Packing Tips!

Greetings from the Netherlands! Hubby and I are in this beautiful country for the week and I couldn't be happier. This place is amazing and I can't wait to tell you about our trip, but unfortunately that's for another post because today I wanted to chat about how to pack efficiently for a trip, weekend getaway or even a longer adventure! These packing tips will be helpful for what ever your travel plans are. 

Oh and if you want to see the Netherlands through my eyes, I welcome you hit the follow button on my Instagram. There are so many beautiful sites and places here!

Let's jump on in, shall we? 

Before we left for our trip, I posted on my Instagram stories the packing tactics that I use to pack efficiently. These tips help me reduce the risk of over-packing and the products I use help keep my suitcase in order. Besides, who likes a suitcase that once opened, looks like a bomb went off? Certainly not me! 

Clothing // folding

I enjoy folding clothing more than the average person so this tactic is the ultimate dose of satisfaction for me. 

I fold my clothes into small rectangle shaped pieces so that when packed in a suitcase, you can easily stack them neatly on top and beside each other. You can also move each stack of clothing around so that you have space to put bags, shoes or whatever else you need to fit into your suitcase. I find that this method reduces the amount of shifting in my suitcase during transit which can contribute to wrinkled clothing.

Some people use the rolling method but for whatever reason, I prefer this rectangle method. I've found that even when I've done the rolled up method, I still need to iron or steam my clothes and I don't really think rolled clothing creates more space. 

Below I've shown the steps in which you'd follow to fold shorts (same rules apply to pants or a skirt), a t-shirt (same rule would apply to a blouse or sweater) and a dress. 

The shorts

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Step #1

Lay out on a flat surface. 

step #2

Fold in half vertically. For best results - make sure each end is met perfectly with the other. ; )

step #3

Fold in half horizontally. For best results - make sure each end is met perfectly with the other. ; )

 

The t-shirt

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Step #1

Lay out on a flat surface. 

step #2

Flip over and upside down then fold in the sides (including sleeves) so that each side meets in the middle of the shirt. For best results - make sure each end is met perfectly with the other. ; )

step #3

Fold in half horizontally. For best results - make sure each end is met perfectly with the other. ; )

Step #4

Fold in half again, horizontally. For best results - make sure each end is met perfectly with the other. ; )

 

THE DRESS

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Step #1

Lay out on a flat surface. 

step #2

Fold in half vertically. For best results - make sure each end is met perfectly with the other. ; )

step #3

Fold the top horizontally to meet the bottom. For best results - make sure each end is met perfectly with the other. ; )

Step #4

Fold the top half, horizontally. For best results - make sure each end is met perfectly with the other. ; )

Step #5

Fold the bottom half up horizontally. For best results - make sure to tuck in any pieces of the garment that are loose. In this instance, since the dress has fabric at the bottom that creates a flutter effect, I just neatly tuck in the extra fabric so that it creates clean lines for folding neatly.  ; )

Clothing // storage

When it comes to storing, I don't typically store my wardrobe in any fancy way. Like I mentioned above once I've folded everything, I make stacks within my suitcase and leave space for shoes, my toiletry bag, etc. I do like to to use storage bags for my undergarments and shoes though. I find that a small drawstring bag contains all of my undergarments nicely that way I don't have all of those small pieces scattered about in my bag. And then keeping my shoes in bags is a DEFINITE MUST. From a cleanliness standpoint alone, I strongly encourage doing this.  

I also bring a larger drawstring bag for dirty laundry. When packing my bag, I just fold the dirty laundry bag up neatly because it's obviously empty at the start of the trip and then I'll fill it as needed throughout the trip. I feel strongly about this as well. You don't want to be mixing your clean clothes with your dirty clothes, and it makes unpacking extremely easy. I simply unzip my suitcase, take out my dirty laundry bag and toss everything in the wash or my hamper. For clothes I didn't wear, they're still clean and can go back into my closet! Using the dirty laundry bag also helps keep the hotel room tidy too. : )

As some of of you probably saw in my Instagram stories, I use a set from Henri Bendel that I received as a gift a few years back. The set includes one large dirty laundry bag (can fit dirty laundry from at least 7 days), one shoe bag (can fit one pair of heels, booties or sneakers or two pairs of flat sandals), one "wet bikini" bag that's great for well, wet bathing suits! And then one "lingerie" bag that I use for my undergarments. This is similar to what I have but it seems as though the exact pieces I have, have been discontinued. A similar and much less expensive option is this Set of 3 Drawstring Bags

If you want to take your wardrobe packing a step further then this Pack-It Cube Set is pretty impressive! Be there to watch the video to see how to utilize each of the different pieces.

And then to determine how many items to bring and what those should be, I encourage you to make a list before beginning the packing process. Think about your trip and the types of things you're going to be doing. Think about the location! For example, it's probably not very realistic to bring three pairs of heels, hell even one pair, if you're going somewhere that involves cobblestone streets and a lot of walking to and from restaurants, bars, shops, etc. I bring 2-3 pairs of shoes total. One easy to wear neutral wedge or stacked heel, a pair of sneakers and one pair of flat sandals. If I'm ever in a position where I absolutely need something else then I just buy it while I'm at my travel destination.

I also like to pack things that are transitional like dresses which can be dressed up or down, jeans or denim shorts can be worn multiple times without having to wash them and neutral layering pieces are good because they can be worn in several different outfits. And if you're unsure of something then chances are you don't need it! I also do a little bit of research beforehand which has proven to be the most helpful thing to do. If I'm staying at a rental property then I confirm if there's a washer/dryer. This is a huge advantage and should definitely sway you into not packing that much at all. If you're staying at a hotel, confirm that there's an iron and a hair dryer. Not having to pack a hairdryer and a travel size steamer saves more space than one would think! I also see if there's laundry service in the event that I absolutely need to have something cleaned while I'm there. 

Toiletries + Cosmetics // storage

If you're anything like me and like to pack any and every possible bathroom product then you need to get the Eagle Creek Pack-It Wallaby Organizer. This thing is the mecca of all cosmetic bags and really truly holds SO much. Some items (all small travel sizes) that I store in this are - shampoo, conditioner, bar soap in a travel container, q-tips travel pack, hair elastics, toothbrush, toothpaste, lotion, hairspray, bobby pins (in a small case), face toner, makeup wipes, face cleanser, deodorant, and about 7 more things. 

And I especially love the hook which allows for hanging so that precious vanity space isn't taken up! 

Jewelry // storage

This is pretty straight forward but I just use the small jewelry bags that come with most pieces of jewelry. I try to not mix a lot of pieces into one bag so that things don't get tangled. If you are going to put a couple pieces in the same bag then I definitely encourage you to fasten each closure which will help reduce the risk of a knot forming. I also suggest keeping each type of jewelry separate from one another.

Alternatively, this tray is pretty cool. This wrap is a bit of a splurge but if you like to travel with a lot of jewelry then it might be the storage piece for you! And if you like to bring just a few pieces with you then this Jewelry Roll might be the perfect option. 

 

Well, that's it for my packing tips! I hope you found this post helpful and be sure to drop a comment below if you have any questions at all! : )

Candace