Master of Fitting Many Things in Little Spaces

If you travel, you pack. If you are moving from place to place, you pack. If you pack, you’re always going to be concerned about space. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you are always going to find that no matter how big the suitcase or the box, you need more space.


Needing more space is a problem in more ways than one.


A lack of room means that you have to give something up when you pack. You may not know what is and is not necessary, so you fret over what you leave behind.


If you’re running out of space, you also start to worry about how to bring it all with you. There is only so much that you can carry or that they’ll let you check-in on a flight.


Squeezing every bit of space out of any container or luggage is, therefore, a critical skill. As the grand poobah of packing and saving space, here’s what I’d consider being basic but easily missed advice on how to pack better and maximise what’s available.


Roll, don’t fold. Tightly-rolled clothing takes up less space than folded ones. As an added benefit, you are also less likely to crease them.


Pack ahead of time. This is true whether you’re flying to China or moving house. Pack early, bit by bit. Only leave behind the stuff you use daily, like toiletries or chargers for electronics.


If you are packing glasses or mugs, stuff your socks in them. This provides protection from breaking and saves space that the socks would otherwise take up. Do the same for bottles or other breakables. If you don’t have enough socks, use gloves or underwear.


Dual-purpose items are excellent for travel. Use blankets that can be folded into pillows or pants that can be converted into shorts.


Pack in layers. Neat layers save a lot of space. As a bonus, if they need to fly, layering makes it easier for security personnel to screen the contents.


If you are moving house, see if you can get a crew like to help. You can ask them to move bulkier or more fragile items ahead of time, for example.


Finally, use and abuse what technology can offer. Compression sacks are a good way to add even more space, simply by vacuum—packing clothes or other small items. If you’re travelling, get digital maps and guidebooks instead of the bulkier print ones.


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