The Best Packing Hack That Took Me Years To Try

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Carry-on ziploc space bags I was always wary of infomercials. When I would get sick and wake up in the middle of the night as a child, I'd flip through the channels and watch the annoying "you must buy this NOW!" ads through bleary eyes. Pointless products would fill the television, with everything from cleaning supplies or the "greatest" weight loss supplement (even though everyone knows weight loss pills do absolutely nothing).

The only one that stood out was: Space Bags.

This was a product that actually seemed like it worked, but I didn't want to be fooled like everyone else who bought into these commercials. When I eventually moved into my college dorm room, my roommate had used space bags to pack most of her clothing and bedding. Genius idea! I thought, though I never made the purchase.

When the time came to move to Washington, DC for the summer after graduation, I had to fit months worth of clothes and shoes into a single suitcase. On a Target run I noticed that SC Johnson/Ziploc acquired Space Bags and gave them a try.

Using space bags is seriously the best packing hack I've ever tried. That summer I used a large suitcase to put a ton of clothes in - and come home with - (I really overpacked...) but was able to fit it all in a large suitcase using a large-sized space bag.

Then, I went to Europe for 2.5 weeks and managed to use just a carry-on and my Longchamp. I used a small, carry-on sized space bag and fit all my clothes in it.

5 Tips For Packing With Space Bags

Carry-onsized Space Bags

- Roll the clothes first. Rolling clothes condenses clothes more than folding and will maximize the amount you can fit. If you can't fit all of your clothes in the bag, it's okay - you're still maximizing your space with the clothes you can fit inside.

- Don't overfill the bag. The dotted line where it says "stop" is there for a reason. I've learned my lesson by breaking two bags by overfilling...

- Get all the air out. I don't have the vacuum component that sucks the air out - I just fold and roll the bag until I get as much air out as possible. If you leave air in the bag, it defeats the purpose of using it.

- Organize how the bag is filled by putting what you'll use first in last, and vice versa. This way you can just take out the first items you need when you arrive, without having to unpack all your clothes. Doing this is especially helpful if you are visiting multiple cities and your first stop is short.

- Put an unused dryer sheet in the bag before you zip it closed. This is a general tip for keeping clothes smelling fresh in your suitcase, but also helps keep the scent fresh with the clothes packed tightly together in the bag. I also just found my favorite secret weapon, Febreeze To-Go - a small spray bottle of Febreeze that fits airline regulations! A quick spritz before zipping the bag closed will help keep the your clothes smelling nice.

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