How to Pack Your Suitcase in 30 Minutes or Less

Oct 29, 2020 | Travel Tips

Does packing for trips stress you out? Did you know that you can pack your suitcase in 30 minutes, every time?

Packing doesn’t have to be stressful or time-consuming. By implementing a few tips, you can shave minutes, hours, or even days off of your packing time.

I’m a last-minute packer. (Actually, I excel at doing everything last minute, much to my husband’s dismay.) For me, it doesn’t make sense to pack weeks before a trip. Mostly because if I do pack too far in advance, I’ll run out of underwear before my trip ever starts.

Create a Detailed Packing List

Checklists and packing lists are my jam.  I have created a packing list for a variety of destinations.  Simple Suit, Super Suit, Snow Suit, or Swim Suit; it doesn’t matter what suit you’ll be wearing or where you’re going; it needs a list.

Save Time with Digitized Packing Lists

I have a packing list for camping.  I also have a packing list for amusement parks and Disney, snow trips, and a packing list for city/hotel trips.

For each of these locations, I create a digital master list, then reuse that list every time I visit a similar destination.

If I had to create a new list every time I went on a trip, chances are it would take me a while to create it, AND I’m confident that I would forget an item or two.

Having a master list that you can reuse for each type of vacation eliminates that problem, allowing you to pack your suitcase in 30 minutes!

Packing Lists Can Become Shopping Lists

By quickly glancing over my packing list a week or two before my trip, I can identify any items I may need to purchase.

There’s nothing worse than trying to pack and realizing you don’t have enough pairs of shorts or you’re almost out of deodorant.

To reduce stress, look over your packing list one to two weeks before your trip and run to the store or for anything you may need (or there’s always Amazon Prime).

Do All of Your Laundry…Before You Start Packing

Don’t just do your laundry.  Put it away.  All of it.  Where it goes.  Yes.  Hang it up.  Fold it. Put it in your drawer or your closet.

One to two days before a trip, I make sure that every piece of dirty laundry gets thrown in the wash, dried, and put away.  

You may be wondering, Why not pack using the pile of clean laundry on the couch?

Because it isn’t as efficient.  If every item of clothing is hanging up, my socks stacked where they belong, and my underwear is folded neatly, packing is so much faster.  Everything is within arms reach and it’s easier to see all my options.

Besides, if I know I need to pack five shirts, I can grab all five within 20 seconds.  If I pack as the clothes come out of the wash, it will take me longer, and I’ll have to keep checking to make sure I got the right amount.

Parenting Tip:  Let Your Kids Pack Their Own Suitcase

It certainly seems counterintuitive and isn’t very efficient, but it’s worth it in the long run. Young kids LOVE to help!  

Before my kids could read, I let them help pack their bags. I drew pictures of what they needed to pack and put a number next to it or a tally mark.

They felt empowered to pick out their clothes. It also taught them important life skills like taking ownership, reading, and being responsible.

My kids would use the list to pack their bags, then it would go through a “mom check”. I would double-check to ensure all items were packed on their list and help make wardrobe modifications as necessary.

Now that my kids are older, I print out their list, and they fill up their suitcases without any assistance.


FUNNY STORY:  One time, all three kids were playing in the bedroom while I was working in another part of the house. I went to check on them and found they had pulled EVERY. SINGLE. ITEM. of clothing off their hangers and out of their drawers. I guess they mistook my look of horror and confusion for one of unabashed pride. They turned to look at me, beaming, and said “We’re going on a trip! We’re packing!”


Pack Your Bags, and Hit the Road!

Packing for trips doesn’t have to be time-consuming or stressful.  By implementing these strategies, you’ll be ready to go in as few as 30 minutes!

Do you have any packing strategies that make packing easier?  Can you pack your suitcase in 30 minutes?  Drop a comment below and tell me about it!


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