Rolling Your Clothing
Travel packing is an art one must master that can make all the difference in your journey. Every traveler has tricks up their sleeves, whether your packing up for an overnight trip or planning a month-long vacation. But one of the most popular and widely used packing tips is rolling your clothes.
Rolling your clothes is a great way to save time and space while getting everything you need into one suitcase. Plus, it keeps your clothes wrinkle-free, minimizes odors, and ensures your clothing stays clean throughout the journey. But there’s more to rolling your clothes than just shoving them in the suitcase.
“Using careful folding techniques, you can make sure all your clothes will be neatly packed and arrive looking and smelling fresh,” says Ouahiba Benmerzouga, travel coach at LM Outfitters. To ensure you get the most out of rolling your clothes for travel, Benmerzouga shared some of her top tips.
Choose the Right Clothing to Roll
The types of clothes you can and should roll is essential for travel. Benmerzouga says some clothes won’t fold the same after being rolled or may not even fit the rolling technique. “Choose fabrics that crunch quickly and easily,” Benmerzouga explains. “Lightweight fabrics like knits and rayon are the best fabrics to roll, while heavier fabrics and items with stiff fabric can be packed flat in your suitcase.”
Invest in a Lightweight Packing Tool
Zip-up pouches, vacuum storage bags, and packing cubes are all great ways to maximize your travel wardrobe. “Investing in lightweight packing accessories ensures your clothing stays compressed for longer and less wrinkled,” Benmerzouga says. “These types of accessories will really help decrease the space and size of items in your suitcase, allowing you to fit more in.”
Remember to Layer
When rolling your clothes, Benmerzouga recommends creating layers with clothing items. For example, you can create layers of tank tops, then skirts, and then slacks. This will help you create clear boundaries between clothing and make sure your clothing doesn’t get mixed up when you’re unpacking at the other end.
Plus, Benmerzouga recommends creating layers of accessories as well. “When rolling scarves and jewelry together, layer your items on top of each other and roll them into their own tight bundle,” she says. This will keep the items from getting tangled or lost in your suitcase.
Fold First, Then Roll
Benmerzouga says to always fold your clothing first before rolling. Start by folding the clothing left to right or top to bottom. “The size of the item and how thick the fabric is should determine how tightly you should fold it,” she explains. “Tops, tanks, and light sweaters should be folded more loosely while trousers and other heavy fabrics should be folded more tightly.”
Once you’ve folded all your clothing, you’re ready to roll. Begin by taking the fabric in the center and start rolling until you’ve worked your way to the top. “As you roll, remember to keep the roll even in size and shape,” Benmerzouga says. “Rolling different shapes like shoes, underwear, belts, and other small items is also an option—just make sure everything fits snugly and securely within your bag.”
Stuff Smaller Items
When rolling your clothes, Benmerzouga recommends stuffing any small items in between the clothes you’ve already rolled. “Socks, belts, and underwear are all great items to stuff in the center of your clothing rolls,” she explains. “Stuffing these items helps keep your rolls together, which prevents them from falling apart or becoming misshapen. Plus, it saves precious space in your suitcase!”
Now that you’ve got the technique down, you can get rolling. Start by packing the clothes you wear least often first, like the items at the bottom of your suitcase. “This will allow you to keep your warmer and heavier items on top,” Benmerzouga explains. “You can always consider using packing cubes or small bag organizers within your suitcase to separate and keep items organized.”
Creating your own travel packing checklist is key. Benjamin suggests keeping a notepad near you so you can write down any items that you don’t want to forget, like two of your favorite pairs of shoes.
“Take pictures of key items before packing them so you can save them to your phone,” Benmerzouga says. “That way, you always have an idea of what’s stored in each bag or what kind of pattern you used when rolling your clothing.”
When you’ve reached your destination, don’t forget to unroll your clothing as soon as possible. This helps to let items air out and prevents wrinkles. To get started on your packing adventures, remember these tips and roll away.