While going on vacation is fun, packing for the excursion is not. Trying to remember everything you need can lead to stress, which may make you rethink whether you really want to go.

Don’t let something as simple as packing bring you down. With a bit of practice, you can become a professional at knowing what items to take and which ones you should leave at home. Here are six tips to help you get ready for your next vacation.

1. Make a Checklist

Start writing down items you’ll need for your trip. Keep the list nearby so when something new pops into your head, you’ll be able to record the thought immediately. This process will ensure you won’t forget anything, which will reduce your travel anxiety.

Don’t just make a list for fun; make sure you review it when the time comes to pack your belongings. Ask yourself whether each item is essential, and if not, ditch it to lighten the load. Check off each thing as you evaluate its importance, and when you cross the last item off, your luggage will be ready to go.

2. Keep Toiletries Packed

If you want to limit the amount of time you spend making sure you have a toothbrush, toothpaste and deodorant, store them in a travel toiletry bag. Having everything in one place will ensure you won’t forget the necessities. Keep the bag in a designated location so you can grab it and go without a second thought.

3. Roll Clothing

To ensure you can fit all of your clothing in your suitcase, roll each piece. Folding clothes takes more space, and it causes your shirts and pants to become wrinkled. 

Additionally, if you’re looking into summer cruises, you may be limited on the amount of luggage you can take. Check out your clothing inventory and decide which pieces are necessary. Do your research before going to see exactly what you’ll need. For example, if there’s a pool, take a bathing suit. If the nights are supposed to be chilly, take a sweatshirt or sweater. By rolling these essentials, you’ll be able to make room for souvenirs.

4. Use Packing Cubes

Do you prefer suitcase organization over a jumbled mess? If you want to keep your shirts separate from your pants, roll each type in its own cube. These durable containers come in various shapes, sizes and colors, so choose options that best fit your needs.

5. Wash Clothes

The last thing you probably want to do on vacation is a chore. However, if you find a local laundromat or your hotel has one available, consider using it. Utilizing a washer and dryer will allow you to pack lighter. Trips are meant for rest anyhow, so take a break and relax while your clothes are tumbling dry.

If laundry services aren’t available or are too expensive, wash your garments in the sink and let them air dry. Keep a travel-size detergent and a sink stopper in your toiletries’ bag just in case you decide to do some laundry on the road.

6. Store Small Items Inside Shoes

If you need a place to stash jewelry, makeup or charging cables, place them in your shoes to ensure they travel safely. You won’t have to dump out your entire suitcase searching for an item if you always put it in your favorite sandal.

Since shoes are generally dirty from walking outside, opt against putting them directly against your clean clothes. Instead, place your heels, flats or tennis shoes into ziplock or shopping bags before putting them into the suitcase.

Don’t let the packing process stress you out. Slow down, take a deep breath and think about what you’ll need. Review the items you took on your last trip and ask yourself whether you wore all of the clothes or if most things stayed in your suitcase. With some extra thought and preparation, you’ll become a packing professional in no time.