As an estate manager in Los Angeles I am responsible for flawlessly overseeing everything that happens in one of my estates, which includes ensuring that my principals arrive at their destination with perfectly packed suitcases and carry-on bags that satisfy every need while they are en route.
This time of year, many of my clients are headed to tropical locales like St. Barths or for a winter ski break in Aspen, and there is both an art and a science to how I help them arrive wrinkle-free and with everything they need and nothing they don’t.
Every artful packer knows that we must start with an inventory of what we need for the trip. Obviously the location is key and the weather and type of trip will dictate what to wear and how many outfits you might need.
Everything I do in my daily job to manage a 10,000 square-foot estate starts with a list, and that is how to start the packing process. I use my iPad to walk through the closets to make careful lists of what I will need for every person I need to pack. It’s incredibly useful to have a visual of all of the clothing while I strategically make a list of what I will need.
Here are my top tips for how to pack like an A-lister:
- Save plastic bags from the dry cleaners and use those to carefully wrap delicates in, such as lingerie, cashmere sweaters or a pressed shirt or suit.
- Place the heaviest items at the bottom of the suitcase first, including shoes, heavy coats or curling irons. Use shoe bags for each pair of shoes to keep everything clean.
- Make the most of the space in your suitcase by folding everything and layering it neatly inside. My secret weapon, and don’t tell anyone, is wrapping each item in white acid free buffered tissue paper, it keeps each item fresh and clean and it makes for a pleasant unpacking experience.
- Use cardboard squares that dry cleaners use for exquisitely folded shirts; everything looks like it came from a boutique when I am done with it.
- Make sure toiletries are packed in bags lined in plastic in case anything spills, and then I double guarantee that nothing will spill by enclosing the toiletry bag in a larger plastic bag.
- If you’re not traveling with my principal, email him or her the original packing list, that way they can cross-reference when they return to ensure they don’t leave anything behind.
My clients always arrive with flawlessly packed suitcases and wrinkle-free clothing, which sets the tone for a successful business trip or a relaxing holiday.