In Style + Design

The Golden Rules Of Packing, According To A Hotel Butler

The most important being how to fold a jacket correctly.

Butlers at award-winning resort The Mulia in Nusa Dua, Bali undergo extensive training by the Guild of Professional English Butlers and the Bespoke Bureau. So, when it comes to living a refined life on the go, you’d expect them to have some expert advice.

how to pack a suitcase

Butlers at Bali’s The Mulia undergo training by the Guild of Professional English Butlers and the Bespoke Bureau. Credit: supplied

What’s the packing mistake butlers see most? What about the best way to fold a jacket correctly? We tapped into their expert knowledge to offer up their tips on how to pack a suitcase.

Consider your packing items carefully

Though it might sound like a no-brainer, Mulia’s butler team says the most common packing mistake they see is guests packing too much.

“So often people don’t end up using all of the items they bring,” they say.

To correct this? “Only carry the important and necessary outfits based on the length of stay and weather conditions at your destination.”

Consider buying some items at your destination

Unless you need particular care, toiletries are best bought in your destination or asking your butler or concierge to provide. Credit: supplied

While your instinct might tell you to bring everything you’ll need, to save you valuable space, think about buying some of the items at your destination instead.

“Unless you need particular care, toiletries are best bought in your destination as they can easily be found anywhere you go or can be supplied by a butler,” they say. “If you do need to take them, invest in travel-size bottles.”

Other items they recommend buying at the other end are a beach towel, guidebooks, snacks, and non-prescriptive medication.

Fold jackets correctly

The butlers say another common mistake they see if jackets folded into a suitcase incorrectly, and needing to be pressed on arrival.

There are two right ways to fold a jacket correctly, they say.

“The first is to lay the jacket flat, lining-side down, making sure the pockets are empty. Pull up the collar so that it lays flat and gently work one shoulder inside-out, then tuck the other shoulder into it, seam-against-seam.

“The sleeves lie straight down that jacket, one on top of the other and the breast panels – with their linings turned outward – sandwich the whole thing. Then, fold it in half from the bottom and pack it away.

“The second way is to pack the jacket in long style or fold it half at the waist.”

In general, to avoid wrinkled clothing, use tissue paper or other items to support the shoulder and collar for the jackets and shirts.

Pay attention to how you pack shoes

how to pack a suitcase

Always remember to clean shoes before packing. Credit: Radek Skrzypczak / Unsplash

Another common packing mistake the butlers often see is not cleaning shoes prior to packing. They recommend packing shoes in pairs in a separate bag, unless they’re made of suede, and should then be packed separately.

“For formal shoes or boots, it’s best to invest in ‘shoe tree’ inserts to avoid misshape,” they say. “Alternatively, you can fill them with socks.

“Always pack shoes at the side or the bottom of the luggage to maximise space.”

Rolling isn’t always the right way to pack

Though rolling may save space, it can stretch the fabric too much, leaving you to have to iron everything upon arrival.

Most suits, dresses and shirts are best laid flat, and separated with tissue paper, as this minimises creases. There’s no harm in folding rousers, shirts and other basics.

Be strategic about placing items in a suitcase

how to pack a suitcase

Credit: Lum3n.com / Pexels

Collect everything you want to pack outside of the suitcase before putting it in, they suggest.

“Gather all the clothes and items you want to bring,” they say. “Separate them nicely and fold them onto your bed. Then, place them one-by-one into your luggage, ensuring the heavy items are at the bottom and lighter items are at the top.”

Store loose items away

Suitcases inevitably contain a collection of very varied items. For that reason, it’s important to store everything away correctly.

“Dirty laundry should always be placed in a laundry bag and sealed so as not to contaminate clean clothes.

“Food should be packed in a small, sealed container that’s plastic – not glass. Of course, always check that the food items are permitted on flights or the country of destination first.

“Loose items like chargers and adaptors should be kept in a separate pouch or in the pocket of a suitcase. That’s the easiest way to group and access those items.”

Generally, the butlers suggests utilising the small luggage pouches and pockets in your bag to maximise space.

Though packing can be a personal thing, these tips should make the process that much smoother. After all, these butlers have the training.

(Lead image: OVAN / Pexels) 

Published 07 March, 2019