Getting everything into one’s luggage may be the biggest challenge of preparing for travel. Here are nine ways to maximize luggage space.

Start Early

Packing at the last minute usually involves hurriedly throwing items in a bag. There’s no time to consider what needs to be packed and what is better left at home. Instead, starting to pack about five days prior to departure is enough time to decide what items are essential for the trip.

Make a Plan

Writing down what needs to be packed prevents travelers from packing a lot of unnecessary items. The itinerary and probable weather conditions guide what goes on the packing list. Items should be crossed off as they’re placed in the luggage to ensure nothing is left behind.

Limit Footwear

Footwear takes up a lot of luggage space. Packing more than two pairs is usually not necessary. A pair of casual shoes, a pair of comfortable walking shoes, and a pair of formal shoes are enough for most trips. That’s three pairs of shoes since one pair is worn on the way to the destination.

Pack by Outfit

Travelers who pack by item rather than by outfit tend to bring articles of clothing that don’t match anything else they brought. Of course, these items end up not being worn during the trip. Packing by outfit solves the problem.

Leave Paper Behind

Most papers can be left at home. Guidebooks can be downloaded as e-books. Additional information about the destination is available online. If the need to write comes up, there’s paper at the destination.

Give It A Roll

Instead of folding clothes, roll them. Some travelers may not be convinced of this technique’s effectiveness. One traveler measured whether folding or rolling maximized luggage space. Rolling won.

Put Stuff Inside of Other Stuff

Stuff can be packed inside of hollow items. For instance, an eyeglass case can be filled with small items like inexpensive jewelry, earbuds, or medication. Socks could go inside of shoes.

Don’t Pack the Biggest Items

Large items such as boots, a coat, or a bulky sweater can be worn on the way rather than packed.

Leave Toiletries at Home

Travel-sized toiletries can be purchased at the destination. Travelers who are staying in a hotel could use the toiletries it provides.