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I have a problem with over packing! There I said it! It seems like every time I have to pack for a trip I end up with way too many clothes and multiple bags! On a recent week long trip to North Carolina, my only option was to bring one duffle bag and one purse. There just wasn’t enough room for me to bring more. Yikes! How was I going to pack for a week in only one bag? This meant I was forced to develop a better packing plan! And I did! I came up with an excellent solution.
Don’t worry all you over packers….I’m here to help!
Usually when it’s time for me to pack, my brain is a scattered mess! A million thoughts race through my mind and I just start grabbing clothes to throw into my suitcase. The hectic thought process for my usual packing procedure is something like this…
“The high is 80 degrees so I need some shorts, oh and a bathing suit, but what if it is cold at night? Then I need to bring along several pairs of pants and a sweater. After all I am going to bo gone for a week. Now I can’t wear the same outfit during the day as I wear at night when we go out to dinner. So I need like 7 dresses or skirts! Maybe I’ll workout so I should bring my yoga pants and a pair of gym shorts in case I go more than once! Ok, time to talk about shoes. Actually don’t get me started on shoes….I need flats, sandals, wedges, heels, and those workout sneakers!
Now that I have picked out all my outfits, I need to find a way to pack them. There is no chance they all fit in my carry on, so I grab an extra large suitcase as well. Don’t forget I need to pack my toiletries, book, iPad, hat, sleep mask, phone charger, and another small purse for going out at night.”
Please moms, tell me I’m not alone in this crazy packing process??
So when forced to pack light for one week and only use one duffle bag and my purse. I got smart and decided to use a color coordinated packing system.
Color Coordinated Outfit Selection
I wish I could give you a very precise and exact system to use while packing, but my method is more of a system. The exact amount of clothing you pack will ultimately depend on where you are going, how long you will be there, and what size duffle bag you own.
I started by choosing one main color and one neutral color from my wardrobe. For this vacation, my choice was blue, mainly because that seems to be what I have the most of in my closet. White was my neutral color because this was a summer trip. If I was planning a winter trip, then I would probably choose black or grey as my neutral color. Blue does not always coordinated with black/gray, so I would select a different main color for that trip.
Then, I selected several tops and bottoms from my wardrobe that were either blue or white. For this trip, I specifically picked linen navy shorts and pants, white denim, blue jeans, and chambray shorts. Then I made sure all the white and blue tops that I chose matched with at least two of the bottoms I had selected. This way if the weather was unpredictable I could choose the appropriate outfit and not need to worry about packing too many clothes.
I chose only three dresses for the week, also in my blue and white color scheme. A solid neutral dress is a must! Mine was white. This way I can wear the dress once by itself and once again with a top or buttoned cardigan to give the appearance of a skirt and shirt ensemble. I actually chose another solid blue dress as well, so that I could apply the same method.
Another valuable tip when packing a swim cover up is to make sure you select a dress that can also be worn out to dinner as well. I like to wear the swim coverup dress out before I start wearing it to the pool or beach. My choice for this trip was a grey tank top dress. I wore it with a navy sweater to dinner and then out to the pool during the day.
Let’s talk shoes..
You should always wear your heavy bulky shoes on travel day. This way you have more room in your suitcase. I brought a pair of white converse sneakers for day trips, navy sandals and gold sandals to wear while shopping or out to dinner. Sandals take up very little room in a duffle.
Duffle Packing Process
Select a duffle bag for your trip and make sure it is the correct size for a carry on bag if you are flying (9″x14″x22″). My duffle is an old one from Longchamp that I received when we got married, but this new one is similar.
I find that while packing a duffle I get more room if I actually roll most of the clothes. I start by lying the pants and delicate dresses in the bottom folded in half. Then I roll almost everything else. I roll the tops, sweaters, cotton dresses, and swim wear.
Once everything is in the bag I asses how much room is left. Then, I’ll add my pjs, socks, and underwear. Plus, one pair of workout clothes if I have room!
I shove my sandals down the side and a few accessories on the top. Now my bag I full!
I also choose a big tote style purse and fill it with my toiletries case (in case you missed this post I don’t wear a lot of makeup), a smaller cross body bag with wallet, sunglasses, hat, phone chargers, and anything else I needed.
I wear my jacket even though if it is not hot outside to save room in my bag! It usually ends up wrapped around my waste.
All Packed and Ready to Go
I did it! My two bags are full to the brim but I managed to get everything packed! And I had plenty of clothes to wear while on my trip. I did rewear my jeans and my basic white tank got a lot of use with several outfits. But my color coordinated packing method did the trick!
I packed for a whole week in only one duffle bag!