If you’re lucky, summer in the city means weekends someplace else. I’m pretty lucky — and so I like to think I’ve perfected the ‘weekend pack.’ One small bag and my pocketbook and I’m covered for 3 days. Here’s how I do it:
1. Do the laundry. This allows me to pack from my entire wardrobe, including things I’ve worn over the past week.
2. Gather key-items in one location as you think of them. I’m not talking about clothes here – I’m talking about the ‘stuff’ you’d like to have with you but you know you might forget. For me it’s my phone charger, my glasses, a hostess gift, magazines I’ve been meaning to read….
3. Check the weather where you’re going. Easy one – you’ve probably been on weather.com since Wednesday checking out your weekend forecast.
4. Choose a clear surface to pack on. I use my bed. RB uses the couch. (For those of you who don’t know me personally, RB is my husband. I don’t call him RB in real life, but plenty of people do. He is a fantastic weekend packer in his own right – but I think he packs too many shoes. To his credit, he still gets it all in one bag, so I can hardly argue.)
5. Mentally walk through your weekend and plan your outfit for each activity. This is how this goes for me: Ok, we’ll get there and I’m going to stay in whatever i’m wearing…but it might be colder then. [Put hooded sweatshirt on the bed] We’ll hang out for a while and then we’ll go to bed. [Put set of pajamas on the bed] Then I’ll wake up and do some kind of exercise. [Shorts, tee, sports-bra and socks on the bed. Sneakers on the floor nearby] I’ll shower up and head to the beach. [Bathing suit and cover-up on the bed. While I’m thinking of them – sunglasses and sunscreen too. Flip-flip flops on floor] Post-beach shower before dinner. [Outfit appropriate for dinner plans on the bed. And accessories. Don’t forget the accessories!] After dinner, come home to hang until bed. [The pajamas I wore last night will work again tonight…] And so on and so forth until I’ve made it through all the days of the trip. Because I prefer to travel light, I try to pack things that I could wear more than once — so maybe two outfits use the same pair of jeans. You see what I’m saying here.
Packing Laid Out on the Bed
6. Think about the ‘maybes.’ Maybe it will be cooler in the evening and you’ll need an extra layer. Maybe you won’t go out for dinner but would rather have an extra set of comfy clothes. Maybe you’ve completely forgotten to take out any underwear — now’s a good time to do that.
7. Group like with like. When every outfit is accounted for, I like to pile the tee shirts on top of the tee shirts, the pants with the pants – you get the idea. Why? Because then my piles are uniform in size, fit into my bag neatly, and are less likely to wrinkle!
8. Pack your clothes in the bag. Stick your shoes at the bottom of the bag, stuffing your socks into shoes to help them keep their shape. Then, you’re piles are already done – so just pile them on top of the shoes, filling in any spaces with the little stuff: underwear, sunglasses, camisoles. There should be a few inches left at the top of the bag for….
9. Toiletries. My makeup lives in a relatively small makeup case – so that’s an easy one -directly into the bag. Because I travel pretty frequently, I also keep my toiletry case packed with the essentials: toothbrush, toothpaste, body lotion, face wash, face lotion, extra contacts, vitamins, Excedrin and hair goo. I came to these essentials by…you guessed it…mentally walking through my daily routines. This serves as a great base to start from. Then I think, “Does this trip require anything special?” Well, I’ll be wearing a bathing suit, so a razor would probably be good. So would sunscreen (nice…remembered that one earlier too!). Add the extras and I’m set.
Toiletries are go.
p.s – I love my Vera Bradley toiletry case. It rolls up to pack, and that loop at the top let’s me unroll it and hang it in the bathroom at my destination. The clear pockets let me see what’s inside, so I never have to unpack it.
10. Zip up and head out. One bag and you’re covered. Grab it, get where you’re going and enjoy!
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*The title of this post has been playing in my head followed with “everybody’s hum hum hum hum hum. Everybody’s goin off the deep end” Just wanted to give you a brief look at the way my mind works.