The Wall Street Journal

Expert Butler Explains the Best Way to Pack Your Carry-On Bag

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Shoes, slacks, shirts - which goes in the bag first? Barbara Maly, a butler at New York's St. Regis Hotel, is a packing pro. She shows you how it's done.

Photo/Video: Adam Falk

#WSJ #travelessentials #packing


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… show captions ↓
(playful music)
- [Narrator] This is your carry-on bag.
This is Barbara Maly,
a butler at New York's St. Regis hotel.
She's a platinum level packer.
- Yeah, that's right.
- [Narrator] Now, using men's and women's clothes,
she's gonna show you the smartest way to pack your bag.
(playful music)
Step one, start with your suit.
Lay your slacks out so that the cuffs
fall into the bag, then fold the waist over top neatly.
Now, fold your jacket.
- If you would like to avoid the wrinkles,
use tissue paper.
- [Narrator] This sounds like a bit much, but trust us.
Stuff one piece of tissue paper into each arm
so that the paper extends thru the shoulder.
(playful music)
Then fold the arms in
and the bottom of the jacket over the top.
Dresses should go after suits,
as heavier fabrics make a better base.
Step two, stack your shirts.
Now, place your shirts on top of your suit and dress,
and take note here.
- Never roll your shirts to avoid wrinkles.
Always folded.
- [Narrator] Right.
And the best way is, well, watch what she's doing here.
(playful music)
And when you stack your folded shirts,
be sure to alternate the collars to keep your stack even.
Light sweaters can lay on top.
Step three, fill in the cracks.
Grab your socks, underwear, and other smaller items.
- And now you can roll your socks.
- [Narrator] Remember, socks, not shirts.
Once rolled, you can use them to fill in
the corners and the cracks of your bag.
(playful music)
Step four, shoes to the sides.
If you have it, and we know Barbara does,
place a piece of tissue paper on top of your clothes.
Then put your shoes inside of a shoe bag
to avoid dirtying your other items.
(playful music)
Place your shoes on the side of your carry-on.
If you have two pair, put one on each side.
In softer bags, your shoes will provide some structure.
Step five, top with toiletries.
Before you put your toiletries in your carry-on,
be sure to bag up the liquids.
Then place that bag on top so that it's easily accessible
when you go through airport security.
And last, finish with the necessities.
It could be a phone charger, or a copy of the newspaper.
Whatever you need to stay productive on the plane,
put it safely on top, and
(zipper zipping)
you're ready to go.
- Have a pleasant trip and enjoy my packing.
- [Narrator] Will do.
(playful music)

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