Celebs—they're just like us. Except they seem to breeze through airports, perfectly dressed and coiffed, with only a neatly packed carry-on in tow. Meanwhile, we're sweating, running, and struggling through security lines—barefoot and sans laptop—in a less-than-chic fashion. When we arrive at our destination, our beloved straw hat is squashed beyond repair, our date-night dress is irreparably wrinkled, and our lotion or nail polish has leaked all over our toiletries.
So how do celebs do it? They hire an organizational expert like Lisa Adams of L.A. Closet Design to not only transform their walk-in wardrobes, but to help them pack like pros, too. The professional organizer and closet whisperer has recently launched a line of mobile closets set to make travel as über-organized as her clients' custom closets. We tapped Adams to share her best packing secrets with us. Bust out your suitcase—it's time to start packing for your next trip.
Pack in a space where you can really lay out clothing and plan outfits. "When you pick out outfits in advance, you also avoid the need to overpack," says Adams. When packing, she makes sure to take pictures of each outfit combination going in the suitcase to help with getting dressed on the road.
"Part of packing and traveling like a celeb is carrying around a lean (not over-stuffed) bag and looking chic while doing so," says Adams. "Make sure you pack shoes and clothing items that can be used for multiple outfits. Gigi Hadid does it, so you should too." Duly noted.
"For foldable items, roll them—don't fold," says Adams. This is Marie Kondo's cardinal rule for organizing drawers, so it's unsurprising that it's the best for packing suitcases too. Putting the items in vacuum compression bags will further reduce the volume of space in your suitcase.
"Pre-pack toiletries, and use the items for at least a couple of days before your trip to ensure that nothing was forgotten," suggests Adams. "By doing so, you'll inevitably find out you forgot to pack dental floss or your night guard!" By the same token, take out anything you haven't used in a couple of days. If you can go without it, chances are it's not necessary on your trip.
"Use an organized carry-on suitcase that does the packing for you—with specialized compartments that ensures there is a place for everything, including your toiletries, jewelry, curling iron, jeans, and dresses," says Adams. The more compartments in your suitcase, the more organized you'll be. If your suitcase doesn't have compartments, create them.
Clothing filers are what professional organizers use to fold items in drawers neatly and quickly. They essentially function like a filing cabinet for your clothes. Adams suggests transferring them from your closet to your suitcase: "They allow you to see everything in your suitcase without having to dig through."
Organizing and compartmentalizing is everything when it comes to packing. That's why Adams recommends dust bags. "Put socks in shoes and shoes in shoe dust bags, which can then double up as laundry and dry cleaning bags when you're on the road," she suggest. You wouldn't want your dirty runners to rub against your silk dress in real life, so why should your suitcase be any different?
For an extra-special touch, Adams recommends putting "lavender drawer liners or eucalyptus sachets in your suitcase to keep everything fresh." This is especially useful for long trips or travels with very little opportunity for laundry or dry cleaning—like backpacking through a jungle.
We all love bringing our hat A game to the beach, but packing it is always a nightmare. Instead, Adams suggests a hatbox or—for us who don't have that luxury—using dust bags and tying them to your carry-on. "I roll tanks and tees in them to save space in my suitcase—it also helps to maintain the shape of your hat," she says.
Whenever possible, wear your bulkiest items on the flight to save precious suitcase space—think jackets, chunky shoes and sweaters. "And don't forget to put a light sweater and socks in your carry-on," says Adams. It always gets cold in flights, and you'll want to have those cozy items handy.
What are your tried-and-trusted packing tips? Share your traveling wisdom with us.