Packing for the holidays is hard. Not only do you have to bring all the clothes you need you also have to bring gifts for family and friends. So in order to make your packing a little bit easier I’m happy to share a few tips on how to pack like a minimalist.
Here is what I do:
TIP 1: Take the number of days you’ll be gone cut it in half and subtract by one or two.
The reason I use this number is because you can usually do laundry at least once on your trip and re-wear at least a couple items of clothing before you wash them.
On my trip I’ll be gone 14 days so I only packed 5 – 6 sets of clothes. If you want to get a bonus outfit, simply wear that outfit to the airport.
TIP 2: Take double duty clothes
Once I’ve chosen my sets of clothes, I do a final cull to see what else I can leave by eliminating items that only have one use. For example I can wear many of my workout T-shirts as causal T-shirts, but I’ll leave home any workout gear or any casual T-shirts that don’t have another use.
The reason is that I’d much rather have fewer clothes that can serve many functions, then a bunch of single use items that are only their for variety.
TIP 3: Ask Do I Really Need This
Often when I’m first packing I pack a bunch of items I think I might need, but then at the end of my trip I’ll realize I never used it. And so, I’ve learned to ask if I really need everything I’ve planned to pack.
For this trip, I planned to pack long johns, but after checking the weather and thinking about it, I realized that I didn’t really need them. Besides, I figured that if it gets really cold I can probably borrow a pair from my sister or brother in law.
TIP 4: Roll Your Clothing
My mom who moved our entire family overseas more than a couple times taught me this trick. You see when you fold clothes they are often hard to pack because they aren’t uniform. And so, instead of folding my clothes I roll them like little burritos. The small compact shape saves space, the clothes tend to wrinkle less, and best of all it’s easier to pack because you don’t have to press items down as rolling compresses them.
TIP 5: Dress Like A Boss At The Airport
I usually pack at least one nice outfit to wear to take to the holidays for nice dinners and other occasions, but I’ve always had the problem of packing clothes and then having to get them ironed when I arrive. Which is why I usually wear my nice outfit when I fly. Not only does this prevent wrinkles it also makes me look good at the airport, which I suspect makes security go easier and certainly makes me feel fresher when I travel. After all flying through the air at hundreds of miles an hour is pretty amazing, so why shouldn’t you look amazing while you do it.
My final thoughts on packing minimally are this: Try it! The worst case scenario is that you don’t quite pack enough and you have to borrow or buy something. But if my experience has taught me anything it’s that 90% of the time we pack too much. So this year instead of packing one more outfit, leave a little extra space. Your back and you pocket book with thank you.