Plan for Stress Free Packing

Here’s how my husband packs for a trip. He opens his armoire doors. Then he stops to think about how long we’re going to be gone and the weather. (I know what he’s thinking because he usually says it out loud as if I have time to listen while I’m packing.) For example, if we’re going to Vail skiing for 3 days, 2 nights, he grabs 1 pair of jeans, 2 sweaters, 2 white t-shirts and of course the appropriate number of socks and underwear.

He doesn’t contemplate the extra “just in case” outfit, what accessories to take or what if he’s “not in the mood’ to wear exactly what he packs.

I will wholeheartedly admit I’m jealous! Even though I’m a professional image consultant, and I have upgraded my packing skills 1000%, I still, as a woman, have so many more things to consider and my packing time is much longer than my husband’s.

However…as I admitted, I have pretty good packing skills and want to share just a few of my tips with you today.

5 Tips for Stress Free Packing

1. After you get an idea of what the weather will be like, write out an itinerary for each day from morning until evening. Except for when I went to Europe in ’08, I typically don’t follow a super strict travel  schedule, but knowing the types of things you’ll do even if you don’t do them on the prescribed day, is indispensable when packing.

2. After choosing a color scheme, plan outfits for each day’s activities. (And only take clothes you absolutely love!)  I know it sounds regimented, and truly I’m not so disciplined, but doing this is totally helpful and prevents you from having an overstuffed suitcase full of random clothing. Ah, and you won’t forget anything, either!

Make sure to write down every outfit, even if you’re only changing accessories or a layering piece. It saves you time getting dressed, crucial when traveling for business or whirlwind pleasure trips.

3. Be realistic! I used to plan to a full change of clothes for evening, every day. I’ve learned, I’m not the “disco queen” I envision myself to be in my head, and often the restaurants we go to are casual enough for what I’ve had on during the day. If you really want to change your look from day to evening, consider different accessories or losing a layer instead of packing another complete outfit.

4. Now try on the outfits to make sure they fit and you like them. I can’t think of anything more depressing than getting to my destination and having my clothes not fit.

5. Try for as few pairs of shoes as possible. Yep! This is hard! Shoes are heavy in the suitcase. On this note, since you’re doing some mix and match, try to pare down accessories and jewelry, too. You’ll have fewer items to keep track of, and it just simplifies things, especially if you’re on vacation.  Remember, you’re supposed to be relaxing!

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