Today, I spent most the day packing and in the car getting from destination A to B. I never like this time of the year when I have to gather everything of mine and somehow neatly stuff them all into the car which then gets unpacked and the whole process begins after a short period again. It just seems like too much work and time wasted. I suppose it haven’t become a habit for me to organize efficiently when packing all my stuff. This is different than packing for a short trip. This is gathering all your belongs that’s in the room and packing them. I wonder how a professional and super efficient packer would do, how they’d put certain things together, use what to place things in, how to save space, or what to do with some things that just doesn’t belong anywhere. College requires you to repeat this process twice a year, moving everything into the dorm, and everything out of the dorm.

I had one hour to pack and over the years, I’ve learned a few skills that have developed into a habit when packing. Still in the process of learning and improving techniques but I admit it’s much better than two years ago, when everything was stuffed into the mini van with boxes and bags of belongings for only the driver and passenger to sit.


This might come handy for you if you’re moving soon or a college student who have to move in/out often:

1) Save space by placing similar clothes (T shirts)  in a big plastic bag.

  • in the past, I had clothes neatly folded in cardboard boxes and I ended up transferring them into a trashcan bag to save space.
  • it’s fine for clothes to get squished so  when it decompresses and expands, it should be fine
  • separate the clothes based on seasons or wear/maybe wear/won’t wear, I used separate clothes based on tops and bottoms, but it’s easier when you need a favorite tank top in the “wear” bag rather than digging through a larger pile.

2) keep the clothes that needs to be hung as it is

  • don’t bother taking them down from hangers and packing them and worry about them getting wrinkled and such
  • cut a whole at the top middle section of the plastic bag and put all the hangers (with the clothes hanging from them) through the whole.
  • use a rubber band to tie all the hangers together
  • this way, they won’t get wrinkled and you just hang it right back up in your closet when unpacking

3) keep all the important things in your purse/bag

  • this might be an obvious one but things get hectic and it’s easy to forget where you placed your keys, passport, cell phone, camera etc.
  • put cameras, laptop, iPods and all other small electronic devices in a backpack or purse and be sure to tell those helping you to be careful with that bag!

4) protection cushion for liquids

  • it’s not fun when your Dior perfume or reed difuser liquid spills all over your makeup.
  • this is why I keep bubble wraps or small towels handy for cushioning (clothes will do too, as long as you make sure that you wrap liquid material in plastic bags just in case, if it breaks, it will be mainly contained in the bag)
  • have no wiggle room inside! don’t leave any extra space in the luggage where you have a shot glass, stuff it with shirts and towels if you have to so that it’s nicely protected!

5) throw out/give away the things you don’t need

  • great time to evaluate what things you’ll need and won’t need because it’s not worth it to be carrying a box of books to college and then back to home when you don’t end up reading it wherever it is
  • one man’s trash is another’s treasurer–there are microwaves, carpets, lamps, futons in the hallways for people to take because someone no longer need it or doesn’t feel like it’s worth it to fit it in the car (money saving tip-look for the goodies, it’s like a yard sale but free goodies!)
  • I end up giving lotions, makeup, free mugs, and things I’ve accumulated over college that I’ve either gotten for free but never used or purchased but never used and I give it to my friends who I think would like them, usually they’re helping you pack and they’ll want to help you pack again next time!

6) cut the run into segments

  • inefficient: rather than have all three people moving however much they can carry from the room to car (which is into the elevator, out the entrance, and walking to the car), divide the distance into segments
  • efficient: move everything out to the lobby where the elevator is, when elevator comes, load everything into the elevator, and unload everything out. if the distance is long, have a chain effect system where one person carries everything from elevator to entrance, and someone else moves it entrance to car. it’s faster feels more like teamwork

7) label boxes!

  • when you’re in a rush with packing, you can misplace things and your mind might originally thought you put it in the box with the shirts, but you really put it in the luggage with the socks.
  • pack similar things together! place all the textbooks, printing paper, calculators and academic related stuff into a box, all the beauty, jewelry, makeup related into another, and organize it based on categories.
  • labeling helps you to find things faster and you’ll be more thankful later (it’s not fun to open all the duck taped boxes to look for that one thing)
  • helps other movers with how to place it in the car or truck knowing which boxes can be squished, which ones to be careful without asking you personally every time


“moving is like flipping the crisp new page in a book, a transition into a new chapter in life” –CM