Although I have made considerable progress in improving my packing skills, I have yet to pack for a longer trip in a carry-on suitcase. I decided that my trip to Arkansas was the perfect time to finally accomplish that particular feat. I used my usual, super precise method of laying a bunch of stuff on the bed until I figured out a combination of clothes that worked. In the process, I realized that: I have too many clothes… and that I need more basic, solid-colored pieces of clothing. I am not yet sure how I can accomplish both.
Anyway, this is what I ended up with:
One dress, 3 pairs of pants, 8 shirts, one cardigan, 4 pairs of shoes, and a few accessories. With a bit more effort I could have probably narrowed it down a little more. But instead I used that effort to make cookies.
Once I chose what I wanted to bring, it was quick business to break out and fill my trusty packing cubes. Amazingly, all of these clothes, plus undies and pjs fit into two cubes.
Once the cubes and my shoes were packed, there was still plenty of room for everything else I needed to put in the suitcase.
Seeing how easy it was to pack for 10 days in a small suitcase, I sort of wonder why on earth I lugged around large suitcases for all these years. In the interest of full disclosure, I also brought a small bag for Sydney and a backpack with my hiking stuff, so technically not everything was in the suitcase. But, I’m still pretty proud of my most recent packing success.
Tips I Should Have Followed and Didn’t (e.g., Don’t Be Like Me):
- Pick a single color scheme for your travel wardrobe. Unless by “single color scheme” you just mean “color,” I’m pretty sure I didn’t follow this tip. Someone who actually knew what they were doing would choose a neutral color like brown, black, or gray and build their outfits around that. Not even my shoe choices were all that basic. Speaking of…
- Only pack two pairs of shoes – one casual/comfortable and one that can be a bit more dressy. And maybe a pair of athletic shoes. So, see those four pairs of shoes (plus, my hiking shoes). Yep, didn’t follow this tip either.
- Bring pieces of clothing that can multi-task or be worn multiple times. I guess I didn’t do too bad with this one.
- Accessories are your friend. At least I did something right. Of course, the one tip I actually followed was not necessarily focused on minimizing.
- Use packing cubes because even when you continue to overpack, you can fit a bunch of stuff into them and seem like you are good at packing. Okay, I just made that one up. But it is true.
- Ummm, let’s not even talk about my toiletry situation. That is still a work in progress.
Moral of the story: Do as I say, not as I do.
Second moral of the story: Even a recovering overpacker who remains a bit of a hypocrite can fit over a week’s worth of stuff into a small suitcase.
The move to Oregon is less than a month away, which is just about the craziest sentence ever, so I am not sure how much time I will have to focus on the blog. I will eventually write about some of the fun things I did while in Arkansas and before I know it I will be writing about the fun things I am doing in Oregon! Meanwhile, I am going to pretend that I am not freaking out and try to apply my minimal packing skills to packing an entire apartment. Any pointers? Or volunteers?!