Packing efficiently for trips has not always been my most valuable skill. Growing up, I was always that girl who waited until the last minute and literally threw my whole closet into a bag (barely making the weight limit) accidentally leaving essentials like UNDERWEAR or TOOTHPASTE!
It wasn't until I graduated college that I realized it was time to start planning ahead like a real grown up. Packing quickly became exciting for me, almost like a puzzle. Here are a few of my tips, some of which you are probably familiar with and hopefully a few that you haven't heard!
1. PLAN EACH DAY. If you are planning on a three day trip, you pretty much know your daily schedule while your there (or at least have an idea of the activities). I like to ask myself, "How many outfits do I need each day?" If you have a walk around the city and a nice dinner in one day, figure out what you will wear for those two instances. I am going to Napa next week so my schedule will include two outfits per day (one day outfit and one dinner outfit). I will be there for four days so I concluded that I will need 8 different outfits for the trip.
2. LISTS=LIFE. I am a list maker and I can't tell you how much they help me when packing! Yes, you want to plan every outfit, but you also don't want to forget the essentials. Examples of these are sunscreen, moisturizer, deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, etc. Making a list will ensure you have everything before leaving.
3. TARGET. I love Target, if you haven't already noticed. When it comes to compartmentalizing, Target is the drug for OCD women like myself. Gone are the days when you have to use the hotel's shampoo and musky man-like face soap. If you're like me and buy your Aveda shampoo in bulk containers, buy the little plastic shampoo bottles for $1.00 at Target and bring your favorite products with you!
4. SHOES. This goes along with planning each day. Try to limit yourself to three pairs. One walking pair, one casual/dressy pair, and one FABULOUS pair. Pack shoes first and towards the bottom of the bag (when standing upright) that way the weight of your shoes doesn't wrinkle other items in the bag.
5. BOOTS ARE WINE POCKETS! This tip was one I learned when packing my boyfriend's bag coming back from Breckenridge last New Years! He was struggling to fit everything in his bag and since I find myself to be skilled in this area, I decided to help. We had gone to a whiskey distillery and of course over spent on liquor. I used his boots and mine to hold the extra two bottles (stuffed a couple of socks in there for extra cushion too). They are GREAT for keeping the glass safe! I'll definitely be using this skill when leaving Napa.
6. DON'T ROLL, DON'T FOLD, HANG! This is probably my best kept secret. Honestly, I have tried the roll, the fold and every other technique but my favorite one is using hangers. Of course, roll your Nike Shorts or sleep shirts as those items are not ones you would usually care about. I ALWAYS hang and keep my items hanging until the very last minute before I leave for the airport. I keep everything in my closet (organized by day) in a special section that way I just grab, lay them in my bag with only one fold down the middle and zip up the bag! When you get to your destination that is the first thing you should take out and hang in the closet! Try it sometime and I promise you will thank me!
7. TOILETRIES. I always use plastic Ziploc bags for these. My trick is to double the bags because that way if one busts open on accident, you always have a spare to keep the liquids off of your clothes.
8. PLANE STYLE. I always leave this for last. The reason is because if for some reason a coat doesn't fit or I want to bring boots, I am able to wear those things on the plane! Also, I never dress down for the airport. I feel like it takes away from the excitement if you are dressed in casual stuff. Dress up! Get cute! And if you run into James Franco in the airport, you will thank me for this tip! ;)