We all try it, jamming everything in our bag and if it doesn’t fit in one, just get a bigger one or …plan on checking an overstuffed luggage…
That’s one way to do it but for a society obsessed with efficiency and convenience, traveling with multiple suitcases and backpacks is far from efficiency or convenience. We’re not saying travel with just the bare minimum, while we love a good OOTD too, we understand that sometimes our trips require us to bring a lot of both work and personal items.
Perhaps it’s time to start being intentional with what you’re putting in your luggage. Do you really need those items? How many of those are you planning to wear, and how many are the “just in case” items? We are all guilty of packing stuff that we end up never using on our trip.
As you begin to think about the value of what you’re packing, you encourage yourself to be more mindful and systematic about your travel and packing habits.
Benefits of Packing Light
Let’s go back to efficiency and convenience because those two are among the top benefits of packing light. Since you have limited space, you have to be intentional with your belongings. Less stuff means less bags means, you don’t have to keep an eye on multiple pieces of luggage and keep checking locks and zippers; especially if you’re using public transportation. Accessing essential things like your phone, money, passport, and ID is so much easier when you can keep it to one or two bags.
Aside from avoiding muscle pain caused by luggage, having fewer things means moving around in crowded spaces with more ease. This makes boarding your flight, getting to your hotel room and getting everywhere else, so much easier. Packing up and traveling from one destination to another becomes effortless when you only have a few items.
We don’t mean to compromise your outfit choices as we encourage packing light. This doesn’t mean you have to ditch your favorite sweater but there is beauty in sticking to more neutral colors as you can mix and match wardrobe options for more variety while still packing less.
Pack What Matters
What we’d like to emphasize here is to be more mindful of the items you put in your luggage. As in, you’d want to pack only the things that you know matter and that will be used.If you think you might attend a formal event, maybe pack one or two pieces of clothing for that—you don’t have to bring your entire closet. The same goes for gears and gadgets. If you typically work between a tablet and a laptop and plan accordingly.
When we say pack what matters, we mean spend ample time at home deciding what goes in and what stays. If that means sitting in front of your closet and pairing clothes in advance, go for it. If that means debating whether or not you need an extra pair of shoes or you can do with just one (the one you’ll wear), take the time to debate what should go in your luggage. Being mindful of the items needed in every trip - long trips and short ones - is key to having fewer items in your bag.
Packing Efficiently/How to Pack Smartly
Carefully picking the clothes you’ll bring is just the start. To really up your packing game, you have to think about maximizing your space. Think origami for clothing but less folding and more rolling.
We start by laying our clothing on the bed nice and flat and folding the hem up about two inches inside out. Then we fold the side (for sleeveless tops) or the sleeves (for shirts) to the middle and roll them down, snug and tight from the neckline. But not too tight that they’ll have too many wrinkles when we unroll them. Once we get to the hem, we pull the two-inch fold over to hold the roll securely.
This packing method applies to shorts and pants too. You can roll an entire day’s outfit using the previously mentioned rolling technique. Lay your t-shirt flat on a surface, make sure your pants are zipped and buttoned, and then lay them over the shirt with the waist at the neck. Fold your underwear and place them over the pants. Now fold your shirt into the pants and roll everything together tightly. While rolling, include your socks with the tubes outward; as you finish rolling, you can now flip your socks over the outfit to keep your clothing tight and secure. This method is an easy way to plan what you will wear and pack one roll for each day.
For smaller pieces of clothing like underwear and socks, you may fold them as you would in your closet, or you can also roll and put them in a separate packing cube. This is why having smaller packing cubes is great because the big ones usually work best for more oversized clothing items like pants, t-shirts, and long sleeve tops.
If your bag has odd, empty spaces, items like towels, jackets, and shawl wraps work great to fill those spaces and keep your packing cubes from moving around. Simply roll your jackets and towels and arrange them to keep everything snug and secure.
Packing smart looks different from person-to-person. It also depends on how long you’re packing, what is your destination and the kind of trip you are taking. It all boils down to really figuring out, “are these things necessary to bring, or are you packing them just in case you’ll need them?”