(view from the top of Kennesaw Mountain)
If you’ve been following me for a while you already know this, but for our new readers: I’m a terribly anxious packer. I stress out about packing weeks in advance, always only use a carry-on roller bag (a VERY small one BTW), and one other carry on tote, and vow to take fewer toiletries next time. Over time, I’ve pared down a little bit, but it’s never quite enough. I am NOT a minimal packer.
This time, for example, I went to Atlanta for a week to stay with my mom and be there for my sister’s 40th birthday. It was going to be all family time, mostly at everyone’s respective homes, so I didn’t think I needed much, but as usual, took more than I needed/wore:
Everlane u-neck tee (didn’t wear)
James Perse Casual tee (didn’t wear)
James Perse slub crew neck tee
James Perse slub scoop tee (black)
James Perse henley (didn’t wear)
James Perse cowl neck tunic
James Perse long black tunic tank top
James Perse sweatshirt (didn’t wear)
Splendid thermal long sleeve shirt
Two white Everlane ryan tank tops (didn’t wear)
T by Alexander Wang long sleeve pocket tee
Splendid thermal cardigan
Lululemon cashmere/cotton cardigan *wore on the plane
Vince Blair haircalf sneakers
Overall, there wasn’t much I didn’t wear, but I could have managed without a few things, especially since my mom let me borrow a jacket for wearing in the mornings on my hikes up Kennesaw. It was SO COLD in the mornings, which is why I brought so much workout stuff and extra layering pieces; I was deathly afraid of being cold (I always am…). But I wasn’t.
Honestly, if I didn’t have to pack for working out (including my running shoes, which are HUGE), I would have found it much easier to pack. But then again, even if I don’t have to bring extra workout gear, I do always have a hard time packing. I blame it on my emotional dressing.
This time, I ended up wearing my leggings and long tunics/sweaters most of the time. They were most comfortable for hanging out at home, and also appropriate for public events as I was always fully covered with a long cardigan or tunic top. I was happy with only bringing one other pair of shoes besides my running shoes, and like I mentioned before, I definitely cold have done without some of the other pieces I brought.
I don’t know what the answer is, really, because I’m terrible at making lists and sticking to them. I would desperately like to get better at packing and bringing ONLY the things I really need, but for now, I do think I figured out a few packing “mistakes” I made:
- Don’t take duplicates – like two Everlane ryan tanks, or the JP casual tee AND the Everlane scoop neck. One scoop neck tee and one crew neck tee is fine. Especially since I could do laundry.
- Mix & Match for outfits – this is one thing I usually do extremely well. It’s pretty easy in my wardrobe, because pretty much everything goes with everything anyway. But since I brought leggings and a maxi dress, I needed to be sure I had enough long tops/cardigans to wear with them, and those tend to not work as well with the jeans I brought. Usually I either pack jeans/pants type outfits, or leggings/skirts type outfits, and I should have stuck to one or the other for this trip as well. But again…my emotional dressing gets the best of me. What if I “feel” like wearing jeans one day? And I don’t have them with me?? panic mode….
- Pick a “style” for the trip and stick to it – Turns out, I didn’t really want to wear my jeans much (figures…), so I shouldn’t have brought them at all. For family trips like this, leggings were fine, but I thought I “should” bring a pair of jeans, or have a pair of jeans to wear. Just in case. In case of what? Emergency jeans only plans? No, just in case I wanted to wear jeans. But they weren’t necessary. In this case, I should have picked a style or silhouette for the trip and just stuck with it. If I wore jeans, every outfit should have been denim-oriented. After all, I could wear jeans everyday and it wouldn’t kill me. Same with leggings. It’s much easier to pack simply when you don’t have to manage multiple types of outfits like slouchy one day, fitted the next, etc., etc.,
Ultimately, none of this is worth worrying so much about, but I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t worry about what I’m going to wear, and having appropriate things for travel!! Ideally, this is what my minimal closet will provide for me: fewer items of clothing that mix & match easily for most occasions, are easy to travel with, and that I love. I don’t WANT to stress out so much about packing….
Again…live and learn, and it’s a process, but I’m getting there. I pack much lighter than I ever have before. It’s still not quite where I want it yet, but baby steps, right??
How do you pack for week-long trips to visit family? What are your secrets??