Making Sense Out of Packing

When it comes to packing for a trip or vacation, most of us dread it. So many times, I'd say to myself, "where do I even start?". Usually this mental state of chaos would result in haphazardly throwing things into my bag at the 11th hour; usually forgetting something. One time it was shoes, another time it was pajamas, and most recently it was the fabulous vintage handbag to an equally fabulous dress I wore to my sister-in-laws wedding. Had I followed my "rules" for well planned packing - then I wouldn't have had to resort to a $7.99 TJMaxx fill-in handbag.

With summer underway and vacation season is at it's peak, I'm sharing some packing tips that have worked for me. Typically, I try to use them. When I do, I'm well packed and know exactly where to find what I'm looking for.

  • Determine the weather for the location you're visiting. This will help you decide on whether to pack a suitcase full of tank tops and shorts or pants and long-sleeved shirts.
  • The week before your trip, start putting a list together of items you don't want to forget. Just get it down on paper. Don't be afraid to add to your packing list, all other obvious items including pajamas, workout gear, jackets, camera/charger, etc. not part of the outfit planning mentioned below.
  • Take pieces of scrap paper and on each one, write each day of the week you'll be gone. Lay them across your bed so you can see how many outfits you need to pack for. If you have the forecast, you'll have a guide for how to dress for each day (assuming there's always a margin of error). Under each paper, lay out what you'll plan to wear for that day (don't get too caught up on a Wednesday vs. Thursday unless the weather is drastically different or you've got a special occasion to dress for.) The idea is that you plan enough outfits in total. Be sure to lay out undergarments, belts, shoes, handbags and jewelry too. It really helps to see a total outfit.
  • Be sure to set aside your "travel outfit" that wouldn't be packed as well as an outfit for a special dinner out or any other evening affair that you might change clothes for. In this case, for example, you might make a paper for "Saturday night" too.
  • Lay all outfits in your suitcase with the first day of your trip on top. You can use the scrap paper to separate each outfit. If you're packing for kids, you can even put each outfit in a gallon zip lock bag and label each one with the day of the week. Okay, I admit I've done this for my stuff too. But packing is easier and more organized this way than stuffing everything into your main bag.
  • Since most of us like to shower and use our toiletry items before they're packed, they're usually the last to go in the bag. Try packing these items in the toiletry bag first, then pull them out as needed when you're getting ready to travel. After I'm done using the items, I place them back in my toiletry bag, minimizing the chance of leaving anything behind. I also put everything liquid in a ziplock bag. It has saved me many-a-messes in my bag.
  • Containerize similar, but random things in one place. For example, all travel documents, maps, passports, etc. should be grouped together. All electronic items grouped together (camera, charger, cell phone charger, headset, memory cards, etc.) I love, love, love the zip pouches by Jane Marvel for packing items like these.
As you pack for your next business trip, girls weekend or family vacation, try some (or all) of these tips and see if you feel that much closer to being a well planned woman.

1 comment:

  1. So I am sending my kids off to grandma camp this weekend and face the task of packing for them today. Pieces of paper for each day of the week is a great idea to help my kids understand how they can help me. Going to try it today.


We're on this journey together! Share your comments, stories, SNAFU's or recommendations on topics you'd like covered.



Becoming a Well Planned Woman | Creative Commons Attribution- Noncommercial License | Dandy Dandilion Designed by Simply Fabulous Blogger Templates