Menz Magazine

Here’s How to Maximize Space as You’re Packing

Photo: Michael Hession

The key to successful travel begins before you leave the house. Packing is a chore for the majority of people. It has been for a long time for me. I’ve never been a particularly good traveler. The planes are insufficient. I don’t adjust well to time zone shifts. The worse I felt, the simpler it was to misplace or lose items when traveling.

The simplest method to reduce my stress was to figure out how to limit what I brought with me and arrange how I packed. But the most important thing is to not overthink it. Packing to maximize space while reducing confusion is just as tough as you make it.

Photo: Sarah Kobos

Reduce what you need to pack

Clothes are sometimes the most heavily packed item. There are various strategies for determining how much you need, but the best strategy I’ve found is to lay out the clothes you want to take, then be honest about how much you need. Remove one or two additional things from your packing list once you’ve limited it down to what you believe is the bare minimum. Yes, you heard correctly.

If you’re prone to overpacking and may benefit from an external organization, restrict yourself intentionally: Choose and stick to modest carry-on luggage or travel backpack.

If you enjoy generating lists, you may try using a template like the 5,4,3,2,1 method as a starting point, which proposes the following for a weeklong trip:

  • five pairs of socks and five pairs of underwear
  • four tops
  • three bottoms
  • two pairs of shoes
  • one hat and accessory

Other experts propose a 3:1 ratio, three tops for every bottom packed.

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