Packing is a whole lot faster when the essentials are already taken care of.

How long does it take you to pack for a trip? A month (hey, you want to make sure you have everything you could possibly need)? A week? Or less than an hour on the morning of your flight?

If you’re anything like most people, one thing’s for sure – packing ends up taking a lot longer than you think it will, no matter how early you start. Even if you’ve mentally plotted your outfits weeks in advance, it’s always the little things that seem to take forever to gather and organize.

But there is a simple way to radically cut down the amount of time it takes to pack – and that’s to double your stuff. By that, I don’t mean you should pack more (although that would definitely cut down on decision-making time!). What I mean is that you should keep duplicates of the things you can’t live without.

Here are the three categories of “stuff” I suggest duplicating:

1. Toiletries

2. Makeup

3. Chargers for your electronics

And here’s why:

First of all, toiletries are something you know you’ll need to pack every time, but fiddling around trying to decant your regular products into travel-sized tubes and packing them so they won’t leak all over your clothes is time-consuming at best and stress-inducing at worse (you’ve run out of zip-lock bags? The toothpaste is almost out? You can’t remember which little identical tube is shampoo and which is conditioner? All your products refuse to squish into the quart-sized carry-on?).

As for makeup and chargers, I find they’re the kind of things you’re quite often using right up until departure, meaning you can’t pack them until shortly before you leave. In the rush, you might forget them. Lack of lipstick might not be the end of the world (for most) but lack of a phone charger just might be.

If you really want to take the concept of duplicates to a whole new level, you may also want to add socks and underwear to the list above – just in case you’re called on a trip and laundry day has yet to arrive.

If you’re a frequent business traveler or regular road warrior, having these essentials bagged up and waiting in your suitcase can vastly speed up the packing process and ensure you’re ready to travel at a moment’s notice.

What do you think? Do you do something like this? Are there any other items you like to have ready to go?