Worth repeating: Avoiding overpacking

7 June 2018

This week, I helped a client pack for her fabulous European vacation. As I explained my packing method to her, I remembered that I had written a blog post about it years ago. Now seems like a good time to post it again!

I’m leaving for a weekend trip to attend a family wedding. As I think about packing, I thought I’d share my method for ensuring I don’t overpack.

I’ve been doing this for years — decades, really. I think I invented this system. And I’m happy to share it.

Here’s what I do:

  • I think about the clothes I’d like to take on the trip and make a list. It usually includes the clothes I’m particularly fond of wearing these days, or ones I feel really good in.
  • I number each item in the list

I did this last night for my trip. And I took a picture. (The backs of envelopes are good for this.)

  • I make a list of the days I’ll be there. Since there’s usually a change of clothes, I’ll have columns for AM and PM. (If there were going to more than one change of clothes in a day, I’d increase the number of columns.)
  • I put together outfits for each day, using the numbers next to each item on the packing list.
  • I go through the numbers (looking for each number, in order) and make sure that each number is represented. If there’s no number 5, for instance, on the outfit list, I scratch item number five off my packing list.

Here’s my outfit list for this trip:

There was no item number five!

A nice bonus is that if I want, I can bring along the lists and then I don’t have to think about what I’m going to wear each day.

I don’t list undergarments (unless there’s something special) or jewelry. I certainly could list jewelry, but I don’t have that much and I just sort of eyeball it.

I hope you find it helpful. I’ve made my packing list but haven’t packed for my trip yet — we’re leaving after I get home from a client this afternoon. It’s so nice to have the list; packing will be a snap!

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About Janine

Janine Adams

Hello! I’m Janine Adams — a certified professional organizer based in St. Louis, and the creator of Peace of Mind Organizing®.

I love order, harmony + beauty, but I believe that the way that you feel about yourself and your home is what truly matters.

If you’re ready to de­clutter with a purpose and add more ease to your life, you’ve found the right blog — and you’ve found the right gal.

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