In the last 12 months, I’ve visited 17 cities, racked up tons of frequent flier miles and spent many nights in hotel rooms. Traveling is part of my job. I love it, but packing and unpacking can be a huge hassle.
To help ease packing anxiety, I’ve mastered the art bundle packing. Forget about rolling and stuffing stacks of clothing into a suitcase. Today’s smart men and women bundle pack.
Bundle packing is a short process that allows me to pull clothing from my suitcase wrinkle-free. The concept, in short, is the action of wrapping larger items around smaller items.
Step 1: Sort Clothing By Size
I lay my clothing across my bed or a clean floor and I sort it according to size. Jackets, coats and dresses form the outer layers of my bundle followed by short-sleeved shirts, long-sleeved shirts, pants, knits, sweaters and then shorts, underwear, and socks.
Step 2: Create The Core
I create my core by wrapping my undergarments, swimwear and socks inside a T-shirt, handkerchief or scarf and place them to the side.
Step 3: Button Up
I make sure I button my clothes so they maintain their shape. The reason is that it helps prevent my bundle from falling apart and/or becoming an unruly mess.
Step 4: Lay Out Large Items
I begin bundle wrapping by laying my jackets, sweaters and dresses face down. This preserves and prevents my nice clothing from being tousled by the other clothes in the bundle. Let the jacket sleeves lay flat for the moment.
Step 5: Add Layers
Next, I add my long-sleeved shirts. I’ll layer a short dress or a shirt face-up on top, in the opposite direction, overlapping at the sleeves. Alternate short dresses and shirts north and south. This also keeps the bundle even on both ends. Once more, I allow the sleeves to extend out and smooth them before adding the next layer of clothes. Now, I place short-sleeved shirts on top of the long-sleeved shirts, and continue alternating. I add a pair of pants (folded lengthwise) or a long dress horizontally, with the waistband aligning with the left edge of the pile. I add another pair of pants in the opposite direction and alternate pants and skirts east and west. Then, I add sweaters and knits north and south, shorts east and west. When finished, I add the core from Step 2 in the middle of my clothes. My clothes should look like a four-way crossing or a large plus sign.
Step 6: Work Backward And Fold
I begin working backward (from shorts to knits to sweaters and so on), individually folding each item around the core. For tops and dresses, I wrap the sleeves before I wrap the body of the bundle. I have a square bundle.
Step 7: Get Ready to Bundle
Carefully set the wrapped-up square bundle inside of my suitcase. I can anchor it with the internal tie-downs. Ta-da! A completed bundle.