This got lost somewhere between Atlas Obscura stuff, apply for jobs, packing for trips to Seattle, and the Eastern side of the Sierras.
How to Start
Start with a small bag, this forces you to pack light. Amazing how a thinking about clothing and stuff when faced with a small bag makes it that much easier to do, it becomes an imperative instead of a nice idea. I’m not talking about a purse or a day bag, but something that is carry on sized. The Osprey Porter 46 is a good example of a carry-on sized back pack great for packing light.
Think about Where you are Going
Ok so you have a small bag that you can only fit so much stuff in, what do you put in it? Start by thinking about where you are going. If you are headed to Thailand for beaches you will need a different set of things than Europe to visit family.
Some questions to ask yourself:
What’s the weather like?
How many layers will I need? Layers are a quick way of cutting down of the number of items you back. A base layer and a light sweater save you from having to bring two or three levels of outerwear
What type of activities will I be doing?
If you are not specifically planning on going out dancing you don’t need that extra pair of heels!
What piece make me feel like me?
If you always wear black combat boots don’t give them up in favor of “travel shoes.”
Gather all Your Stuff
Put everything you want to bring, think you will need, have been told that you will need in one place – I find that the bed is a great place. Look at it all! There’s a lot of it!
1. Unpack it. Take it out of containers, boxes, and packaging.
2. Cut it in half! No Really! Take out a knife and cut that massive bar of soap into something that would be seen in a hotel. Put shampoo and conditioner into 3oz container. Ladies pack only the make-up you always use, that amazing red lip stick and black eyeliner goes a long way.
3. Try to fit it into the bag. It doesn’t fit right?
4. Take it all out. Make the tough decisions and half the amount of stuff.
Repeat step 3 and 4 until it all fits and remember to have room for keepsakes from your trip.
Things to Remember
A one week trip to Seattle will have the same amount of stuff involved as a 3 months trip to Asia, just different stuff
Just because you are traveling doesn’t give you the right to wear tan zip-off pants, sandals and socks… unless you do that at home – NOTE: you should not do this at home!