Tomorrow I am heading out to San Francisco! My fiance T. is going for a week long workshop and I am happily tagging along. Since I’m there for the pleasure of it, my itinerary includes the following: much walking and sightseeing, visits to the museums, thrift and book store perusals, a couple of nights out for drinks with friends in the area, and a night at the San Francisco Opera!
In order to account for all the different activities on my schedule and the volatile weather in San Francisco, I will pack for several temperatures and events. This gives me the perfect opportunity to explore the bundle vs. rolling method when it comes to compact packing and good use of suitcase space before I apply it to a much larger packing job in September.
Click to see the Great Rolling vs. Bundle Face-Off ….
- 2 blazer jackets
- 1 pair of jeans
- 1 pair of navy cords
- 1 jean skirt (for the extreme off-chance it warms up next week!)
- 2 patterned cardis
- 2 solid color cardis
- 7 solid color tees (one for each day)
- one dress for the Opera!
- 2 pairs of walking shoes that can transition to evening (red and yellow)
- 1 pair of sling-back heels for Opera!
- 3 tanks for layering
- 3 light-weight scarves
- 1 pink pashmina
- undergarments, laundry bag, make-up, toiletries, jewelry
- Not included: the flats, jeans, top, and cardi I will wear on the plane
Since I have to fit a year’s worth of clothes into two suitcases this coming September, I have been thinking a lot about how to make the most out of every inch of suitcase space I have. So I’m using this much smaller packing job to put the rolling vs. bundle methods to the test.
I started with the bundle method, since I was curious to give it a try. It’s suggested that you start with the larger items (jackets, jeans) and slowly work your way to the core (see a list with the suggested bundling order here ), so I tried to do just that.
One of the supposed advantages of bundling is that it’s said to eliminate wrinkles even better than rolling, which I’m really hoping for when it comes to my silk Opera dress. I layered it toward the bottom of the bundle, so that it would wrap around a larger circumference than if it were closer to the center of the bundle.
I wasn’t sure it I was doing the “correct” order, but just kept layering the thinner items on top until I used up my entire packing spread. Then I started folding them in over the core of the bundle.
And tah-dah! The finished bundle:
And, for a size comparison, see the bundle next to Louie. As you can see, it’s just slightly larger than cat-sized:
Finally, I placed the bundle in my suitcase and used the remaining space for my toiletries, shoes, scarves, and other such small items. And with that, the suitcase was full.
The rolling method is pretty self-explanatory: you roll everything. It’s more wrinkle-proof than folding and supposedly also more space efficient. With smaller items, such as tees and tanks, I roll a two to three of them together. With larger items, such as jeans, I roll them by themselves.
I wasn’t sure what to do with my jackets since they somewhat resisted being rolled, and I was also unsure about rolling my silk dress. So I left those three items out to simply lay across the bottom of the suitcase.
Voila the finished rolling job! After laying the jackets and dress across the bottom of the suitcase, the rolled items went on top, and the remaining space was once more filled with the non-clothing items.
As you can see, both packing methods resulted in similarly full suitcases, so I’m not certain that one was more space-efficient than the other. However, I am now a bundle convert! Not only is the finished bundle cute and charming in its self-containment, it is conveniently easy to carry off the bed and into the suitcase. The rolls at times come undone and took much longer to make than the bundle. It also seemed that the clothes in the bundle were smoother when unpacked than the more wrinkled rolled items.
So my verdict: the bundle may not necessarily be more space efficient, but I found it to be more time efficient as a process and more aesthetically pleasing in the end (yes, the latter my not be functionally important, but still scored the bundle some points in my mind). And I do think that it appears to be more wrinkle proof than the rolling method. So overall, the bundle wins the Great Packing Showdown in my book.
What do you think? Have you experimented with both packing methods at some point? Have you picked up any good packing tricks that you employ each time you travel? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter! S.