I can’t believe it’s already been a year since I discovered the joys of packing cubes. Having those little zippered cloth bags has definitely made my packing more organized and much simpler. However they also allow for something potentially very dangerous – I can fit more things in my suitcase LOLOL!
Besides the potential hazard of making my luggage go over the weight limits (especially when you have to remember the airline that lowered how heavy your checked bags can be not long ago), overstuffing the packing cubes makes for another potential issue – more wrinkly clothes.
Why wrinkles & creases happen
When you pack, wrinkles and creases happen for 2 reasons:
- Your space is overstuffed and any creases that happened to be in your clothes as you packed them will be reinforced by the pressure of everything else
- Your clothes moved around in your bag as it was thrown around from bag drop to the belly of the plane to baggage carousel, causing your clothes to move around, rub up against each other, and form creases
How to pack to avoid them
If you’re like me and tend to overpack, well, we can only blame ourselves, LOL. But there’s an easy way to decrease your clothes rubbing on each other and form creases.
Use plastic between layers.
If you ever get your clothes dry cleaned, you know the plastic they put around each freshly cleaned shirt, pants, etc. Save them and as you fold the clothes you’re going to bring on your trip, put each shirt, etc. into one of those bags.
If you don’t have dry cleaning bags, you can also use trash bags (unscented, of course).
You don’t necessarily have to do this with ALL your clothes – just the ones that tend to wrinkle. Rayon. 100% cotton. Linen. Stuff like silk, wool and denim don’t really tend to wrinkle so you don’t have to bother with fabrics like those.
Trying to avoid plastics? You can also use tissue paper between each piece of clothing. Or you can loosely roll your clothes that tend to wrinkle and crease more than others – try to keep them on top, or the outer areas of your bag, where they’ll be subject to less pressure of other clothes.
One final word of advice about packed clothes – the longer your clothes stay in your suitcase, the more wrinkled they’ll be. So if at all possible, unpack as quickly as you can, so your clothes will be able to hang or lie flat without the pressure from all your other clothes.
Important! Pay attention to fabric types
Any and all of the above won’t necessarily keep all the wrinkles away – but it should take care of most of them, at least.
Also be mindful of what types of fabrics your clothes are. As we mentioned above, Rayon, linen and 100% cotton will all tend to wrinkle and crease more than blended fabrics (i.e. 60/40 cotton/polyester). Denim is cotton but because it’s thick, it doesn’t lend itself to wrinkles like a cotton shirt will. Cashmere can wrinkle when you pack it, but the crease will release if you hang the shirt up for a couple of hours. Wool rarely wrinkles; neither do many synthetics such as poly, nylon or Lyocel (sometimes known as Tencel).
How to get rid of wrinkles
All unpacked, you didn’t read this until afterwards and now you’ve got wrinkly clothes? There are a few ways to try to get rid of them:
OK duh, this is the easiest one. If your accommodations have an ironing board and iron, you can just iron the clothes. Of course, check the label to make sure it’s safe to do that. Also make sure the iron and the ironing board are both clean. Joe ruined a shirt once because the iron in our hotel room had some sort of gunk on it.
Does your accommodations have a clothes dryer? Grab some ice cubes or a damp towel and put them in the dryer with your wrinkly clothes. The ice cubes will slowly melt and cause a steam effect inside the dryer, which will help get rid of the wrinkles. Again, check the label first.
Lots of people have said to hang your wrinkled clothes in the bathroom while the shower is running hot. I’ve tried it and never really found it to work very well – not even after, like a half hour (which is also a whole lot of wasted water to go through). But you can always give it a try.
Feature Image: public domain
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