TO pack is not merely to put ones belongings into a trunk and hope for the best. Packing is a fine art.
The initial problem is that of bulk: when this is solved, it can be decided what trunks or cases, or perhaps both, will be necessary. It may so happen that the problem has to be reversed, and the amount of clothing, etc., to be taken, determined by the amount of space available. Whichever it be, it is always advisable to take everything which is likely to be of use, though it is not suggested that unnecessary articles be included.
Making a Start
The lighter the trunk the better for transport, though a loosely-packed trunk is not recommended, as it allows the things to be tumbled about too much and get creased. A small electric iron which can be operated from the electric light is most useful for pressing, and can be purchased for a small sum. These are made specially for packing, and are neither heavy nor cumbersome.
Collect everything which is to go on to a bed, or something on which they can be spread out, so that the more delicate articles can be separated from the bulky, before the actual packing is begun. It is most annoying to have nearly finished and suddenly find a pair of shoes, or something equally heavy, which should have gone at the bottom.
Heavy Articles as a Foundation
The trunk must be thoroughly dry and free from dust, which is almost bound to collect when everything is not in frequent use. A cover should be put over the bottom; if you do not possess a proper cover, a towel, thoroughly aired, is a good substitute.
Large and heavy things should be packed first, as they make a foundation for those that are smaller and more delicate. A travelling rug, if not being used on the actual journey, a heavy skirt without pleats, or something uncrushable, yet fairly soft and bulky, makes an excellent foundation. Shoes should come next and must be well wrapped in tissue paper, because, however well cleaned they may have been, there is always a certain amount of dirt on the soles. Stockings, socks, and small articles are useful for filling in corners. The secret of packing is to fill every space. Packing Glass
Bottles must be packed with care, and it is essential for them to be securely corked. Extra tissue paper round the stopper will help to prevent any slight leak from penetrating and spoiling other articles. Anything breakable will travel best between soft things, and not near the outside, which is liable to undue banging.
Silk dresses, evening wraps, blouses and dresses with pleats should always be pressed and folded so that the pleats are not disturbed. Tissue paper put inside the folds will prevent ugly fold lines from showing, especially if the article is hung out in the air on a dress-hanger. Saving Time and Worry
Save yourself the worry of wondering if everything you want has been included. Look through your wardrobe, chest of drawers, cupboards, and everywhere your things are likely to be, then think of the various odds and ends you are likely to require.
Coat-hangers, preferably folding ones, and shoe trees are needed when staying at an hotel, so make certain of these before packing is started. Now collect everything for toilet use: flannel, tooth-brush and paste, nail-brush, soap (if you like to keep to any special sort), talcum powder, bath salts, face cream and powder. Hairbrushes and combs, a clothes-brush and manicure set are liable to be forgotten if their usual home is the dressing-table. Sewing silk for that occasional button which usually manages to come off when one least expects it; a little silk for mending stockings; needles, thimble and Scissors, are indispensable.
It is not advisable to pack a camera, as it may be needed on the journey. A small 3uit-case is useful for the purpose, and will accommodate odd things and jewellery which is always safest in your own case. This should be remembered when at an hotel. Clothes
Now as to clothes: what shoes, stockings, underclothes, dresses, beads, hats, coats, gloves, scarves, bathing things, including towels, should be taken, must be determined by the length of your visit, and the kind of place at which you are staying.
But do not be thoughtless and arrive without pyjamas, dressing-gown, bedroom slippers or something equally important. Umbrellas and mackintoshes are needed in the summer, particularly in England; and because the day you leave may be sunny, it does not necessarily follow that every hour of your stay will be fine. Tennis rackets are frequently forgotten because they are not put ready when they are thought of.
Summer evenings at the seaside are rather inclined to be chilly, especially towards the end of the season; and it is advisable that winter or fur coats be remembered. These can be carried on ones arm, or, if you are going by car, just put inside with the cases. It is not necessary to pack them. Unpacking
Trunks or cases should be covered inside with something which will tuck into the corners and prevent the things from slipping. Hats will travel best in a hat-box: put tissue paper in the crowns so that they are kept in shape and not dented. Safoty first demands the locking of all cases, and be sure that your name and the full address of your destination are written on a gummed label.
After a journey the most welcome re-fresher is a wash. This is needed before unpacking, though trunks should be opened to relieve pressure. The sponge bag should have been packed in a cornor, just under the tray so as to be easily accessible. Unpack as soon as possible, and hang the frocks and suits up so as to get the creases out before they are too pronounced.
The chief qualities of a good packer are mothod, thought, and care. A little time spent on doing any tiling properly saves much worry afterwards.