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Packing Carry On Luggage How to Pack a Carry On Suitcase


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  • Shoes should be placed in the bottom of the suitcase in shoe bags if you have them. If not, and they are not clean, use any type of plastic bag, one per shoe, so as you can separate each shoe and have more room on the bottom. Before putting them in the bag, put belts, socks, phone chargers, etc.inside the shoes and the shoe bags.

  • Take your curling iron, hair blower, and any odd size items and place between the individual shoe bags. Fit them nice and snug.
  • Underwear, swimsuits and pajama's can also be placed around the shoes and before the folded items.

    You can fold the pajama's and put in with the soft items.

  • Heavy items of clothing, such as jean, sweatshirts, jackets, and sweaters, should go next. You want to make two individual sides and a well defined middle of the suitcase.
  • Fold the jeans, pants, capri's, shorts, etc. Fold them in half with waist meeting bottom of legs then fold in half again. Place the fold to the front of the suitcase.

    Remember to put heavy items on the bottom, building the stack of pants by the weight of the pant.

  • Fold shirts, sweaters, tops, jackets, etc. . . Lay your shirts on a flat surface, face down, and fold sleeves to middle back, bottom to neckline, neckline to fold line, fold to front of suitcase.

    Remember to place heavy items on bottom and soft items on top.

  • Next place very fine clothing, including linen, velvets, and satins. These tend to shift or wrinkle in travel, so after carefully folding the items as directed, use tissue paper to individually wrap the item.

  • Now, if you have odds and ends, place in between the stacks and in the middle of the two rows of your nicely folded clothes. Use large zip lock bags for all of your hair products, tooth paste, body care and facial products. This is just in case the air pressure from the plane would cause them to leak out and make a mess on your other items.

    Place this in the zipper portion of your carryon.

For more how-to guides and pictures, visit

Vickie Hansen is an professional interior decorator and seamstress with a passion for organization and making life less messy. Read her how-to articles, product guides, and time/money-saving tips at


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