Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Wifey Wednesday

For a lot of people, packing for a trip often becomes an unorganized last-minute grab-fest. Suitcases become packed to the brim with clothes that haven't been worn in years and outfits that have never looked good, but somehow, this random hodge-podge of textiles ends up as the travel wardrobe you're stuck with for days.

You can avoid this.

Over the years I've developed a system designed to free you from wardrobe woes and clothing conundrums.
For this week's Wifey Wednesday, I give you my Proper Packing method. This effective method offers structure, organization and a guaranteed lighter load to the burdened packer. It is also a great tool to use if you are packing for additional family members (husband, kids, etc...) as you can offer clear guidance and direction for less stress on your vacay.
  1. First, grab some regular note cards, or maybe your favorite cute notepad (grab one card for each day of your trip).
  2. Next, log on to and pull up the 10-day forecast for your travel destination (results are most accurate if this is done 1-2 days before the trip).
  3. Write the daily high and low temp on the top right corner of each card (also include chance of precipitation, if necessary).
  4. If you can predict your daily itinerary, list your activities for each day on that card.
  5. If you cannot predict your daily itinerary, a safe thing to do is list a casual and dressy outfit (or a daytime and nighttime outfit).
  6. Finally, write down the specific items you'll need to wear for each event (style of jeans, type of shoes, color of scarf). 
Your final product will look something like this for each day of your trip:
 Additional packing categories to consider:
  • Jewelry – gold watch, pearls, pearl necklace (always carry your jewelry bag on the plane with you)
  • Toiletries – face wash, lotion, perfume, shampoo/conditioner, soap, nail polish
  • Appliances – blow dryer, straightener, curling iron
  • Shoes – gold flats, running shoes, cowboy boots, black heels (be as specific as possible)
  • Coats – green peacoat, pink fleece jacket (you can carry this on the plane since it's large)
  • Purses – try to bring only one that you can pack inside your carry-on, or use as your carry-on
  • Underpinnings – hopefully you know what you need (make sure to consider if any of your outfits require special undergarments)
Make your packables work double-duty:
  • If the item is large, make sure you can wear it more than once (i.e. a heavy coat or cowboy boots)
  • Bring jeans that can dress up and down (do you really need 3 pairs of jeans for a 4-day trip?)
  • Pack cardigans that can bring a dress from daytime to evening
  • Put a clutch in your purse so you have a less-bulky option for the evenings
  • You'll do yourself a favor if you pack as much as you can on hangers in a hanging bag. You'll be able to keep your garments relatively wrinkle-free and easily visible when you unpack at your destination.
I've saved the most important tip for last….

 DO NOT write an outfit down on your card without trying it on at home. 

This ensures at least two things:  
  1. That you don’t forget an important element of the outfit (ohhh, I must have a particular undergarment for this shirt, or ohhh, that really is see-through, I better bring a cami, etc…)
  2. That it looks great! Nobody likes to pull out outfits on a trip only to discover creative wardrobe ambition has failed.
I realize this is a lot of effort up front, but the Proper Packing method hasn’t failed me yet. You wouldn’t believe how much more relaxing a trip can be when you already know what you and your family will wear. With everything to coordinate while you're away, let your outfits be one less thing - you've already planned ahead!

Happy packing!

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