5 Packing Tips for the Overpacker

I use the term “over-packer” lightly – because I would prefer to call it fashionable. Ever since I can remember I’ve always struggled with packing and I never fail to be dubbed the over-packer of the group despite the size of the group I’m traveling with.

I’ve begun to slowly adjust my packing routine – not sure if it’s because I’m traveling more frequently (long distance probs) or because I’m cheap and can’t wrap my head around paying for luggage for a short weekend trip.

My friends always make comments like “You’re only going to be gone for three days!” or “Why don’t you just plan out your outfits in advance?” Do these humans even know what they are talking about, have they ever heard of WEATHER or OUTFIT CHANGES? Just imagine when I had to pack for my 6 month trip to Australia – OH MY don’t even get me started on the packing anxiety that came along with that!

When I start packing a million things run through my head – “What if it rains? What if I’m too dressed up? What if I’m not dressy enough? What if I don’t like this outfit in 24 hours because it doesn’t look the same?” Other people have these thoughts right? – I can’t be the ONLY ONE!

So I have attempted to lay out my tips & tricks and how I survive living out of a carry on bag while still trying to be fashionable on my vacation! If only I could bring Stella Mae then all would be right in the world – I mean come on, look at that face 🙂

IMG_1318.JPGThis is what happens when you’re a dog mom..
to a dog that has severe separation anxiety!


  1. BRING MULTI-FUNCTIONAL CLOTHING – What I mean by this is always bring articles of clothing that can be dressed up or down by adding/removing something simple (i.e. a jacket, necklace or shoes). For me I always bring my go to favorite pair of jeans that are comfortable enough to be sweat pants or dressy enough with booties for a night out on the town. I always have a bag full of jewelry – just some staple pieces that can make any outfit ready for dinner and drinks after a long day of shopping or sightseeing! I tend to always bring some type of jacket – either a jean jacket, camo jacket, or leather jacket, you’ll never catch me traveling without one! Another trick is to bring a casual comfy dress to wear during the day – then at night add some lipstick, booties and a leather jacket and you’ve got yourself another outfit. These are easy tips that make making a little bit more doable while allowing you the freedom to still express your style!
  2. LIMIT YOUR SHOES – I know this is way easier said than done but I believe in you. This is the hardest part for me – I like to have shoes for every occasion – DOESN’T EVERYONE? However, shoes take up the most room – their bulky and unconventional when it comes to fitting everything into a carry on bag. What I always try to do is wear my tennis shoes or comfy shoes on the plane (more on this later) and then pack one or two other shoes. For instance for my trip this weekend I’ll be wearing my sneakers on the plane, then I packed a “cute” pair of strappy flat sandals that I can wear with jeans or a dress and a pair of neutral colored booties that can dress up any outfit. SEE – THREE PAIRS OF SHOES ISN’T AWFUL!
  3. PACK A BAG CONTAINING OTHER BAGS – I know this sounds silly but it’s a serious game changer. I take my “personal item” very seriously in desperate times. I usually start with a “tote” bag or something similar in size (15″ w x 14¾” h x 6¼” d)! First thing I do is put my makeup bag(s) inside of the tote. Yes, that is plural because I have a makeup bag and then I have a makeup brush bag (THESE ARE BOTH COMPLETELY NECESSARY). This saves room in your suitcase and gives you quick access for makeup touch ups! Then I throw in my toiletry bag with all my other beauty products! Finally, I put my purse inside of the tote bag. (For weekend trips I almost always only bring a small purse – i.e. my go to Rebecca Minkoff Fringe Crossbody). I always save my purse for last that way it’s easily accessible for traveling purses like my driver’s license and boarding pass. All in all, I tend to have about 5 bags inside my tote bag – but bags are another item that are difficult to maneuver in a small suitcase so this is saving you prime packing space!
  4. UTILIZE YOUR BODY – I’m being serious here, your body is a powerful tool in more ways than one! Again, I know this might sound a little ridiculous but it’s actually extremely helpful. For example, for this weekend trip I’m planning on wearing a cute graphic tee with a jacket, my go to pair of jeans, sneakers and a hat! Wearing my jacket and hat is leaving me with more space in my carry on (not to mention I won’t have to worry about my hat getting squished)! I also do this because planes are ALWAYS cold – I don’t care if I’m traveling to the Sahara dessert the plane will feel like Antarctica and I won’t have to worry about it because I layered. ALWAYS LAYER PEOPLE! You’d be surprised how many shirts I can wear at one time … just kidding. But really use your body to bring some items that are bulky and take up room!
  5. BE A CLOTHING CONTORTIONIST – To simplify this all I’m saying is physically pack your clothes smart. My go to folding method is “rolling” my clothes! I actually learned this from Momma Fugate – never take those tricks for granted (their always the best)! Always start with your shoes first, place those strategically in the bottom of your suitcase – lay them so they are facing opposite directions and lay “within” each other! Then move to your bigger/thicker items (jeans, sweaters, etc.) at the bottom, roll them as tightly as possible and scrunch them as close to each other as possible. Rolling your clothes is the best way to pack when trying to save space, it allows the clothes to be condensed as much as possible leaving you more room to pack MORE clothes! However, this method may leave your clothes a little wrinkly so be prepared for that. Some people travel with a little steamer, I however choose to leave that space for more clothes so you’ll catch me putting my clothes in the bathroom with me while I shower. It’s a free steamer and it doesn’t steal your suitcase space!

I really hope these tips & tricks come in handy the next time you realize that you have to pack your fashionable life in a carry on that is the size of a small infant. Just remember, these tips will provide you guidance in desperate times & don’t worry because ultimately you’re going on vacation so who really cares, RIGHT?!


PS. I love hearing feedback from you guys and also suggestions on anything you would like to see that I haven’t posted about yet! I received a nice email from Chrissie and wanted to thank her – because when I went back to send an email it bounced back! So thank you for that and I look forward to hearing from you guys!


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