Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Challenge? My Shoes, Accessories, Pretty Outfits....and 7 Days Worth in One Carry On

As an organizer I will admit to not enjoying any part of packing up the suitcases. I wait until the day before and I procrastinate because I don't think any part of it is fun. Now that I made that confession lets move on to why. I have a tendency to over think and analyze every detail of what's going into the suitcases. There's the typical questions you ask yourself, what should I bring? What if I need that? What if we need that? How many shoes should I bring? I started to get caught up in this nonsense of over thinking and reminded myself we are not going to the moon, if its forgotten we can always pick it up. My biggest challenge at the moment is packing for 7 days in one carry on. I know most women at this point are saying to themselves 7 days in a carry on? Yeah this chick is nuts. Maybe so. My husband and I choose to avoid waiting in the check in lines at the airport so I try to keep my packing very simple. I keep this "you can do it attitude" to pump myself up for the challenge every time we pack. As a woman who loves to accessorize and have options within her wardrobe I have let that go when it comes to the suitcases. Here's a picture of my carry on that I am attempting to fill for 7 days. When I'm done I will prove with an after pic that I won't be defeated! 

The culprit- a small carry on to fill 7 days of clothing/shoes/accessories

 To start I made my list, which is the first thing you should attempt to do before a trip. Checking everything off is the fun part, I guess for me its a weird sense of accomplishment. Considering the challenge I'd say yes this is an accomplishment. Here are the essentials to your list when taking a vacation, or time out as I like to call it, whether you are gone for a weekend, week or month. 

Necessities- Begin with the actual things you need to get on the plane, the whole point is to get away- your boarding passes, licenses, visa if necessary, etc. Have them in one spot ready to go in a folder! If you need to stop at the bank for travelers checks or cash I'd advise doing that the week of, not on the way to the airport. This goes for reading material on the way to your destination or anything else to keep you distracted, unless you are my hero and can actually sleep on a plane or any moving vehicle.  Designate a person who is going to hold onto these items. No pressure of course. 

Toiletries/Make-up- Make your list of travel size toiletries and take it with you to the store so you aren't forgetting anything! Keep it simple. Women we don't need to bring our entire collection of Victoria's Secret lotions along with every eye shadow we own! Narrow it down and decide. Men should do the same. Tell your significant other to make his list and keep it simple. These travel bags by Hefty are a must! 

Hefty zip lock travel bags also great for make-up and jewelry

Clothing and Accessories- Here's where you need to get creative. Stand in front of your closet weeks before the trip and decide what you would like to bring with the next few tips in mind. Mix and match those outfits! If you are packing for 7 days and you need some day time clothing as well as evening clothing think about day to night transitions. Maybe that cute tank top you wore during the day would look cute with that skirt? One less top to pack! Pack neutral colors as well, so you can mix and match easily. Shoes are my biggest culprit! They take up space and if any of your heels look like mine, size 10 I might add, they could potentially take up half the suitcase. Three pair max! Make it work and pick your favorites. A good walking shoe, a dressy shoe and one comfy day time shoe. For accessories, going back to not packing your entire make-up collection, choose simple pieces that will match most of your clothing day or night. Keep it secured in a small bag or compartment in your suitcase. Men seem to have less of a challenge in this department but the same rules apply. Undergarments and sleepwear take up the less space, keep it that way and designate a spot in the suitcase for them. Stick to your list when packing! Ignore anything cute in your closet that may be screaming take me with you I look cute with those pants.   

Meditate on it - Take a step back and think about your plans for the course of your vacation. Every vacation is different. Some are meant to be zen like, others are adventurous and action packed. Either way keep it simple in the suitcase and carry on and don't forget your necessities. 

We need to unplug from time to time. It is something we all owe ourselves. It's a chance to take a step back, re-group and remember that all of the practicalities of our lives will be here awaiting us when we return. Vacations are needed and so is the packing.  Hopefully the tips will help you feel just as excited about the trip as you do about the packing, or least a little better about it. 

Stay tuned in for my after photo tomorrow of my 7 day packing challenge!




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