The 3-Bin Theory Every Smart Traveler Follows

Seasoned travelers have three things in common. 1) They've nailed down a go-to airport outfit (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Miranda Kerr, we're looking at you). 2) They strategize their time through security. 3) They swear they will "finally" apply for TSA PreCheck (because we all know that's the real answer to expediting the security process). So for those who've yet to check that off their to-do list, today's simple trick is the next best way to speed through the dreaded security line.

The key is to use the three-bin theory (visual below), which is the quickest way to get through the line and off to your gate. With no fuss and no wasting time, instead it's about strategy and efficiency. What is the three-bin theory? It's the order in which you put your belongings through the conveyor belt.

For me, I always put my shoes and outerwear in the first bin, laptop in the second, and my purse, small carry-on, and liquids in the last. This thoughtful order allows me to breeze through security and quickly resituate myself without wasting time. Bin one has my shoes and outerwear so as I wait for the rest of my personal items I have time to put my sneakers and sweater/coat/jacket on without holding up the line. By the time the last bin exits the scanner, all I have to do is grab my purse and bag and go! Though it sounds like a no-brainer, I always (without a doubt) see several travelers struggling at the end of the conveyor belt scrambling to put themselves back in order. The three-bin theory puts the process to ease. Try it the next time you're traveling.

Share the above illustration of the three-bin theory with your frequent-flyer friends and shop our favorite airport essentials below.

Do you own a pair of straight-leg jeans yet? 

Style this with your go-to sneakers and simple black leggings. 

You'l get so much wear out of this sweater over the next few months. 

Update your white sneakers for a luxe suede pair.

Metallic is totally a neutral in our books. 

Wear this with jeans or mesh leggings for the ultimate comfort look. 

Polished outerwear is a must for a chic airport outfit. 

Do you follow the three-bin theory? Share your favorite airport hack in the comments below! 

Opening Image: @songofstyle