I don’t know where my bad packing habits came from, but I’ve settled on blaming it on Rachel Zoe. Too many episodes of The Rachel Zoe Project in my youth has my mind screaming ‘options!’ every time I pack for a trip. Though I don’t think I’ll ever get down to being a ‘minimalist’ I have worked my way down from serious overpacking to something more reasonable; Here’s how I did it.
What I want to pack: When I’m faced with my empty suitcase, I dive into packing wanting every outfit to be special. This isn’t a bad thing per say, but it some how morphs into thinking that I need 3 different outfits per-day.
What I packed: To fix this problem I needed to get practical. Though I’m not the biggest fan of capsule wardrobes for day-to-day purposes, the principle works really well for packing.
First, most every piece of clothing should be warn more than once. This was why I picked two jeans, with opposite colors for diversity, and stuck to thin layers that I could mix and match.
Second, keep the color scheme simple and easy. Color is the easiest way to know all the clothes your packing can mix and match. Because of the colder weather I figured this trip would be the last hurra for my winter clothes before they’re packed away. This meant lots of grey, black and dark green. I left the more daring colors for my makeup and gold jewelry.
What I wanted to pack: With the thought that this was my last chance for winter wear, I immediately wanted to pull out all of my winter makeup.
What I packed: To reel it back, I chose lipstick to focus on. I kept one look the whole trip and packed two different lips to switch between, pink and purple. They are both different types of a statements so despite monotony everywhere else it kept the looks fun. An even more paired down version would be to keep everything the same, skip the lipstick, and switch up the eyeliner each day.
What I want to pack: I always find it fun to look through all the samples I’ve stock piled form Sephora orders and department store runs and piece together a routine. The problem is I tend to skew towards a pamper routine filled with everything I could possibly need for every situation.
What I packed: Here I needed to switch my view to the other side of the spectrum. My skin has been breaking out a lot lately so I thought about how few products I could possibly use. Packing samples instead of full size items is always helpful as well, just keep it to things that’ll actually be used up.
What I want to pack: When I pack books, electronics and those kind of things (the randoms) I always pack for a different version of me … and time. Like suddenly I need 3 books for a weekend even though I don’t read that fast. Why don’t I throw in a couple magazines for variety as well. And every girl needs a sleep mask on a trip too right? I don’t use one normally but it’s essential now clearly..
What I packed: For this the amount of space I had left over helped keep things to a minimum. Setting a bag limit helps, but I also had to get real with myself. One book and one magazine is more than enough, a tablet is a much better plan than lugging a computer around and you don’t need road trip games when you have good friends to talk to.
Most importantly, don’t let the packing stress you out. It’s not worth it. Pack your ID and your meds and have a great time.