Change Everything

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Packed Perfect

I always marvel at those articles or posts that say you can pack for a 3 week trip in a carry-on suitcase. Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating but you know what I'm talking about. If you have tiny feet and your clothes are a size 6 or smaller it's entirely possible... but that's not me.

Even packing for a week in a carry-on can be a challenge for me. My size 10 shoes alone take up a major portion of the suitcase and I can't travel with just one pair of shoes especially on a business trip. I need shoes to wear with my business clothes and also athletic shoes for walking through the airport and working out. When traveling, for any reason, I make sure that my basic pieces match each other - usually base pieces in black or navy with pops of color in tops & accessories. This helps me limit the total number of pieces I have to pack.
A few years ago a purchased some packing organizers and I really like them. I have a small zippered mesh bag that holds all the lingerie and a garment folder that I use for the rest of my clothing. I make sure that my clean clothes don't come in contact with my shoes. (Think about how many different, "foreign" surfaces your shoes come in contact with especially when you're traveling. I use a disinfectant wipe on the soles before putting them in the suitcase.) While my shirts don't stay completely wrinkle-free, they're in better shape than they would be if I rolled them up.

I used to pack a large, hanging toiletry bag but now everything has to fit into a see-through bag that snaps into the side of the suitcase. It works but miss my full size make-up brushes when I'm traveling. 

Styling tools for my hair present a bit of problem especially since I recently changed my hairstyle and now use a massive round brush while drying it. I always count on the hotel on having a hair dryer and if for some reason I think I'm going to want to curl my hair... well, that would be a longer stay than a carry-on can support.  

I recently watched a video about an event at Windsor Castle and they showed how the maids unpack and repack the suitcases for visiting guests.  It was quite impressive to see them line the suitcase with tissue paper, and precisely fold and fit each item into the suitcase. Somewhere in my brain I remembered reading something like this before but using dry cleaning bags to prevent your clothes from getting wrinkled, I like the idea of tissue paper better. I also like the idea of a tissue lined suitcase hiding all that dark, nylon lining.  

While searching online for the right type of tissue paper to use for packing, heavier weight, acid-free, etc, I found this article called "The Fine Art of Packing". It's a short read containing tips from some of the butler staff at a fine London hotel. I especially like that they wrap your lingerie in tissue and wrap it with a pretty ribbon. Wouldn't it be lovely to open your suitcase at the other end and see that attention to detail? 

There are probably hundreds of videos showing you various 'best' ways to pack your suitcase as well as plenty of websites and blog posts for the same. Therefore, my only packing suggestions are: 
  1. find techniques & tips that work for you 
  2. visit some of these sites to find packing lists that work for you. Print out a list or make your own and keep with your suitcase. 
Having a list has really come in handy for me, since I've started using a list I remember to pack everything I need!

Happy Trails!