So, once again I'm packing luggage for our holiday and by now, you'd think I'd have nailed the whole packing thing. The truth is, it doesn't seem to matter how many times I travel, get on a plane or just travel overnight for work, I'm rubbish at it - well that is until recently. The key to my packing misery is pretty obvious - PLANNING! I've started using lists a lot more in life generally, but for travel planning, they are really helping. Rather than the usual packing headache, this time I feel completely in control. Instead of last minute cramming, I have been getting our stuff together for almost a week and there's been no stress, panic or confusion. This is the way forward!
I've recently started a bullet journal and I've put it to use for my holiday packing. Weeks ago, when I had a spare minute, I created a packing list page and wrote down everything I wanted to take and things I needed to get before the holiday were added to a separate shopping list page of my bullet journal. Over the past couple of weekends I have bought all the bits and pieces on the shopping list and now that I have started packing, all I have to do is go through the list and tick the items off one at a time. Not only is it organised, its satisfying to strike them off.
As a result of the planning, the actual volume of clothes I'm taking has dramatically reduced. It turns out I have been over packing all this time!!! My case that is normally jam-packed now has loads of space left - perfect for all my holiday purchases! Bad habits that I have developed over the years, like packing a phenomenal number of pairs of shoes have diminished. Instead, I've chosen 4 pairs of shoes that match a sensible criteria: walking shoes, pool shoes, night out shoes, daytime shoes. My other weakness when packing is over packing toiletries. I like to pack for all eventualities, which makes sense to some extent, but multiple body creams, hair products, foundations and large bottles of shampoo just aren't necessary. The last time few times we've been travelling, we've swapped heavy bottles of shampoo, conditioner and shower gels for alternative solid products from LUSH. A solid shampoo will last 2 people at least 2 weeks, when used daily and a shower jelly the same. By using these alternatives, we have reduced our luggage weight by around 5kg!
Ask "do I really need that?"
By asking myself this simple question, I have learnt to de-clutter my packing process. Frequently asked questions include:
Do I need 7 pairs of shoes?
Do I need a different hand bag for every night?
Do I need all this makeup?
Do I really need enough clothes for 3 outfit changes each day?
More often than not, the answer is NO!
So, by making these simple changes, packing is less of a nightmare and way more managable.