Thursday, August 18, 2011

packing tips from the worst one of all.

so.
something about me is that i'm a
notorious over packer. i always
end up packing way too much because
i want to bring different shoes to
match every different outfit, i want
to bring 4 different pairs of blue
jeans because i want to have the
option of choosing just the right
shade, i think i'll need 2 or 3
peacoats when i go home for
christmas because i want to be
able to having matching 
options for every single outfit
and, well.........
you get the picture.

so for our upcoming trip
to spain & subsequent move
to new york (in which the bulk
of our clothing could potentially
not arrive until two weeks
after we set up camp in
new york, meaning, all
totaled, we might be
living out of our suitcases
for a month) i really, really
wanted to learn from all my
mistakes over these many
years & pack really well,
ie pack really light.

aaaaaaanddddd...
[drum roll, please]
it happened!

it was happening right in front
of me & i still could hardly believe it.
i was able to fit in one bag all the
clothes i would need for potentially
one month (two weeks in spain,
two possible weeks in nyc) of
living out of my suitcase.



these pictures don't necessarily show it,
but there was still SO MUCH ROOM 
in the suitcase that we were able to
fit in other things we didn't think we
would have been able to!

here are a few tips that i found helpful:
[keeping in mind that i was packing for
a very hot place. these tips might differ

1. lightweight clothes!
light, airy fabrics fit SO nice & snug
in a suitcase. picture fabrics like these:





each of these tops would practically
disappear in your suitcase, also doubling
(even tripling!) the space to fit in other
things...maybe even more tops, if
that's what you would want!
the same goes with pants. it IS
possible to find breezy, lightweight pants!
imagine things like this:




materials like rayon, polyester &
silk, cotton, or linen blends are
a few great examples of lightweight
materials. this leads me to point
number two...

2. bring neutrals that will
match with a lot!
once you've found great lightweight
clothes (or even if you haven't), choose
a couple in just a few basic colors
that will match with practically 
everything.
one pair of pants in brown, one
in black, & one in, say, dark blue
will keep you going for days.
black pants like these would
match with practically every
top in your closet:


even with material a tad chunkier
than rayon or polyester, like jeans, just
bring the one or two pairs that would
safely match with everything. this was
where i got hung up a lot. i wanted to 
have lots of different options, but it
took up a lot of space. if you bring
a few neutral bottoms & then choose 
tops you feel pretty confident would 
match with every pair of bottoms you
bring, well, THEN we're talkin' options.
this coincidentally leads me to a
third point.

3. bring only a few shoes,
but bring the ones that will
match with everything.
if you were to go someplace hot,
i feel like one, maybe two
sandals (brown. & black as your
second pair) would do the trick.
sandals like these (again--neutrals!)
could safely match with, oh,
85% of what you're bringing.


granted, you DO have to find ones
most comfortable for walking, etc,
but once you've found a great pair,
you don't need to go much farther
than that, packing wise. i'm bringing
one pair of heels for either church
or a fun date night, etc, & if you
scroll back up you'll catch them
in the picture. they're heels, they're
sandals &--most important of all--
they're black & can match with a LOT.

4. roll roll roll!
i'm a big believer in rolling clothes
when packing. of course, this doesn't
work for everything--chunkier
sweaters & some jeans tend to get
REALLY big when rolled--but
if you're bringing lightweight stuff,
rolling something like a top will
cause it to end up about the size
of a hot dog. more space!

5. choose accessories wisely.
again--a few go a long way. take
stock of your travel wardrobe &
pick no more than, say, 2-3 belts,
2-3 pairs of earrings, etc. that
will match with almost everything.
just think of it like those math
problems we all used to do, where
if you multiply to find out how
many different possibilities 
there are for a certain thing like a
locker combination or something, 
you'll find the numbers get real
big real fast. it's like this image
i happened to find that uncannily
goes along with what i'm writing
about:


i put ALL of my accessories--belts,
jewelry, scarves, sunglasses, etc.--
into that TOMS box you see in the
picture. i had a lot of room for it.
sometimes even things like a plastic
ziploc bag to hold all your accessories
works great. i'm sure many of you 
probably have other great ways to 
 pack accessories, as well.

6. squish things into small places.
things like socks, underwear, 
scarves, & even some tops
can fit into those tiny tiny nooks
& crannies that save a lot of space.

7. stick a whole outfit in your carry on.
just in case your luggage gets lost
or something for a day or two. 
this also frees up a little more space
in your main bag!



............well, i think that's about
all i have for now! you all probably
have great packing tips as well,
things you hopefully, unlike me,
did NOT have to learn the hard way.

happy packing!

[p.s. all clothing pictures found here.]

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