I’m writing this blog in my home office and it feels amazing to be sitting in my own space writing to all of you. The past month has been constant driving and travel and I. Am. Exhausted. All for amazing things, don’t get me wrong. I’ve had the pleasure to work with some awesome clients, to have family time as well as see some college friends. I’ve never minded driving long distances or traveling if it means seeing the people I care about or being able to seize opportunities. The upside to traveling this much (other than getting to see great people!) is that I’ve started to learn what is necessary to pack and what isn’t.
I have been lucky throughout my life to have traveled as much as I have. I’ll be the first to admit, I ALWAYS OVER PACK. It is ridiculous. I just went to New Zealand over Christmas/New Years and I was the only one who had a bag past the weight limit. It was embarrassing! After that trip though I pinpointed it to, I am a “just-in-case” packer. It can be a bad thing if space is limited (or if there is a weight limit…) but it ultimately makes me feel unorganized and overwhelmed having more than I need in one small suitcase.
I have a few tips to make your packing experience a little happier, organized and stress-free. Let me preface with the fact that I am a visual learner, so I find it helpful to lay everything out on a flat surface as you are going through these steps. (I even go as far as laying them out in the order I’d wear them but I understand not everyone is as particular as I am. Ha!)
First, crank your favorite tunes. It helps. Trust me.
Second, look at your calendar and see how many days you’ll be gone. I’ll use the past week as my example. I was going to be on the road for 5 days going to and from Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa. I would also make it a habit to look at the weather and see what the forecast is looking like for the days you’ll be there.
The next step is to look at your days and see what events or activities you have where special attire is required. For example, I was going to my best friend’s baby shower and my bachelorette party. Those were events that I was going to wear something other than my everyday casual clothes. Pick those out and lay them off to the side.
For every other day, my rule of thumb is to pick pants then tops. For pants/bottoms, I always go for half the days I’ll be gone. So, being gone for 5 days (I round down) that would mean 2 bottoms. Another thing to consider is whether you’ll have access to laundry. This is a game changer if you’re gone for longer than a week. In my case I didn’t have to worry too much about this since I was only gone for a few days. I packed two pairs of shorts and one pair of jeans (& belt!) in case it was colder than I was expecting. Don’t forget your undies!
When it comes to tops, try to make sure that one shirt would match at least two of the bottoms you picked out. This becomes even more helpful when you’re gone for a long period of time, but it is nice to be able to mix it up even when you don’t have your full closet at your fingertips. Make sure you have the right undergarments for the shirts you’re packing too.
Now that you have outfits picked out and grouped together, look at the shoes you are going to need. Don’t forget socks! I try to pack outfits that require the least number of shoes. For example, I would wear my sandals with the shorts I packed, so I made sure the jeans I packed would also go with the same sandals. That way I’m not packing 5 pairs of shoes and it gives more room in the suitcase for other things.
PJs! “Choose Happy” is always a nice reminder in the morning 😊
Workout clothes if that is your cup of tea. I knew I’d be doing a yoga class when I was away so I made sure to pack clothes to do that. (“Not all hero’s wear capes, some wear yoga pants” tank is awesome!! The mission behind the 109 nonprofit is amazing and you should check it out here to get your own gear/support it!)
A sweater/hoodie (Go Cyclones!) for chilly nights, a book and charger.
Then of course I had to pack all my toiletries in my favorite on the go organizer. It was a #GoodFindFriday a few weeks ago! Check it out here if you missed it!
So, to summarize:
Now, you have everything laid out, folded nicely and you’re putting everything in your suitcase, AVOID ADDING MORE. This is my weakness being a “Just-in-case” packer, but trust your instincts and stick to what you’ve laid out.
The biggest most important piece of advice I can give you when packing is: Don’t pack anything you wouldn’t normally wear when you’re at home. If you’re getting ready for the day and you skip over the same shirt every day at home, well first off, maybe donate it if you’re not wearing it…but definitely don’t pack it!! When we’re on the go & traveling we want to feel ourselves and at our best. Chances are if it’s not one of your “favorites”, you won’t feel that way.
I hope this helps the next time you’re packing for your next great adventure. Let me know how it works for you!! Have a beautiful week 😊
Opt Org Peeps! Any tips on brands of suitcases?? I’m thinking of getting a new one. Comment below!!
Emily has a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from Iowa State University. There she learned how valuable organization can be in being productive. She chose to use this knowledge and help others achieve this productivity and optimization in their homes and small businesses. Read & Enjoy and as always, let us know if you have any questions!