Last week my family and I had the pleasure of heading out of town for eight days and seven nights. A few of those were spent with our parents, who live in different cities in Oregon. It was great to get in some family time, and it was amazing to see the solar eclipse in its totality. More amazing than I expected. After that we headed down to the San Francisco area for four nights, where we rented a cute house in Tiburon and spent our days touring SF.
Before I share what I packed with you, a little background.
I am a chronic over-packer. Every single trip of my life, I’ve always been the one with the biggest, most over-stuffed suitcase. My bags have often garnered comments about their size, and I’ve definitely been over the weight limit at the airport. It’s taken me so long to learn how to pack well.
Today, I am happy to report that I finally conquered minimal packing. Below is exactly what I packed for eight days, along with a few tips that helped me out.
Leading up to my trip, I carefully created outfits and revised a list of the items on my phone. The night before, I packed my succinct list of items into my bag, with room to spare. It was my best packing list to date.
And THEN, I promptly left a bunch of it behind at my parents. Arg!
Apparently Mr. Seasons and I had a communication breakdown when loading up the car before we left town. Mind you, we were pretty distracted by gearing our kids up for the eight hour (screen-free!) drive. A few hours down the road I discovered that I was down to one pair of shoes for the duration of the trip, one purse/bag, no pillow and no DSLR. Sad!
Surprisingly, it was easier than I thought to live with one pair of shoes. Thankfully, they were my most comfy pair. I ended up focusing on my iPhone photography, didn’t miss my second purse, but was wishing for my pillow the whole time. #stomachsleeper
Overall though, I was really happy with my packing. I liked my outfits, and I felt like I had more than enough clothes. (I did laundry once and I ended up buying two things at the Everlane store.) Looking back, I realized there are a few key things I kept in mind that made my list successful.
1) Pack in outfits. My normal method of packing is to make a list of my favorite items. This is where I run into trouble because I have a lot of favorites, and I struggle to tell myself no. This time, I knew I wanted to go light, and weather was about a twenty degree difference in the two destinations, so I started building out my outfits for each day, to make sure I covered all the bases.
2) Double-duty items only. I only packed items that would work in multiple ways, in other words, no tops that only work with one pair of pants, or the other way around. All my items had to be able to remix together.
3) Don’t pack new items. As tempting as this is, it rarely works for me. I need to vet my items thoroughly and integrate them into my wardrobe before I travel with them. Otherwise, I end up with a surprise, like an item that doesn’t work in all the outfits I expected it to, or worse, blisters from shoes not thoroughly broken in.
4) Give yourself options. This can be done, even on a minimal list. I built out a few secondary options on my outfit list (because I’m fickle like that) using items already on my list. This helped give me peace of mind, even with my small amount of clothing.
How do you pack small? Do you struggle like me?
I’ll be back here on Thursday to show you how I styled my outfits. (Hint: lots of jumpsuit action.) And the two pieces I added to my closet while on my trip!