Packing always becomes something trivial for me. I am kinda light traveler who never bring too much stuffs but primary needs. But sometimes, I can’t deny that when the time is near, every thing suddenly seems necessary and important. As a result, I get my backpack fully loaded with less space remained.
Along with me is my 35 liters backpack. It means that I really have to consider two essential thing, either I reduce the goodies, or I take a little time to think of a strategy to maximize every tiny space and put all stuffs in a smart order. Too bad, I am not a boyscout role model or mount trekker, so I didn’t learn how to pack properly. At the first time, I usually got confused when I saw the limited space in the backpack and bunch of “trash” that I’m going to bring on the trip. Ok, I am quite confident that I can put them all together inside the backpack. I can force all the overflow stuffs to get in. I can step on the backpack to zip it. But several things to keep in mind, it might be difficult to take certain thing when is needed, and It will take more time to pack them all back again, since the luck of being able to zip the overloaded backpack rarely comes twice or three times 😀
Once upon a time, I read my travel mate’s FB status which said “Tetris Pack’s well done!” Ok, I was then curious and google to figure out what tetris pack is. And voilaaa, such a genius trick!!
Adapting the classic game, the concept of Tetris pack is also about space efficiency. Shaun Hubert on his book “How to Pack like a Rock Star” explains that The purpose of the game of tetris is to combine blocks of different shapes and sizes to form complete compact rows. This same concept can be applied to packing your clothes. Picture each article of clothing as a different shape, just like the various blocks in the game. With a proper folding method, every piece becomes a simple square building block. We can see from the picture above (contest held by Hubert), Hubert emphasizes on how you should make a strategic tetris map to maximize all the space inside the bag.
If I may add, based on my own comprehension, tetris pack is not only how the way you arrange the placement inside the bag based on its shape, but also how the way you consider its utility and its necessity. The more often you use the good, the most top position it should lies on.
Take an example, I have just packed my rucksack before leaving for a trip. With me, I brought seven tees, one long jeans, briefs, electronic gadgets, toiletries, one sarong and two tiny chips bags for my friend, a pair of shoes. Before knowing tetris packing technique, I usually put all together directly inside the bag in random order. I will insert all small stuffs in every compartment. Well, that technique could be applicable as long as the stuffs are not in massive number and you will not pack-unpack those stuffs so often.
But now, this is how I pack my things.
1. I localize all thing based on its feature and its function, one mini bag for toiletries (folded toothbrush, tooth paste, hair gel, soft soap and travel size perfume) and one mini bag for electronic gadget (external HD, cables, chargers, card reader). This small bag also should be arranged in tetris order in order to make it not bulging and spend more space inside the backpack.
2.I fold all the tees into square shape .and roll up the briefs in order to keep it neat but still doesn’t take too much space Then I arrange them in a row, fill every tiny empty space.
3. I decide which one will be used more often and which one will be rarely touched, then I stack it based on its utility and its urgency:
- Extra jeans will be on the bottom, since it is called “extra”
- Tees and briefs are folded and arranged above the jeans
- banana chips bags are in the middle, below electronic gears and toiletries mini bag. I set this order because I always use to charge my cell phone in the airport (in a cafe or in some wall plug provided) and go to the rest room to wash my face or brush my teeth). While the chips bag could be given later when I have arrived.
- Sarong is put at the top as a multifunctional tool (mattress and blanket for sleeping anywhere)
- Shoes is put on each side backpack
Well, the order above is a sample and is not an absolute arrangement (which I know, seems so unprofessional, compared to the other who get used to do this method) . However, to sum up, tetris pack is dealing not only with the way you can arrange the placement of your stuffs to get enough space inside the bag, but also to make all stuffs easy to take without messing the tetris position.
Yup, all my bags are packed, I’m so ready to go 😀