these awesome packing things called “pack-its” by eagle creek – here’s an example: http://www.travelcountry.com/shop/eagle-creek/pack-it-folders/eagle-creek-pack-it-folder-15.html

    the folder comes with two plastic inserts that you use to fold your clothes & then you compress them all in the pack-it folder. the one i have holds a week worth of pants & shirts in a fraction of the space of simply packing it & no wrinkles. i know some people will balk at the idea of paying for a packing device, but the way i see it, it’s worth it b/c i never have to check a bag – i can always fit a vacation’s worth of clothes in my carry-on.

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      That’s pretty neat. I might have to get one. I really don’t like paying a fee to check a bag that might or might not arrive at my destination; neither do I want to wear the same clothes all weekend.

  12. JonBonWonton says:

    I spy Three Keyboard Cat moon.

  13. rbb says:

    He’s obviously not packing for a business trip. I’d hate to see how he packs a couple of business suits and long sleeve dress shirts…

  14. pinecone99 says:

    Pretty neat, but this guy is the real pro – http://www.vimeo.com/14709958

  15. william says:

    i don’t really understand these articles.

    It’s always about packing “more” stuff in the same bag. What if I need something in the bottom of the stack?

    I always thought “packing like a pro” is about how to pack your stuff so you essentially get to you stuff without leaving a big mess after you found it…

    • Marshmelly says:

      Why would you want to get to any of your stuff on an airplane? The things you really need should go in a small bag/purse for easier access, and the rest you just unpack when you get to your hotel/wherever. I don’t think you’ll be needing 20 tshirts and pants during your flight haha.

    • mechteach1 says:

      I agree. On many of my trips, I can spend only 1-2 days per hotel room. There is no point in unpacking everything every time. Instead, I’ve developed a packing methodology for myself that lets me live out of my suitcase, shifting items around like a sliding puzzle to separate the clean from the dirty (or un-rewearable).

  16. webweazel says:

    If you will have a washer/dryer available where you will be traveling to, packing is so much easier. I packed my clothes/shoes PLUS my 5 year old’s clothes/shoes for a 3 week trip in a small (smaller than the one shown on the video) wheeled carry-on. I carried a shoulder-style bag for tickets, electronics and chargers, TSA ziploc bag toiletries, and snacks. My kid carried a small backpack for games and snacks on the plane.
    Of course, this is what the bag fees have forced us to do.

  17. Skankingmike says:

    Wife has done this for years, learned from her dad and his dad before him (Navy EOD) She packs for a week+ with one carry on.

    Despite most of the comments about “wrinkled” it’s actually less likely to be wrinkled than traditional “folding” methods.

    and somebody asked about “business”
    When my wife and I went on our Honey moon we chose Alaska and a cruise (figured it would be the only time we go).

    We had to pack for formal dining. so she packed 3 dresses, my 1 suit and several dress pants and shirts.

    Nothing wrinkled and we had 1 bag.

    our carry bags(this is where a “man purse” comes in handy) had nothing in them going but were filled with gifts and trinkets coming back.

    While I loved Alaska I will never take another cruise again.

  18. ellemdee says:

    I do this when I pack and I use a similar system when I get home from the grocery store and realize I don’t have much room left in my freezer, except I call it the Tetris method.

  19. xnihilx says:

    I think this is cool and awesome. Also, I will probably employ this technique when I travel next month.

    I do want to point out this is just clothing. There’s no toiletries or anything along those lines. That’s what usually takes up the bulk of the room in my bags.

  20. ARP says:

    I know this is slightly off topic, but a better way to approach this whole issue is to discuss how you can pack less stuff:

    1) Mix and match
    2) Wash clothes
    3) Layers
    4) Don’t pack every “what if” outfit
    5) Leave behind clothes
    6) Buy what you need there

  21. 333 (only half evil) says:

    “Alternate the sides the legs and arms are coming out of. Only after all the shirts and pants are in do you fold all the arms and legs into the bag.”

    Actually he left the legs and shirt tails out until last, not the sleeves.

  22. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot says:

    Interesting technique. I’ll have to give it a try one day. My preferred packing method involves the use of vacuum bags – suck all the air out and you are reducing the majority of the bulk.

