I’ve got packing down to a science. Here’s how I do it. Use this guide to make sure you never forget anything again.

Stage One: Pre-Packing
Timeline: Two Weeks Pre-Travel

At this stage, you want to start making your list. Everything you’re going to be needing for your adventure. Separate it into checked luggage, and carry on, and then further separate it into different categories for your organization. Compile your list over a few days, and try to remember things that you might have missed.

Stage Two: The Great Gathering
Timeline: 10 Days Pre-Travel

Using your list, gather everything you possibly can, and place it in a separate area of your apartment. Try to include everything you’re going to be using while abroad from clothes right down to the toothpaste and charging cables.

Stage Three: The Trial Run
Timeline: One Week Pre-Travel

With your things gathered, stow away anything you’re not bringing. Keep them in drawers, or pack them away for long term storage if you’re keen. Take all the things you’ve packed for your trip, and live out of your suitcase for a few days. If you need to use something not in your suitcase – you’ve forgotten it. Use it and pack it with your luggage. This step makes sure you have absolutely everything you need.

Stage Four: The Final Countdown
Timeline: One to Two Days Pre-Travel

Once you’re satisfied that you have everything you need, pack your suitcase for real. Keep out only the essentials – your phone, laptop, charging cables, and a few toiletries. Make a separate list of these things, so when the morning of your flight comes, you know exactly what you’re missing. For the next few days, live off the clothing and items you stowed away, and rest safe knowing you’re fully packed.

Good Luck!

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