Let's get one thing straight: Martha knows how to do things right. And when this self proclaimed "schlepper" packs her bags for a weekend getaway or a trip around the world, you can rest assured it was packed up just right. At her recent American Made event sponsored by Hyatt House, she taught us a few great tips to pack like a pro.
"My arms are extra long from carrying too much crap all these years." That's why a good rolling suitcase far outweighs a shoulder bag, she says. Martha takes plastic garment bags from the dry cleaners for her nice pieces. She suggests keeping them right on the hanger, including your pants. When you get to the hotel, hang them up in the closet and they're ready to wear with no wrinkles. She also noted that if it's an extra fancy dress or shirt, you should stuff the sleeves with acid-free tissue. Bundle each outfit by day into hanger groups, and fold them in a Z shape. It'll fit perfectly into your carry-on. Shoes are always placed in shoe bags, toe to heel.
"I always take a bathing suit. Even if I'm going to Alaska, I'll take it. Just in case I get some free time in the hotel pool." Another important item Martha always packs? A shawl. "So many airlines don't give you good blankets anymore, so a warm shawl is invaluable whether you're stuck in cold weather or on a cold airplane."
"Muji makes great bags for toiletries. Use a small one for a contact lens kit, use a larger one for your electronics, chargers, and adapters." Martha suggests marking your bags and bottles clearly, so you don't wake up in the middle of the night thinking your shampoo is mouthwash. And just to be on the safe side, put your toiletries bag inside a large plastic Ziploc bag in case a shampoo bottle explodes mid flight.
Once your bags are packed and you're ready to jet, Martha suggests tying your zippers shut with a small piece of linen twine for security. Keep it in the outside pocket of your suitcase so you're sure not to lose it. Who would have thought?
Photo credit: Martha Stewart headshot by Scott Duncan
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