If you travel frequently, you know what an absolute chore packing is. To pick out just the right clothes and accessories from your hoard of clothing can be tricky. You always find that the one shirt you absolutely had to take is at the drycleaners, your undergarments are scattered all over the place, and the dresses aren’t steamed and ready. Packing for the trip has now turned into a massive undertaking that involves emptying out the closet to find the right clothes, take a trip to the drycleaners and possibly steam the silk dress yourself.

Packing inevitably comes with its fair share of stress and the only way to make sure you don’t make an absolute wreck of yourself just before the big trip, is to have a well organized closet that lets you find what you want instantly. It is in many ways, a lifestyle adjustment to get into the habit of keeping your closet organized and travel ready, but with a few handy tips, tricks and best practices, you can very well become a pro at this.

So here are out top 5 tips to keep your closet travel ready so you never have to scamper for your clothes again –

1. Out with the Old and Unused

No matter how attached you are to your old clothes, if you don’t wear them anymore, they’re just crowding your closet. Donate old clothes so that you not only free up space but possibly help someone underprivileged. Get rid of everything you don’t use, and if there are things you just cannot part with, put them in a box and store them in the top shelves that you rarely use or under the bed, so they don’t get in the way. The idea is to free up space in your main closet for clothes that you use regularly.

2. Hangers and Boxes Are Your Best Friends

When it comes to keeping your closet organized and clothes easily findable, slim hangers and assorted storage boxes are your best pals. Hanging all your everyday clothes in hangers makes them readily visible so you can pick them up in a moment and drop right into the travel bag. For smaller items like stoles, scarves, socks, mitts and hats, there are wide shallow boxes that keep these easy to lose items in check and readily accessible. As a bonus, they look great and make you feel like a closet organization pro even if all you did was stash items together. You can easily color-code and label boxes to keep socks from getting mixed up and scarves ending up in a fisherman’s knot.

3. Add Shelving

Despite the lifesavers that hangers are, not all clothes can be hung. Some fabrics lose their shape, become droopy or disfigure at the shoulders due to prolonged hanging. There are only so many clothes you can fold and stack before the stack tumbles over. What you need in such a situation is additional shelves.

If you have the money, invest in custom shelving. It can be a great way to keep folded clothes in place and keep shirts, pants, blouses and denims sorted. Shelves can even hold handbags, jewelry, and accessories in the best possible manner. Even if you don’t want to do splurge on custom shelves, you can buy the collapsible hanging shelves made of fabric and cardboard. They are cheap, super customizable and easy to stow away when not in use.

4. Store Seasonal Clothes in Vacuum Bags

All the fur coats and puffy jackets that are your second skin this holiday season, will need to be put away once the summer arrives. Vacuum bags are a great way to store all your seasonal clothes, especially the ones that take up too much space in the closet. Once vacuumed, they can easily be stored out of the way, so when you have to pack for a trip to the colder regions, they will be super easy to pack and take up much lesser space in the bag. As a bonus, vacuuming also keeps your clothes safe from dust, mold or mildew.

5. Take Care of the Shoes Too

All the while obsessing over clothes might mean that you think of shoes at the last moment and the, you stuff them into the bag, squeezing them in wherever you find space. This might end up leaving your favorite suede’s crumpled up and your trainers flattened, not to mention all the dust from their soles getting on your clothes.

To avoid this, store your shoes neatly in individual see-through boxes in your closet so they are clearly visible at all times, making it easy to quickly grab and go when it’s time to pack. Also when packing, be sure to wrap them in shoe covers, shower caps or plastic grocery bags, so as to keep the dust from getting on your clothes.

6. Color Code Your Clothes

Despite all the sorting and shelving, it can sometimes be hard to find just the blue t-shirt you like to wear on the go. If you see that happening to yourself too often, you can try color coding your clothes. With all your blacks in one shelf and white in another, and all the pinks, blues and all other colors in separate sections of the closet, you will know just where to look for that blue t-shirt when it’s time to pack.

Wrapping Up

Packing is stressful as it is. Don’t let a haphazard closet add to your troubles. If you are a frequent traveler, get into the habit of keeping your closet travel ready using the above tips and best practices. It might take some effort upfront, to do a complete closet overhaul and arrange all your clothes in order and try to keep it that way, but when the time comes to pack in a hurry, you’ll pat yourself on the back for your ingenuity. 

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