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NYC Professional Organizer Advice for Vacation Packing

Your flight is booked, hotel reservations are made, sunscreen is purchased – all that’s left is vacation packing. Whether you tend to begin packing well in advance of a vacation or are a last-minute packer, utilizing a few favorite organizing strategies from this NYC Professional Organizer can not only make the process less stressful but also help you to travel more efficiently and arrive with everything you need.

Like most projects, professional organizers in NYC recommend starting vacation packing with a list. If you travel often, you’ll want create a list on your computer so that you can update and re-print it each time you pack. If you have children, create lists for them too. In addition to clothing items, be sure to include everything you need for a trip – toiletries, medications, sports equipment, etc. When packing for kids, be sure their list includes their special items. For young children you’ll likely want to bring a stuffed animal, night light, books, small toys. A teenager’s list should include books, iPod, cell phone, phone charger, retainer and other items they’ll need on the trip. To get started on creating a packing list, here are a few resources:

TravelSense Personalized Packing List
TravelSmith Packing Checklist
Rick Steves’ Packing Lists
Packing List for Babies & Toddlers
Packing List for School-Age Children

The last thing you want to do on vacation is press clothes, so it’s important to use packing methods that will preserve your apparel during travel:

Don’t overload – With most airlines charging fees for baggage, it’s tempting to stuff as much as possible into your suitcase. Create your vacation packing list and stick to it. Professional Organizers in NYC suggest determining which items might be available at your destination so you don’t need to pack them. Many hotels provide hair dryers, iPod docks, clothing irons, beach towels, bathrobes and more.

Pack in plastic – Place hanging outfits in dry cleaning bags (one per bag) to reduce friction and keep clothes from wrinkling. Plastic zip-top bags are great for packing shoes, toiletry items, medications and accessories. Pack a few extra plastic bags for storing wet items on your return trip.

Roll it up – Rolling jeans and t-shirts takes up less space in your suitcase and helps keep them from wrinkling.

Into the fold – For shirts and sweaters, smooth wrinkles and button all buttons. Place front-down on a flat surface and fold sleeves in at the shoulders. Fold one third of the material from the bottom and another third from the top, making a neat square.

Pack it up – You’ll want to fill all of the space in your suitcase so that items don’t shift and get crushed. Lay out all items before putting anything into your suitcase. Place stacked clothing into suitcase and fill in around it with rolled clothes. Shoes can fill in empty spaces; place socks into shoes or other openings.

If you’re traveling by plane, your vacation packing should include placing toiletries, medications, eye glasses, sunscreen and perhaps a change of clothes for your arrival in your carry-on bag in case your checked luggage is delayed. Keep in mind current limitations on liquids that can be packed in a carry-on bag. The 3-1-1 rule is this:  3.4 ounce (100ml) bottles or less (by volume); 1 quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag; 1 bag per passenger. If you have a long flight, bring along an inflatable neck pillow, small throw blanket and a good book to help you get into a vacation frame of mind before you even arrive.

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