The In’s and Out’s of Packing Light

I’m a chronic over-packer. I think it’s a disease. Even on weekend trips I just can’t help but pack at least ten different outfits because like “what if it rains?” or “what if we decide to do a different activity than what I packed for?” or “what if I change my mind about how cute this outfit really is?”

I’m taking a trip abroad next month (stay tuned), and I’m only allowed to bring one personal item and one carry-on suitcase. ONE SUITCASE. Not to mention carry-ons are like insanely small. I can barely fit what I need for a weekend trip in those things.

I’m going away for eight days and figuring out exactly how I’m going to tackle this task has been a major struggle. If you’ve been in this situation before, maybe you’ve created some of your own tips and tricks for handling it. Or maybe you still need some help. Here are just Five Rules for Packing Light that have made my whole process a lot easier.


I don’t mean like underwear or anything like that. But with an eight day trip, that also means there are eight nights to worry about. No one is really going to see what you’re wearing to sleep- and I doubt anyone will really care- so consider packing just two or three over-sized shirts and reusing them every couple of nights. Jackets and accessories can also be reused in different ways. Leave your jacket unzipped vs. closing it up all the way. Or wear your scarf tightly around your neck with a matching hat vs. letting it lie loosely on your shoulders as your sole accessory for the day. With these little changes, there’s a good chance the photos won’t give your secret away.

One of each extra

If you’re following the rule of reusing, then you don’t need to bring eight pairs of shoes and five sweaters. Instead bring only one hat or one purse- one of each non-essential item. I know this might be hard to narrow down. Trust me, I love accessorizing. And one of my biggest fears when traveling is that I won’t have my favorite scarf to match my specifically colored blouse. But that’s where planning and coordination comes in handy.

Make a plan and stick to it

I change my mind as often as the seasons change in Oklahoma (if you lived here, you’d understand). But when traveling you don’t always have that luxury. Especially when you’ve only packed one suitcase. So before you pack, make sure to think about exactly what you’re going to need. Consider what the weather is going to be like wherever you’re going. Consider what kind of events and activities you’re going to be participating in. Consider what you can/will buy when you get to your destination. If you have a plan, you’ll know exactly what you need when you finally decide to start packing.

Roll it up

This is more of a tip for the actual logistics of getting your clothes into your suitcase. Roll it up. It works exactly how it sounds- instead of folding it, roll it like you would a tarp or a sleeping bag. Using this method is actually better at preventing wrinkles and saves space when you push all your stuff into your bag. You can also stick your smaller accessories, and even some thinner shoes, in-between the rolls of your clothes.

Put it inside

If you’re packing something like a purse or a hat, there is likely space for you to stick something small inside. Do this when you can to save space in the overall area of your suitcase.

The biggest thing to remember when it comes to packing light is ESSENTIALS ONLY. A lot of these tips stem back to that and wouldn’t even be possible if not for remembering to pack only what you really need. You can survive the week without every single piece of jewelry you own- I promise.


If you’ve tried anyone of these recommendations for packing light before, or if you think these will help you pack more efficiently for a trip in the future, leave a comment and let me know down below! I love hearing from you! Thanks again for reading, and I’ll let you know how this trip goes!


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