  23. Rachacha says:

    I regularly pack 2 business suits, 5 dress shirts, some casual clothes (jeans & polo shirts) shoes underwear along with cell phone chargers, GPS and other electronic gizmos and paperwork for the meetings I will be attending in a single roll aboard bag for a 1 week business trip.

    When traveling for pleasure, I usually pack in the extra space left over in the suitcases that my wife and kids pack (which works out well as if we get a lost bak, I always have clean clothes to wear).

  24. sweaterhogans says:

    As female, I initially emulated my mother’s horrible packing sense with 4 shoes and a sack of jewelry and makeup. Now that I never need to pack those things, packing is rather quick and stress free! I only travel with carry on luggage (unless there’s some rare occasion I need a ridiculous amount of clothes and shoes like an Indian wedding). I usually pack half the amount I need for a trip (ie 10 day trip = 5 pairs of underwear and I wash it in the hotel’s bathroom), and I put it all in a ziploc bag with the air removed. 2 gallon bags and perhaps a quart bag are all I need and there’s still plenty of room left over for souvenirs.

  25. James says:

    I think I own less total clothing than this. Or at least wear and rotate through less than pictured on a seasonal basis.

    I travel with the same size bag shown (I use an Eagel Creek Twist 22) and I travel with about 6-7 shirts, a few undershirts, some nice jeans (dark colored) and have plenty of room for my laptop, books, camera and gear, snack food power converter toiletries and and extra pair of nice shoes if I’m headed to a wedding or work trip. None of those extras (except for shoes) are shown here. And everyone carries at least some of that, especially a 3-1-1 bag.

    p.s. gallon plastic bags are great for storing socks (with the air squeezed out) and another one is great for worn shirts/underwear.

  26. Sian says:

    Not so fun when you pull this 40 pound carryon from the overhead storage and klonk a flight attendant with it, and he flips out, curses at you and dives out the emergency slide.

  27. Not Given says:

    My husband claims the refrigerator is the Tardis and waits for me if he wants to put something in there. He seems to think the same thing about my purse and the trunk of my car. One time he stood in the parking lot with his arms folded and said, “Okay, I want to see how you do this.”

    • mrscoach says:

      My son is an expert packer, both of suitcases and car trunks or even trailers. His youth group was taking a trip and filled up the trailer with luggage, but some wouldn’t fit. He pushed them all aside and said he could fit it all in. The older men laughed and said there was no way it was all going in. He started by emptying everything out and pointing to specific pieces to be handed and repacked the whole trailer himself, and had space to spare and nothing got crushed. The men were shocked.

  28. samonela says:

    All well and good until you try to check a bag only to find that you are 4 lbs. over the 50 lbs limit.

    “That will be a $100 overweight-bag fee sir…”

  29. !caybay says:

    I have never found space to be the issue when packing, it is always weight restrictions. It’s especially bad when you’re going long distances on multiple carriers with different restrictions. Let’s see some pro tips for that!

  30. Ducatisti says:

    I use this technique when we’ll be staying at the same hotel our entire vacation. Clothes don’t wrinkle as much as with rolling or folding, and everything does take less space.

    Can’t use it on trips where we move around a lot though, it’s impossible to remove one item without unpacking/repacking the entire suitcase.

    Like others have said, packing less is the best policy. We take month-long motorcycle trips and my entire wardrobe consists of 1 pair of jeans, 1 pair of shorts, Smartwool midweight bottom and top that do double duty as thermal underwear and pj bottoms / regular shirt, 1 long-sleeve poly “wicking” shirt, one short sleeve of the same, one silk nightshirt that doubles as an overblouse. 3 pairs of quick-dry underwear and socks, 2 bras. That’s it. Everything except the jeans can be washed in the sink and air-dries overnight.

    I’ve tried compression bags, mesh organizer bags, box-shaped packers, everything, and never found anything that really helped keep clothes better than if I didn’t use these gadgets.

    I do keep our swimsuits (when we bring them) in a 1 gallon ziplock bag, keeps them together and can also be used to keep a damp suit from getting the rest of the stuff wet.

    Now if someone could figure out a way to reduce all the power cords I need to bring???