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6 Tips for Wrinkle-Free
1. Lighten Your Load
Jamming your suitcases as full as a subway at rush hour will leave your
clothes as exhausted as a crushed commuter. Clothes become wrinkled
almost as soon as you shove that last leaden item into your bag. The
easiest things to jettison? Hairdryers and clothes irons. Almost every
hotel room (and hostel) in the world has these items to lend.
2. One Word: Plastic
If you remember only one word in your packing efforts, this is the one.
And here's why: friction causes wrinkling, plastic reduces friction.
It's that easy. The best way to utilize this basic plastic physics
is with dry-cleaner bags. All hanger items should be packed in individual
bags (one outfit per dry-cleaner bag). Clothes arrive in a perfectly
preserved state. Really! Another great plastic tip: zip-top baggies.
Use these for
dirty shoes, shampoo bottles, or anything else you want to isolate from
your good clothes.
3. Rolling, Rolling, Rolling
You have two options for items that you're not hanging: folding or rolling.
Rolling is a great space-saving and wrinkle-reducing choice for jeans
and T-shirts. Here's how you do it: take a pair of jeans and fold them
lengthwise so that the legs are stacked on top of each other. Now,
starting from the cuff, roll your way up. For T-shirts, place face
down, fold arms back (you should now have a long rectangle), fold lengthwise,
and roll up.
4. Fold It
For sweaters and other non-T tops, the square fold is the way to go.
Here's a quick primer: button all buttons and lay shirts face down
on a bed or flat surface. Smooth away wrinkles. Fold material in at
the shoulders and lay arms flat along the body
so that you create a roughly
two-inch overlap of material on both sides. Now fold up a third of the
material from the bottom and overlap a third from the top. You should
now have a tidy package worthy of any chain retailer.
5. Delicate Situation
What to do with your undies and lingerie? Buy inexpensive mesh laundry
bags; they're made of nylon and are lightweight. Stow your delicates
in here. An added bonus: if your bag is inspected, " no one need
touch your underwear since an inspector will be able to see into the
bag. Socks, by the way, should be rolled up and placed inside shoes
or used to fill gaps in your bag (see below).
6. Pack It Away
Now take all your tidily arrayed garments and put them outside your bag.
Your goal is to use them to create a clothing jigsaw puzzle where no
empty spaces remain and items won't shift. Lay your bag flat and put
folded clothes in piles down the center. Put your toiletries kit at
what will be the bottom of your bag when it's standing (this should
now be the heaviest item in your bag; in this position it won't crush
other items). Rolled clothes fit into the spaces around the stacked
clothes. Single shoes should be tucked into remaining openings (remember,
shoes aren't friends; they don't need to travel right up next to each
other). Socks fill in remaining holes. Voila! You are now a wrinkle-free
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