• Prevent that midnight moment of panic by starting the morning before at the latest.
  • Pack style essentials than can easily be remixed and reworn throughout the week.
  • Use hotel toiletries or pack travel-sized items of your own.

Inman Connect New York is two weeks away, and the rising excitement is undeniable. Every day, I see Facebook posts, tweets and Instagram photos about all the glorious plans people have in store for their four days in New York.

But I’m sure that excitement will temporarily turn to panic the day before everyone heads to the airport.

Why? Because of the thing most people absolutely hate to do — pack. We undoubtedly end up forgetting an important item or shelling out extra money for an overweight suitcase.

Here are seven easy tips for better packing, so you can begin your ICNY week stress-free and ready to hit the ground running.

1. Invest in a good suitcase

For years, I would spend no more than $30 on a suitcase, although I would eventually end up regretting my choice after a busted zipper or choosing leave items at home because they wouldn’t fit. After witnessing my suitcase struggle, my parents gave me an expandable Samsonite suitcase for my birthday, and packing has — dare I say — become fun. I can pack everything I need, and everything I don’t need, with room to spare.

2. Create a checklist

Write down all the items you’ll need, ranging from toiletries, clothing, shoes and tech essentials. A list will keep you focused and save space by cutting down on unessential items.

3. Don’t wait until the night before to pack 

As a lifelong procrastinator, I understand the lure of “I’ll just do it (insert future date).” But that is the worst thing you can do. At the very least, begin packing your suitcase the morning before so you’re not rushed.

4. With clothing, less is more

Most of our suitcase space gets wasted on bringing outfits that we won’t even wear. Instead, focus on bringing style essentials, such as a crisp white business shirt or a black pencil skirt. These items can easily be remixed by adding a colorful cardigan, a well-tailored business jacket or a host of other accessories that will give you a new look each day.

5. Vacuum-pack bulky items 

Bulky items such as cable sweaters, down jackets and coats take up tons of space. Use Ziploc’s Travel Space bags to pack your bulky items while saving room for other items.

6. Roll your clothing instead of folding it 

It sounds strange, but rolling your clothing into a cylinder shape saves room and prevents wrinkling that comes with folding the traditional way.

7. Use the hotel’s toiletries or only use travel-sized items

At Inman Connect San Francisco, our hotel had toiletries from Peter Thomas Roth, which is a high-end brand you can find in stores such as Sephora and Nordstrom. The whole week I kept reaching for the hotel’s toiletries rather than using my own.

If you have special skin care, body care or hair care needs, stick to using the travel sizes of your favorite items.

Do you have any packing hacks that you’d like to share? Tell us about them in the comments section below.

Email Marian McPherson.

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