Monday, March 24, 2014

My Blog, My Rules: Packing

In honor of spring break this week, I present to you, my readers...

I personally believe I've mastered the art of packing. I very rarely forget anything, and can pack lightly if I need to without leaving anything at home. Learn how to pack appropriately and efficiently in this post what I had to learn the hard way.
  1. Pick out your suitcase before packing anything. Are you going on a plane, train, bus, or in a car? Depending on your mode of transportation, your suitcase will have to be a certain size (thank you, airport security), weight (again: thank you airports) and/or shape (packing a car is hard!). To avoid frustration with fitting everything into a restrictive suitcase, be aware of how much you can fit into your luggage before deciding you want to travel with half your closet.
  2. Count the days you're going to need to dress for. It's easy to throw a bunch of your favorite items of clothing into a bag and call it good, but that leads to having an excess of clothes or not having enough to wear throughout your trip. Pack enough outfits to last you the time you'll be away (4 tops, 4 bottoms, 1 dress, for example), and maybe a couple extra necessary items. Tank tops, an extra cardigan, and a pair of black tights are some things I usually throw into my suitcase "just in case".
  3. Use a packing method. Packing for the time you'll be there can be done one of two ways: by packing outfits or by individual items. If you're packing outfits, make sure you have enough to make the outfit work--leggings if it gets cold out, a tank top to wear if the top is sheer--but not too many options to account for change in taste or surprising weather. Packing by outfits doesn't leave much room for adjustment. If you're someone who dresses according to mood, I'd recommend packing individual items.                                       When packing individual items, stick to a color scheme and general drape style: that way, you can wear any one piece of clothing with any other.
  4. Pack a day bag. Even if you don't use a small purse or backpack to transport your clothing, pack one just in case. You're not going to want to lug around your giant tote bag if you go sight seeing or exploring one day.
  5. Pay attention to the weather forecast. You don't want to get stuck in a thunderstorm without a rain jacket or caught in a heat wave with only jeans to wear. In this day and age, it's easy enough to get at least a general idea of the weather in the week (or weeks) to come-- take advantage of that!
  6. Don't bring things you won't use "just in case". For instance, I don't typically wear makeup in everyday situations, but I've often found myself hauling an entire makeup bag full of makeup on vacation with me. I never end up using any of it, so I've recently stopped bringing makeup "just in case" I feel like wearing it when I'm vacationing. Remember: it's a trip, not a new life.
  7. Don't worry about forgetting things. I have a mental checklist of four things: my computer, my phone, my keys, and my wallet. As long as I have those four things, I can make do with whatever else I remembered to bring; and that way I don't spend the entire trip worrying about whether or not I brought enough pairs of socks.

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