Wrinkle-free Clothes

How to use bundle-wrapping to travel with pristine clothes.

Stever Robbins
4-minute read
Episode #54

The Secret to Wrinkle-Free Networking

Don't follow my example! Have neat, flawless clothes, and know you're doing it. Here's the awesome packing technique, "Bundle Wrapping." It's surprisingly easy and totally saves all that quote-unquote ironing that David seems to like so much. My policy is work less, spiffy clothes, not work more, spiffy clothes.

First, lay out a shirt, face down on your bed. (Make sure it's the shirt that's face down, not you.) Lay a second shirt on top of the first, but rotated upside down so the torso points up and the neck points down. Have some overlap at the shirts' necks. The arms should stick out to the sides. Now you have a stubby cross: sleeves left and right, one torso going to the top, the other torso pointing down. Keep layering shirts, alternating neck-towards-top and neck-towards-bottom, overlapping in the middle.

Next, lay out the pants off to the sides, over the sleeves. Lay the first pair so legs go to the left and waistband to the right. The second pair has legs to the right, waistband to the left. Again, overlap them so the waistbands are even with the edges of the shirts you'd already laid out.

So now you have a bigger cross. The pant legs form the left and right parts, and the shirt torsos form the top and bottom parts. In the middle, everything overlaps. At this point, everything is still completely flat.

Now put a bundle of underwear, socks, and small things right in the middle. Clean socks, preferably. You want your clothes to smell like roses, not that strange paste that's accumulated inside your sneakers. (It's really time for a new pair.)

Now take the innermost pair of pants and gently wrap it around the bundle, all the way around until it's comfy and snug. Smooth out the pants so there are no creases whatsoever.

Next, curve the next pair of pants around the bundle. Then the next. Then the shirt that's on top, then the next shirt, and the next one, etc. When you're done, you'll have a tidy little bundle. I found it takes up less space than folding every garment individually, and voila, no wrinkles! Now if we could just do that with our skin, it would be the most amazing anti-aging product ever!  By the way, if you need a visual aid to go with this packing technique, they have one over on OneBag.com just for you.

Complete unpacking

Since everything's in a bundle, you can't really get at something if you need it, which makes bundle wrapping useful when you plan on packing now and unpacking completely at your destination. It works great for me because I'm a compulsive unpacker. The first thing I do in a hotel room is mark my territory by filling every drawer, hanger, and flat surface with my stuff.

Remember… when you’re traveling, resist the urge to fold and crease. Bundle-wrap your clothes and they’ll come out looking gorgeous. Then when you make a fool of yourself in front of your hero, at least you’ll look great doing it.

Lastly, try not to overdo it on the packing.  For my Quick Tip on packing quickly and efficiently, click here.

This is Stever Robbins. E-mail questions to getitdone@quickanddirtytips.com or leave voicemail at 866-WRK-LESS.

For information about keynote speeches, workshops, or other appearances, visit SteverRobbins.com for details.

Work Less, Do More, and have a Great Life!

- http://www.steverrobbins.com/getitdoneguy/54-bundle-wrapping.htm - picture of my bundle being wrapped
- http://www.onebag.com/pack.html, bundle-wrapping summary and graphic
- https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/productivity/organization/how-to-accomplish-your-commitments, episode on managing commitments with David Allen
- https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/relationships/professional/successful-networking - successful networking

Shirts image courtesy of Shutterstock


About the Author

Stever Robbins

Stever Robbins was the host of the podcast Get-it-Done Guy from 2007 to 2019. He is a graduate of W. Edward Deming’s Total Quality Management training program and a Certified Master Trainer Elite of NLP. He holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School and a BS in Computer Sciences from MIT.