I admit, I am a hopeless over-packer. Yes, I’m the one that packs enough clothing for a world vacation, when I only need enough for 5 days. I will mentally go through the “what if” scenarios, and pack outfits for each and everyone. Safari in Vegas? I’m prepared. Skiing in Honolulu? Check. Let it be said that no matter where I go when I’m out of town, I have just the perfect ensemble tucked away in my suitcase.
As one who over-packs, there are certain strategies that I must employ to ensure that even though my bag may be stuffed to the gills, it won’t weigh more than 50 lbs and cost me any of my fun money. Here are just a few of my pointers:
Roll your clothes - yes, roll them up, military style. You’ll be surprised how much more you can fit into one suitcase. Wrinkles are virtually eliminated, as rolling keeps your clothes from getting crunched. In some instances, proper clothes rolling can result in being able to take a carry-on instead of a checked bag. Score!
Keep a list of your outfits - if your suitcase has more clothes in it than a shopping bag full of Nordstrom’s sale items, you know you’ll have a tough time keeping track of just what’s in it. Make a list. Write down each outfit you put together, and if you are really detailed, assign the outfit to a particular day. This ensures that you’ll have your bases covered, and allows you more room in your suitcase for packing non-essential things (formal gown for a trip to the Alps, anyone?)
Try on everything - try on each and every outfit you plan to take with you. There is nothing worse than laying out a week’s worth...okay more like ten days worth...of clothes, only to arrive at your destination and realize that certain items don’t work together. Trying everything on also ensures that you don’t wind up with any embarrassing moments, like striped undies under white pants, or a black bra and a strapless dress.
The accessories - as you try on all your outfits, add in the accessories you plan to wear with each. If you see opportunity to repurpose a silver pendant with two outfits, do it. Shoes are a major suitcase spacehog, so try to limit yourself to no more than 3 pairs. Nest your shoes inside each other, and line the edges of your suitcase with them, thereby creating a little space in the middle for items like jackets to be packed flat. With necklaces, I like to sort mine out into little cinched jewelry pouches so that they don’t get hopelessly tangled in transit.
Makeup and perfumes - the TSA regulations have made carrying perfumes, lotions and other feminine sundries a true pain. But, if you smartly pack two of your favorite perfumes rolled inside a shirt, or a pair of socks, you’ll save space and cushion them from breaking. NOTE: This doesn’t work for carry-ons. With a carry-on, your best bet is to head to Sephora and stock up on the free-with-purchase samples. Use your trip to audition new perfumes to find new faves. Hairspray and body lotions can be rolled inside of pant legs, thereby saving space in your makeup bag for lipsticks, eye shadows and moisturizers.
Now, reading this you may think that my goal is to pack as lightly as possible by only taking what I need. Au contraire! By following my pointers, you not only can pack all your favorite “what if” outfits, along with any “maybe I might need it” selections. Not to mention that by smartly organizing your suitcase, you are guaranteed to have room to shop, shop, shop wherever your travels to take you! That is what a true fashionista would do...