What did I forget: How to pack stress-free and stay organized

August 8, 2019

There is nothing worse than packing for a trip and having that, “What did I forget,” feeling. Or, if you’re like me, getting either to the airport or two hours away from home, and suddenly realizing that you forgot your tooth brush *Face Palm* And the chaos that is a suitcase. I’m not OCD enough to perfectly plan out each day’s outfit and pack it all in order, but it drives me crazy when I need my shorts for the day, and they are ALLLLL the way down at the very bottom of my suitcase, and I have to destroy the rest of my suitcase to get to them. So annoying. I’ve traveled enough to learn a few tips and tricks on how to pack quickly, efficiently, neatly, and never have that, “Oh shoot, I forgot __________,” moment. Also, I’ve never been one to pack days in advance. I’m more of a 15 mins before I have to leave the house kinda girl (I’m working on my procrastination habits, but still not totally there.) At any rate, this method can still work if you’re a professional procrastinator, like me! Here are my three top tips for packing your suitcase!

Have a Master List of all travel essentials that you keep on your phone.

No matter where you’re going, what length of time, or what season it is, there are always going to be a few items that come with you. This includes makeup, personal care items, underwear, etc. I started keeping a list on my phone of every day necessities that need to come with me. I’ve found it’s so easy to forget about packing shampoo or toothpaste because it’s a given that it’s always going to be in the shower or drawer waiting on us. However, writing out these things and checking them off as you put them in your suitcase is immensely helpful, and it requires you to think less when you’re running around your room grabbing things to throw in your suitcase.

Lay out your clothes to help you visualize outfits and cut down on excess.

I’m a big believer in only bringing clothes that you can wear multiple ways. If I’m going on a 4-day trip, I’m not going to bring 4 pairs of pants. Bring one or two at most, and wear them with different tops/shoes to make completely different looks. Because I’m visual, I like to lay my clothes out to see what outfits I’m bringing and if there’s anything I can pare down. For example, if I have out a pair of shoes that only goes with one outfit, I’m probably going to put that pair back in my closet to leave at home because I don’t want to waste valuable luggage space with a pair of shoes that’s only going to get worn one time. Also, pro tip: shoes are one of the heaviest items that will go in your suitcase. If you’re flying, really take a look at your shoes, and only bring the bare minimum to keep your suitcase under the weight limit.

Packing cubes are literally the greatest things ever.

While I’m not OCD by any stretch of the imagination, I do like to be organized. I need some sense or order in my day-to-day life, and my suitcase is no exception. I’ve only, in the last year or so, recently heard of packing cubes. I really didn’t (and honestly still don’t) understand HOW they save so much space when packing, but I can absolutely assure you do they. I have two sets of packing cubes, THIS set of 3 and THIS set of 7. The set of 3 is a compression pack, so I like to use this set to pack bulkier items like jackets. I use these for short weekend trips so I can get away with taking a smaller suitcase and they would also be great if you’re going on a long trip and will need more clothing items. They zip so flat and save such an incredible amount of space. The set of seven is nice to keep things organized and neat in the suitacase, and while it does save space, it’s not quite the same space saver as the compression pack. You certainly don’t need two sets, but I enjoy having lots of cubes. I pack all my shirts in one, pants in another, dresses in a 3rd, etc., for each clothing category you’ll be taking.  You can also use a cube and pack them with each outfit, but again, since I don’t pack a completely different outfit for each day and some of my clothing items overlap days, it works better for me the other way. The packing cubes not only save valuable space in your luggage, but will also keep you super organized throughout your trip. No more digging to the bottom of your suitcase to retrieve one little item. PRAISES!! 

I hope these tips were helpful for you! What’s your #1 travel hack that I need to know about?

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