Among all of our trips and our house relocations, I've found that:
1) We do this way too much!
2) We really have this packing thing down! (It's an art, really.)
We have packed up all of our possessions that we own and moved them to a completely new vacation via commercial flights over eight separate times!
I wanted to share the wisdom we have had with some hopefully very helpful tips for you travellers.
1. Give yourself a head start! - Around a week before the departure time, get yourself a week's worth of clothes out and start packing! Pack your clothes for your trip a week ahead of time. You'll wear your week's worth of clothes during this time. During this time you can also use those your "packing clothes" to wrap your valuables in so you can protect them during the process of flying! You want to save yourself all the stress you can, and you want to be an effective and efficient packer!
2. Roll your clothes. - I bet many of you would really be surprised when you find how much your luggage can really hold! Fold your clothes so they are longer than they are wide, and roll them up! Tightly pack them into your luggage as a bottom layer or more if necessary. (They also make a nice protective barrier!) If you tip your luggage up so it's standing, you want to start packing the bottom side of your luggage. That way when you start rolling your luggage along, gravity won't kill your secure packing job!
3. Larger and thinner clothes - Use your large flat/thin clothes and fabrics to put on top and tuck those rolled up clothes in! Pretend you are tucking your rolled up clothes in for bedtime, as you would a child. This prevents shifting which helps if, heaven forbid, you need to rethink your packing, etc. These would be blankets, dresses, thinner long-sleeved shirts, etc.
4. Cram socks and underwear into your shoes - Anything inside your luggage that can contain anything else should be crammed with clothes, etc!
5. Making weight - Buy a luggage scale. They are around $20 and they will save you a lot of time and stress! These luggage scales are handles with straps or hooks so you can lift your luggage and find out the exact weight. Standing on a scale with your luggage in hand and subtracting your weight is not really efficient and not really accurate. Sure, it works at times, but sometimes it doesn't and you'll get stuck with a fee that was double (or more) the price of a luggage scale.
6. Utilize your carry-on - Your carry-on is not for bringing convenient things with you on the plane so you are not bored. (Not in my mind!) Your carry-on is for the heaviest things you can think of! (But make sure you'll be able to lift it into the overhead compartment, or that it'll fit under your seat!) Use a personal item (purse or briefcase or laptop bag) to hold all the things that will keep your mind busy during the flight.
I hope these tips help you all out. Sometimes there is not much you can do - you have to bring extra suitcases and/or go overweight. If you have extra tips or questions, please comment on this post!