What is one of the most stressful things about travel? Packing. If you’re not organized with your packing, you’ll end up stressing about forgetting things, actually forgetting the things, and then scrambling around at the last minute freaking out about missing your flight….sound familiar, or is it just me? If you want to avoid this (and don’t we all?!?) then check out the video below to watch me pack for a recent trip. I’ll show you exactly what I do to keep my travel prep running smoothly
Tips for Organized Packing:
Make a list
This is probably the single greatest tool for packing. Personally, I have a digital list that I can update or erase things for any given trip. Most items will stay the same. You’re always going to need underwear and deodorant, am I right? Since about 95% of it stays the same, it’s helpful to have a standard list that you just tweak a little bit for every trip. This helps avoid forgetting something important, and most of the list-making work is done for you already. If you’re not into the digital version, you can use our free printable packing list.. And of course, cross off every item as you lay it out!
Duplicates of Toiletries
This helps sooooo much! I keep cosmetic bags packed with all my toiletries and another with all my makeup and brushes, etc., because what I need in these two categories literally never changes from trip to trip. I also don’t have to stress about using something the morning before I leave and accidentally forgetting it. I keep things like cotton swabs, nail clippers, little scissors, sanitizing wipes, etc. all packed up so that I don’t have to gather up all the little things each time.
While you might be thinking it’s excessive to keep duplicates of everything like makeup, it really does make sense. These are things that I am absolutely going to use up, like foundation, so nothing is wasted, and then if I happen to run out of my favorite concealer, I can just grab the backup from my travel kit until I can replace it. Having this makes my life easier in a ton of ways, and it also makes me able to pack quickly if I ever need to.
I LOVE packing cubes! I will use the smaller ones for things like underwear or socks, and in the larger ones, I will put 3-4 outfits, so everything is together. If you unpack at your hotel, you can easily place the little cubes in the dresser without having to take anything out, and if you don’t unpack, it’s so much easier to find things in an open suitcase without having to dig through a jumbled mess. It’s also way easier to move the cubes around in your suitcase to make things fit instead of having to move stacks of clothes or little piles of un-contained socks. These cubes are my favorite, but there is a similar cheaper version here that includes a toiletries bag. I also love my suitcase– it’s nothing fancy, but it has a harder outside case, and what’s really important is the way it opens down the middle so you have a shorter stack on each side instead of one big stack that you have to dig through. Sometimes it’s the little details that make the difference!
Pouches and such
Basically, keep everything contained! I will use little bead boxes for small items like floss picks or cough drops, or even zip top bags to contain everything. You want nothing to be loose in your suitcase! This will make it so much easier to find what you need. Use little pill bottles for any medication, and I even use these colorful pill bottles for jewelry so I can keep things totally separate so they don’t get all tangled together. I also have a hard case for my Dyson Airwrap, which I always travel with.
I’ve been having some health issues lately, so I’m on a lot of supplements. When you pack your meds, be sure you label everything immediately, including the dosage! I also use cord controllers on ANY cords I have. Having a jumbled cord tangled around everything is a fast track to frustration, and I don’t know about you, but I travel with a lot of electronics, so it seems like I have charging cables all over, and no one wants to be digging through that mess when you just need your hand sanitizer! If you'd like to see more about how I organize my cords, just click here to watch my Cord Control video!
Set your travel clothes out the night before
Many times you’re getting up super early to catch a flight, and you can really help out your future self by setting your clothes out. The less I have to do when I’m walking around like a zombie in the morning, the better! Lay out your entire outfit including undergarments, shoes, and any jewelry you might want to wear. You should be able to just throw on your clothes and go if you have to.
Prep your luggage the night before
Make it a grab-and-go scenario. I personally like to pack lighter, but for me it just never all quite fits in one carry-on, so I always have at least one checked bag and one carry-on. I pack my purse inside one of the bags because it means there is less to keep track of, and the absolute last thing I want to deal with is leaving my purse somewhere! I love the carry-on I have because it has wheels (saves my back!) and is designed to fit under the airplane seat. I like having everything I need right there with me so I don’t have to deal with the overhead bins.
Make sure you’re decluttered
It is crazy difficult to try to pack if you’re having to sort through clothes you never wear or toiletries that expired five years ago. If you’re still struggling to get your clutter in check, watch my favorite decluttering video here
If packing has you overwhelmed, start with a list, and take it one step at a time. If you try some of these tips, you’ll get more and more organized every time. Less stress about the packing and more time looking forward to the actual trip is always a #win!
Organization that actually sticks for busy, happy lives