I used to be that girl who carried suitcases bigger than me. Not that it’s a difficult thing to do since I’m so tiny, but still. I would carry 3 pairs of shoes everywhere (yes, even to school!), and about a billion other things along with it.
But it didn’t take me long to realise that carrying such big bags wasn’t really good for my back. And for what? Most of the time, I didn’t even used half of what I packed.
I’ve tried ever since to change my approach and turn into a minimalistic packer. Here are the top tips I’ve gathered along the way:
1. Pack just one or two pairs of trousers: I know it sounds crazy, but you hardly need more. I’m not a dress-and-skirt sort of girl, so I usually bring two pairs along (one in my suitcase and the other one, I wear on the plane).
2. Favour basic cuts and colours so you can mix-and-match easily: This one’s actually quite easy for me to implement since I hardly ever wear anything but black, navy, grey, white and nude pink. We all have a few colours we especially enjoy wearing: focus on those when packing, it’ll make your life easier!
3. Plan your outfits in advance: I try to plan about 2 outfits for every 3 days I’m going away and this really helps me not to overpack.This is more or less what I’ve packed for 2 weeks: one pair of black skinny jeans (which go with everything!🙌), one pair of denim shorts, 6 tops (basically all my favourites: a navy silk cami, a nude silk cami, the perfect black V neck T-shirt, this adorable striped/colourblock top I just bought, a scalloped black top (mine’s from Primark) and the cutest printed blouse), one thin grey cardigan, one Breton stripped shirt and a blazer.
It doesn’t look like much, but add to that underwear, pyjamas, a (very full) toiletry bag, tones of camera equipment and other knick-knacks and you’ll already have a fairly full bag (and I’d rather keep some room inthere to bring back all the peanut-buttery things I’ll be able to put my hands on!
4. Layer up for the flight!
Not only does it make you save up space in your suitcase, but it’ll also help you survive your flight without getting a cold! I personally find jeans very comfortable (plus they’re amongst the bulkiest items!) so I’ll almost always wear those when I travel. I like to pick shoes that are easy to take off (it makes passing security checks that little bit easier!) but I will be packing a pair of warm socks in my hand luggage for the flight (because COLD!). A big scarf is an absolute must-have to win the battle against freezingly cold AC and if I’m going to wear a quite thin waterfall cardigan to travel, I’ll also carry a big hoodie.
5. Pack things that crease inbetween layers of dry-cleaning bags’ plastic: this helps to reduce friction, and ultimately, creases.
6. Pack your underwear in a washing bag: Two reasons: 1. it makes it much easier to find in your suitcase 2. if for some reason your bag was controlled by airport security, they would only touch the bag and not your underwear.
7. Don’t pack too many shoes: I know it’s tempting but from my experience, you never actually wear them all. I’m only bringing my beloved Repetto ballerinas this time, hopefully it will work out (otherwise, I suppose I’ll just have to go shopping 😜)!
What are your top tips to avoid overpacking? I’m still a minimalist packer newbie so would love to hear them!