5 tips to help you pack like a pro

Dec. 27, 2012 at 10:38 AM ET

With ever-changing airline rules and restrictions, packing can get stressful. But it doesn’t have to be.

Here are five quick strategies to make your packing routine more efficient.

1. Use shoe bags and packing organizers

Shoe bags keep clothes clean and shoes in order. Put smaller items like socks and underwear in packing cubes or bags so that they are easy to find.

Related: Most annoying airport security checkpoints

2. Pack larger items first and put heavy items at the bottom

Shoes, jeans, and corduroys should go at the bottom so that lighter items don’t get squished as much.

3. Roll casual items

The rolling method works well for casual clothes, such as jeans and t-shirts; belts can also be rolled.

4. Limit quantities and wear what you can

Limit yourself to three pairs of shoes — pack two and wear one — and wear your heaviest shoes, as well as blazer or big sweaters, onboard. A puffer coat, which can be squished, packs better than others. If your coat is bulkier, wear it onboard.

5. Pack accessories, lighter clothes, and smaller items at the end

This strategy will fill in spaces and make liquids and lotions easily accessible in 3-ounce containers in a zip-top bag to take out at security. Button-down shirts and lighter items can also go on top.

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