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21 Borderline Genius Packing Tips That Will Save Space And Your Sanity

1. Pack your bags. 2. Take out half of what you packed.

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We asked the BuzzFeed Community how they pack light and for any neat tricks they have for packing smart. Here are some of our favorites!

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1. Use your packing list to make sure you don't leave anything behind on the way back.

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"In the days leading up to a trip, I keep a running list of the items that I want to bring. It takes the guess work out of packing a suitcase, and I never forget my phone charger or that extra pair of sunglasses. As an added bonus, I can use that list when I'm packing to return home to make sure I don't leave anything behind." —kateb525

2. Or utilize your bullet journal for a more thorough prep.

Shaniece Windsor

I'm married and have two children under five. As busy as life is with young children, there is NO way I can pack for a trip without a list.

— Shaniece Windsor

You can check out more of Shaniece's bullet journal on her Instagram.

3. Choose outfits based on activities, not days.

Instead of packing based on days gone, I pack based on the type of activities I'll be doing. For a recent trip to Europe, I knew I'd be mostly sightseeing so I packed two typical sightseer outfits and only one going out/nice outfit. Yes, you'll be wearing the same outfit multiple times, but throw in a couple of layering items like cardigans or scarves and it can last a whole week, or even two. Waist-up accessories can hide the fact that you've been wearing the same thing in every single vacation selfie.

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4. Bring less clothing and do all your shopping when you travel.

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I always plan to buy clothing while traveling. I typically make a list of pieces I've wanted to buy for a while and shoot to buy them while I'm traveling. It's my favorite kind of souvenir because you actually use it and each time you wear a piece you bought abroad, it's a reminder of the trip.

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If you pack everything in a small suitcase and nest it in a larger one, you'll have twice the space on your way back for new clothes. See more tips like this on 19 Instagram Travel Hacks That Are Borderline Genius.

5. Stow each day's necessities in separate plastic bags.

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When packing for my 8-year-old sister, we plan out an outfit for each day we are gone and put it in a gallon plastic bag. Everything from her hair tie to her socks goes in that plastic bag. We then label it with the day she is to wear it on. We always throw in one extra outfit in case of a spill, tear, etc.

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See more packing tips from BuzzFeed Nifty.

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6. Or recycle the packaging from sheet sets.

Any time I buy new sheet sets or other bedding stuff, I always save the zippered bags they're packaged in. They work perfectly for packing anything that might leak. They're also great for packing shoes!

deederbobber

8. Bring half of what you think you need.

I make a pile of everything that I think I'll need, and then only pack half of that.

I've spent months backpacking around the world with just one backpack and it's a system that has never failed me.

fredzesty

9. Pack in advance so you have time to reevaluate.

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I start packing a day or two before by selecting everything I think I will need, then I edit that over the next day. Seeing the pile of stuff you want to bring will make you realize how excessive it is and gives you a chance to think about the usefulness of an item and the space things take up. It's the Coco Chanel philosophy: get dressed and then take off one accessory before you leave the house.

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11. Wash each outfit in the sink and let it dry overnight.

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I bring 3 ounces of detergent and a clothesline, and wash an outfit each evening. I hang it to dry and it's ready to wear again within a day or two.

catlitten

See how dry your clothes overnight here and buy a stretchy clothesline from Amazon for $7.79.

12. Avoid packing jeans if you can.

Lose the denim! Seriously, jeans are heavy. Instead, pack leggings, soft fabric pants, and cardigans. Not only will it make your luggage lighter, but it will also save you heaps of space.

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13. Use packing cubes to avoid destroying your organized bag the second you step in the hotel room.

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I swear by packing cubes. You can just pull out the cubes and put them on the hotel desk, rather than totally unpacking your suitcase every morning.

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Here's a set of 5 cubes from Amazon for $22.95.

14. And leave your ball gown behind. You aren't going to wear it.

Disney

Don't bring anything fancy unless you're absolutely certain you will wear it. I used to always bring one or two fancier outfits because I thought we would go out to a nice dinner or something, but I never actually wanted to change and all the places we went were always more casual, anyway.

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15. Prepare for the worst with your first-aid necessities.

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I keep an "emergency bag" in my suitcase. This bag has Benadryl, Tylenol, anti-diarrhea meds, anti-itch cream, Bandaids, plastic silverware, Lysol wipes, Tums — basically a mini-Walgreens in my suitcase. Life happens, and you don't want to be shitting your brains out at 2 am in a unfamiliar city without anything to quell your tummy troubles (not that I know this from experience or anything...).

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16. Keep necessities in your carry-on.

Always pack spare underwear and a toothbrush in your carry-on. I've been stuck overnight too many times!

laralong

17. Keep your bra's shapes by nesting your socks in the cups.

I roll my underwear really small and put in the cup of my bra like a bowl. Shove it in a back corner like a little bra hut.

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18. And use a carabiner to attach bags or shoes that don't fit onto your luggage.

If I'm not flying, then I attach some of my shoes to my bag with a carabiner. All of my beauty/bathroom stuff has its own small travel bag that either goes in a backpack or is also attached by carabiner.

audreyh4e60b46c1

Here are some carabiners with screw locks for $9.98.

19. Save space in your toiletry bag with shampoo and conditioner bars.

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Using shampoo/conditioner bars really saves space in the liquids bag!

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You can purchase a travel set of shower bars for $5.99 OR try making these paper soap sheets from BuzzFeed Nifty to make your bag even lighter.

20. And cling-wrap any toiletries that have the potential to destroy your clothes.

thebeautydepartment.com

I cling-wrap every single cosmetic product that could leak. Individually. And then pack them in pretty cosmetic pouches. Better safe than sorry.

sweetieb

In order to save plastic and time, just wrap the neck of the bottle underneath the screw top. Learn how to do it here.

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