2.16.2015

How To Pack Your Life In A Suitcase


image source graphics by me
For a person who hates packing, the process of moving to New Zealand changed me. I was a lot more organised and looked up packing hacks, made lists and researched a whole lot before packing my belongings. I had to part with a lot of my things and stick to stuff that I NEEDED and found absolutely necessary for my year abroad. Along my packing process, that lasted a whole week, I learnt that it's ok to leave some things behind and move forward. Parting with a majority of your wardrobe can be scary. If you're a recent high-school grad moving to college or if you're someone like me moving to a whole new country, you might find this helpful. I made sure that I packed everything I needed within my baggage limit! Impossible? It's easier than you think!

Ask around

Your friends or their friends might be living in the country you're moving to so ask them about the weather there, what you need to carry, what's expensive there that may be cheaper in your country. Also, some things can be bought there itself, like bed sheets or duvets. This way you can pack what's absolutely necessary.

Baggage Limit

Don't forget to find out about your baggage limit. Some airlines specify the weight and the number of bags that you can carry. You don't want to be the person who misses their flight just because you didn't pack below the limit.

Download list apps

Apps like Wunderlist, Any.do and Todoist are super helpful to make checklists. Keep making lists from your toiletries to things you need to buy.

Prepare

If you, like me, are moving to a country where stuff is a lot more expensive, invest in things that will help you immensely. Whether it's winter clothes or utensils, make sure you buy these things before and not spend a bomb later.

Bare necessities

Pack your clothes first. Stick to pieces you'll always wear and leave the things that you've barely worn in the last few months. I know it sounds basic but trust me it's easier said than done. Tackle the clothing behemoth before you pack anything else. Do you think you'll wear your denim waistcoat often? Understand the importance of timeless, basic pieces. What about that opulent sequinned dress that doesn't fit you any more? Leave all of that behind and pack things that you wear often. Only pack the "rarely-worns" if you have more space (doubtful about that!)

Jewellery

Cloth bags work well for storing jewelry. I used 3 cloth bags, one for necklaces, one for rings and one for earrings. It helps to be organised before hand and it'll definitely leave you less time to unpack.

Medicines

Go to your doctor and ask them for a prescriptions for every tablet, syrup or cream you need. Sometimes countries ask you to declare medicines. Also, make sure you have a prescription from a certified doctor. Apply for heath insurance wherever you're moving to. It's better to be safe than sorry.

Edibles

Google the country that you're moving to and find out about what you need to claim and what you don't. Some countries don't allow pickles or nuts, so be absolutely sure of what contents are in your bag and claim whatever's in it.

Electronics

From your camera, to USB cords and other miscellaneous electronic mumbo jumbo, list them all out. Don't forget to pack your chargers, camera bags and other accessories. Roll the wires around your palm and use the little twisty wires that you get with most cords or rubber bands to tie each individual cord. They help keep your cords from getting entangled.

Fragile items

Perfume bottles or ceramic things can be rolled within clothes and bubble wrap. Make sure that they are securely packed in plastic bags. Worst case scenario: your items could break and ruin your clothes.

Creams, lotions and liquids

Be absolutely sure that all your liquids in your checked-in luggage are completely secure and packed in separate plastic bags or zip-lock bags. Shampoo leaks are the worst!

Cabin luggage

Make sure you carry an extra outfit, some underwear.Face wash, hand sanitizer, shampoo and shower gel in see-through plastic containers (available at any luggage store or even online) in your cabin bag. In case your checked in luggage is lost, you'll have fresh clothing and toiletries to get by for another day or so.

Weigh your luggage

Weigh your bag/s before takeoff. You don't want to make hard-hitting decisions right an the airport. If you're in India, ask your local raddhi-wallah to weigh your luggage with their hook-like weighing scales. That's what I did and my bags were exactly within limit! Digital weighing scales are accurate as well.

Wear the heaviest things you own

Wear your thick denim jeans, a thick sweater, a pullover and your heaviest shoes. Imagine the space you're saving! Flights tend to be cold so it only helps!

Do you have some ingenious travel tips? Share them in the comments below!

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