How to Pack a Hanging Suitcase

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A hanging suitcase, also called a garment bag, is a useful way to transport business or dress clothes when you travel. The clothes stay on hangers, and the garment bag can be hung from a clothes rail at your destination, which makes it easy to manage your wardrobe. Additionally, because the clothes are layered together without any hard creases or folds, a garment bag typically causes fewer wrinkles in your garments than a traditional suitcase. Suits and dresses are traditionally packed in garment bags, but any type of clothes can be packed using a hanging suitcase.

Things You'll Need

  • Garment bag
  • Clothes
  • Hangers
  • Unfold your garment bag, either by laying it on the bed or hanging it from a door or closet. Garment bags work by folding in half or in thirds once they are packed, which makes long garments easier to carry. However, the bag should be completely open for the packing process.

  • Gather the clothes you want to pack. Some people like to include entire outfits on one hanger. You can do this by folding a skirt or pair of pants on the bottom of a hanger, hanging a shirt over it, and a jacket over the shirt. Make sure to fasten enough buttons on each garment so it doesn't slip off the hanger.

  • Put the full hangers into the garment bag. Garment bags will usually have a hole for hangers at the top near the bag's hook, or an insert that allows hangers to hang completely inside the bag. Pack longer clothes at the back of the garment bag.

  • Pack shoes inside plastic or cloth bags, wrapped individually rather than as a pair. Shoes will go in the bottom of the bag, which is the middle of the bag during the packing process. Once clothes are packed, and you have started zipping the bag back up, insert shoes into the bottom fold of the bag. Toiletries should go in outside pockets in plastic bags to avoid leaks.

Tips & Warnings

  • If suits or shirts have come from the dry cleaners and are still in their plastic bags, you can leave them that way for packing.
  • If a dress is longer than the bag, clip the hem to the shoulders using clothespins.
  • Bags should be hung unfolded once you get to your destination to avoid excessive wrinkling.

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