Celeste Byrom

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The Ziploc Method

Are you tired of your clothes getting mixed-up, moved around, crushed, and wrinkled by the second day of vacation? Weary of shampoo leaking all over your clothes during the journey? Frustrated that you never can find the shirt you packed for that big night out when you need it?

Use the Ziploc Method!

Step 1: Gather Supplies. Suitcase, permanent marker, two-gallon-size (or larger) Ziploc bags, label stickers, clothing. [PHOTO]

Step 2: Roll up your sleeves and turn on your favorite tunes! Sure, you don't have to listen to music while you do this, but shakin' your groove thing to "Jet Airliner" makes packing so much more fun! Try to ignore the strange looks your dog gives you.

Step 3: Label the bags with your marker and label stickers according to your preferred method. You may choose to label them by day ("Monday" or "Day 1") or by event ("Day at the Museum" or "Dinner at Nice Restaurant"). The second method works particularly well if you have an itinerary that isn't set in stone. [PHOTO]

Step 4: Fold your clothing as desired, but keep in mind that it must fit inside the bags. I suggest the following: Fold dress shirts, pants (into thirds), shorts (in half), short skirts (in half), and underwear (in half). Roll T-shirts (after folding in half), long skirts (after folding in half), and socks. [PHOTO]

Step 5: Sort your clothing by day. For example, for "Day at the Museum," you might include a long skirt, a dressy T-shirt, a wrap, and underwear. "Day of Hiking" might include a T-shirt, shorts, underwear, and socks.

Step 6: Take a look at your sorted clothing. What types of shoes and accessories do you need? Gather the appropriate items. [PHOTO]

Step 7: Open your suitcase and be realistic. Do you really have room for those strappy stiletto heels? No. You are never going to wear those while navigating the cobblestones of Florence or while climbing through the Grand Gallery of the Great Pyramid. Put them back in your closet where they belong.

Step 8: Remove your dog from your suitcase. Why is it that dogs always hop in your suitcase the moment you open it? [PHOTO]

Step 9: Place your sorted clothing into the appropriate bags. Your museum-going outfit goes into the bag labeled "Day at the Museum." [PHOTO]

Step 10: Place the bags of clothing in your suitcase. Later days are packed on the bottom of the suitcase, while the first few days of the trip go on the top. Special-event clothing and accessories go on the opposite, shallow side of the suitcase. Reserve one third of the deep side of the suitcase for shoes and toiletries. You can place the shoes and toiletries in bags also. [PHOTO]

Step 11: Remove your dog from the suitcase again. Call the airline to inquire how much it would cost to bring your dog on the trip with you since the dog seems determined to come along.

Step 12: Toss in a few extra Ziploc bags for wet clothes (such as swimsuits) and heavily soiled clothing (so that you can easily find them and wash them immediately upon your arrival home).

Step 13: Close your suitcase. Can't close it all the way? No problem! Use this tried-and-true method: Sit on your suitcase while you zip it up! OK, OK, with the Ziploc Method you shouldn't have to resort to sitting on your suitcase. But if you do, you just might have room for those strappy stiletto heels.

Zippy travels!

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