Transformation Tuesday #60: Packing Light

This week's transformation is really about a mindset, and not so much the before-and-after (don't worry - plenty of those coming your way starting next week!). I have always struggled with packing for trips because there always seemed to be too many things to plan for. 

As a kid, I was used to schlepping things from my mom's house to my dad's house, so it didn't seem unnatural to haul whatever I could fit in my suitcase to my travel destination. Once I started simplifying my closet, packing became so much easier for me. I still have some challenges with shorter trips (again, what if I need something "fancy" or the weather changes suddenly?). 

For this week's short jaunt down to Portland, I knew I needed to really consolidate because I'll be carrying my bag around for a couple of hours before checking in to my Airbnb. Since I'm using my versatile Topo backpack tote as my purse, this is the perfect opportunity to use my little bag that I picked up at a Monoprix in Paris. 

My tips for packing for short trips:

  1. Stay organized by making a list!
  2. Be realistic about your travel activities - what's the likelihood of needing something for a fancy dinner out? Pick versatile items that can layer and hold up with multiple wears.
  3. Leave space in your bag for any souvenirs you plan to pick up and snacks when you're in transit

How do you keep from overpacking? Would love to hear your tips!

Transformation Tuesday #43: the Trip Home

Last week during my trip, I realized I had (unintentionally) been on a jeans fast. Well, I went on a bit of a shopping spree while visiting Hong Kong. I picked up five new shirts (!) which I'm going to incorporate into this season's capsule wardrobe (and will be switching a few things out as they rotate in). In my defense, it's the year of the rooster and there were some pretty adorable rooster apparel to be had, plus I found a great-fitting button down at Muji (and picked it up in three colors!).

I needed to find the best way to fit these items back into my suitcase for the trek home. I knew I would have room but also didn't want to carry as much in my carry on bag/purse on the plane. One of the things I love about traveling is that I take a break from daily tidying rituals, like putting clothes back into the dresser or hanging up my coat. One of the not-so-great things about traveling is trying to pack all this back up:


The easiest way to start packing is to completely empty the suitcase. It looks even worse here:


I started by picking out my PJs, shoes, and the clothes I planned to wear that day and on the plane ride home. Setting those aside helped me see what was left to pack. I folded up all the tops and pants into the packing envelope, then added the shoes I wasn't wearing, and the souvenirs I had picked up during the trip. 


This made the final morning SO much easier as far as getting ready and throwing my toiletries into the suitcase before heading out the door.



Transformation Tuesday #41: Packing Light

I'm pleased as punch to be packed and 99% ready for my upcoming trip to Hong Kong! It's been a whirlwind January as far as work goes. I've spent the last two weeks working on a move and was able to have all of yesterday afternoon to get my suitcase in order and drop into a yoga class.

I thought I packed and organized my bag pretty well on my last couple trips here and here. However, I think I've hit a whole new level - check out the open space next to the green jacket! I don't plan to do a ton of shopping and generally bring back consumables like tea and candies for gifts. It's not like I saved room to fill up my bag coming home.


It's such a thrill to have this ready to go 48 hours beforehand. The only To Do's left on my list are picking up some snacks at Trader Joe's for the plane (I'm a fan of the jerky sticks and dried apple rings) and researching the best option to get from the airport to the Airbnb. Not too shabby!

Anyone have any packing tips to share? A favorite checklist to ensure you've packed everything you need? Let me know in the comments below!