Packing 101 is a common term for an important but often ignored aspect of any packing, travel or home buying experience. Packing a suitcase is easy when you have the right tools and organization tips. When you pack your most important items first thing in the morning, it’s often easier to manage than at midnight the next day. That’s because the items you want to get to quickly and easily are placed at the top of your luggage pile, right where they belong. But following some simple packing guidelines before you travel can make the packing process not only easier but more efficient too.

Always know what you’ll be taking with you before packing. Use common sense and always read through packing lists to be sure there’s nothing that’s needed by other items that aren’t on the list. If you’re flying alone, pack light. If you’re traveling with family, make sure all your children have individual luggage marked for their specific needs. If you’re going by plane, consider using wheeled suitcases so you have easy access to everything.

A basic rule of thumb for packing is to think of it as an arrangement rather than as a piece of luggage. It doesn’t make sense to try to fit so much stuff into a small suitcase. Think about it this way – the packing process of your trip should include the enjoyable aspects of your trip, not the hassles of the trip being over! If the packing is taken out of context, the whole experience can turn from relaxing to a stressful event.

In addition, you should also not overstuff your suitcase in the hope that you will have enough room for emergency items later. In reality, unless you’ve arranged to have emergency items brought along with you, chances are you won’t need them at all. You should leave at least some space in your suitcase for a few clothes you plan to wear for a short time when you travel. And don’t worry if you have to leave these items at home; having a small storage container for socks and underwear is the perfect solution.

Another mistake some people make is to try to pack too tightly. When packing for a travel vacation, a suitcase should allow for air flow, but the same is not always true when packing for travel. This can lead to pressure sores in your shoulders and in the back of your leg. One trick is to look at the packing list you have prepared and see what the limitations are for things like suitcases, shoes, and other items. Then you can plan your packing process around these limitations. If there are no limitations on the items you need to bring, consider only those items you need for the trip.

Finally, one last mistake many people make is to try to put off packing for their trip until the last minute. Putting off packing for one week could lead to two main problems: packing too much and not packing enough. If you’re traveling by plane, the best case scenario is to start packing a few weeks before your departure date. However, if you’re shipping or crossing the country, it’s best to start several months before you leave for your trip. This will give you ample time to find and obtain the items you’ll need while on vacation. Packing your suitcase properly is one of the most important elements of the packing process, so don’t overlook it.