7 tips on how to pack better, from someone who owns a label maker.
Packing brings me joy. Not kidding. Packing well brings me even more joy. There’s nothing I love more than a neat suitcase that has all of my things in perfect compartments. I truly believe having a well-packed bag makes the trip more enjoyable and is essential to relaxing on your vacation. Here are a few tips that I’ve come up with over the last few years that make packing a breeze.
- Create a staging area. This is absolutely key and ensures you don’t forget anything. It allows you to be organized before you fit everything into your bag(s). A good place to start is your bed (lay a towel down to protect your bedding from things like shoes and cosmetics). Never pack things directly into your bag first – it makes it harder to see what you’re bringing.
- Think about lounge time. I find that most people over-pack on clothing for daytime and events, but often forget to bring clothes for relaxing. No matter where I am going, I always pack a sweatshirt. You won’t regret it for cold hotel rooms and airplanes.
- Start early and edit. I recommend starting a couple of days before you leave for a weekend trip, and a few days before you leave for longer jaunts. This gives you time to run out and get things you may have forgotten, or wash your favorite shirt that you want to bring. Packing is a process – don’t forget to edit down and remove things as you go.
- Plan Outfits. I generally try on all of my outfits. It means that I always remember the appropriate undergarments and find ways to mix and match shoes and accessories. If you’re going for a special event like a wedding, bring a backup outfit. A stuck zipper 5 minutes before you need to leave happens more often than you think.
- Pack Beauty Products Last: I pack beauty products last as I’m getting ready so that I can go through my full routine. As I complete each step, I’ll move the products into smaller containers and pack them. I’ll use a pill box for vitamins and supplements, and small re-usable containers for liquid products. This is where the label maker comes in….
- Be Ruthless on Shoes. Shoes take up the most space, and pose the largest challenge on packing light. Try to keep it to three or less. I typically go with – a pair of workout shoes, comfortable shoes I can wear all day, plus one extra like sandals. Wear the bulkiest shoes for traveling.
Write down your “easily forgettables”: There are a few things that I seem to always forget, so, I’ve compiled them here. Put a list of these in your phone and check it after you’re done packing. Your list will change over the years but current list is:
- A smaller bag for daytime (like a cross-body or clutch)
- Small laundry bag
- Headphones for the airplane (with a regular jack to connect to their plug)
- A small gift for your host (I like a pretty bar of soap or a book you recently read and loved)