Organizing Tip: Packing for a Vacation

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Summer vacation season is nearly upon us. Sailing Near The Coast, Point Loma, San Diego, California, photography by R. Isip

Are you ready for the annual “packing of the bags?”

Whether you are traveling by car, plane or train, consider a few of these tips to help you plan, pack and streamline your luggage for an upcoming trip.

Getting Ready for Vacation

Think activities.

Are you going hiking in the mountains or sightseeing in the city? Envision activities to help you decide what to pack. For example, you might pack hiking boots, a map and a compass for a hiking trip.

Make a list.

List everything from clothing, shoes and accessories to toiletries, medication, pajamas, small electronics, house keys, travel documents, maps and so on. Consider starting a draft list two weeks before your trip so that you have enough time to brainstorm and to add/remove items. Check off items as you pack and reuse the list when repacking on the road.

Select and prep bags.

Choose bags based on: 1) how long you’ll be traveling, 2) how much/how little you want to carry, and 3) if you’re willing to do some laundry (freeing up a few changes of clothes!). Clean out all compartments and make sure zippers and straps are in good working order and can be properly secured. Don’t forget to attach your contact information in case your luggage gets lost or goes missing in transit.

Packing A Bag

Lay out everything before you pack.

A freshly made bed, clear counter top or large table will work. Group similar items together (shirts with shirts, etc.) and scan piles to see if you’ve missed anything from your list.

Pack only what you will truly use.

Think twice or three times about an item’s use; are you really going to use it or think you might use it?  Over-packing makes bags bulky and heavy. You may pay for extra weight in luggage fees if flying or in gasoline if you are driving.

Streamlining A Bag

Roll up.

Rolling up items tightly saves much more space than folded items.

Pack only your tried and true, favorite, or most comfortable items.

That should narrow down your decisions about what to pack!

Think versatility.

Solid colors offer so much more flexibility than prints in putting together different outfits.

Think layers for warmth.

Many thinner, lighter items are easier to pack than one bulky one.

Wear bulkier items on your person.

Wear sneakers or heavier shoes on your feet to save space in your bag. Slip into sandals or flip-flops as soon as you arrive at your destination.

Follow Rashelle:
Rashelle Isip is a New York City-based professional organizer and productivity consultant who helps people get organized so they can stress less, have more fun, and be happier at home. Her work has been featured in Good Housekeeping, Fast Company, Cosmopolitan, The Washington Post, Business Insider, and The Atlantic. Get access to her free guide, 10 Simple Ways to Make Your To-Do Lists More Effective, by clicking here.