01 March 2014
HOW TO PACK A SUITCASE
Creases are a thing of the past – tips and tricks from the professional “suitcase packer“ at Rocco Forte Hotel de Rome
Berlin, March 2014 – Packing a suitcase is a necessary evil for many people, but for Ivica Tot-Genz it is a passion. The professional suitcase packer at the Hotel de Rome knows exactly how to make sure that shirts, blouses, jackets, trousers and everything else arrive at their destination safe and sound.
Ivica Tot-Genz is in fact the laundry manager at the luxury five-star hotel in Berlin. He is a trained bespoke tailor and years ago he used to fold parachutes for stowing under pilots’ seats back in his native Croatia. Anyone who is able to fold a parachute so that it opens up again with ease is ideally suited to packing suitcases. And it goes without saying that he has gained lots of experience at the Hotel de Rome. Be it a family with 40 cases or a 10,000 euro kimono that needs to be painstakingly folded – they’re all a piece of cake for Tot-Genz. He knows exactly what the real problem is for many travellers. “Most people simply pack too much and take things with them that they don’t need,” he says, with a smile. “Business people travel a lot, which means they are well organised. They often travel only with hand luggage and take the exact amount of clothing they need for each day.”
For travellers whose luggage is somewhere between a large trunk and a minutely organised trolley case, Ivica Tot-Genz has 10 fail-safe tips to ensure the contents arrive crease-free:
- Get an overview. As so often in life, proper planning is essential and that also goes for packing a suitcase. First of all, gather together everything you want to pack. This will give you an idea of what you actually need and what size case you should pick.
- Put heavy things at the bottom. Logical really, isn’t it? A wrongly packed heavy item, such as a book, can ruin everything.
- Rolling is better than folding. Trousers, t-shirts, ties and so on do not crease as much if they are rolled.
- Use tissue paper to prevent creases. Tot-Genz says the paper absorbs the creases and the clothes stay crease-free. Simply wrap or roll jackets, trousers and so on in tissue paper.
- Use cardboard for shirts. Tot-Genz puts thin cardboard underneath shirts to help them retain their shape.
- Stuff it. Not the suitcase, but the jacket. To stop jacket sleeves wrinkling, put some tissue paper in the sleeves. When you arrive at your destination, the paper will be crumpled but the jacket will not be.
- Pack shoes individually in shoe bags or plastic bags so it is easier to spread them out around the case.
- Finish with underwear and socks. They are very effective as padding and you can use them to fill any small gaps that are left after packing.
- Liquids belong in a separate bag. Who wants the crease problem to pale in comparison to the shower gel leaking in your case?
- The amount of clothing should fit the size of the case. If you pack too much in a case that is too small, even the very best folding tips will not be of any use.
If you want a perfectly packed suitcase, you simply need to check into the Hotel de Rome. The packing and unpacking service offered by Tot-Genz is inclusive for the hotel’s guests. However, it is almost exclusively men who take advantage of this service. “Women do not really seem to like handing over their luggage to a stranger,” says Tot-Genz, before adding: “I understand that. It’s a very intimate thing to do.”
Tot-Genz goes on to reveal a few inside secrets. We learn that the British often pack an odd number of socks, young travellers are instantly recognisable from the jumble of chargers they carry and Americans have a preference for perfumed fabric softeners. Every guest who has their case packed by Tot-Genz receives a sachet of lavender and a personal greeting in their suitcase.
But when Tot-Genz himself goes away on a trip, he does exactly what most of his guests do before he gets his hands on their case: “I open the case and just throw everything in,” he laughs.
Director of Communications
Hotel de Rome
10117 Berlin, Germany
Tel.: +49 (0)30 460 609 1460
Fax: +49 (0)30 460 609 2410
Schoeller & von Rehlingen PR
Sandra Köhnert and Nadine Wolf
81679 Munich, Germany
Tel.: +49 (0)89 99 84 27 -13 and -18