Are You An Over Packer?
There’s one word that will ignite joy in the hearts of everyone who hears it – VACATION!
I’ve been looking forward to my vacation for months now and it did not disappoint! I traveled back to the beach community I’m from and had a wonderfully relaxing time. I slept in late, ate too much seafood, lounged on the beach, enjoyed wine every night, and I over packed.
Like most Americans, I usually over pack. I try to plan for an outfit a day and then at the last minute I throw a few “just in case” items in my suitcase. But I thought this trip would be different!
I mean, I haven’t bought ANY clothes in the last 7 months and I’ve gotten really good at mix/matching my pieces. I even took 5 items out of my suitcase at the last minute.
But I still did it – I still over packed!
Since the amount of clothing I own and use are on my mind right now, I did something I've never done before - I kept track of what I packed and what I actually wore. Here’s the list:
What I Packed: What I Wore:
2 pairs of shorts 1 pair of shorts
2 pair of capris 1 pair of capris
1 pair of yoga pants 1 pair of yoga pants
1 sun dress 1 sun dress
7 tops 3 tops
2 tank tops 2 tank tops
3 t-shirts 1 t-shirt
2 swim suits 2 swim suits
2 swim suit cover ups 2 swim suit cover ups
3 pair of shoes 2 pair of shoes
6 pairs of earrings 3 pairs of earrings
1 necklace 1 necklace
Writing down what I packed and comparing it to what I actually wore has been such an EYE OPENER!
Normally I pack even more (especially shoes) but I made myself pack less this time and I still didn’t wear it all. I don’t typically like to check my bag at the airport, so I’ve always made myself use a medium sized carry on, but I could have used only half my suitcase for this trip.
So, what would I have done differently?
Well, I realize I only need one pair of shorts and capris. I wore my denim ones and they went with everything. I would have left half my tops at home. I don’t know why I think I need a different top for each day. I ended up just rotating my favorite three and the others stayed in the drawer.
I didn’t need the sundress either. I know I wore it, but it’s because I made myself wear it! I figured I packed it, so l probably should wear it. But it wasn’t really needed. I could have done with one swimsuit, but if you’re going to the beach for 7 days…having 2 swimsuits is probably a good idea.
I will admit that even though I didn’t wear my “fancy outfit” (because we didn’t go out for drinks or anything) it’s still probably a good idea to pack one. There’s nothing worse than being invited out and feeling underdressed.
And I think the key to saving space is packing versatile shoes. Of course, I packed a pair of flip-flops but the other pair of sandals I packed could be worn with any nicer outfit. I knew I wasn’t going to need tennis shoes or heels on this trip, but sometimes those are needed. Just try packing shoes that can be worn with multiple outfits!
The most important lesson I learned is this – if I don’t wear it at home, I’m not going to wear it on vacation. I treated my vacation closet like my home closet. I immediately went for the items I like and bypassed tops that are snug or I don’t feel comfortable in.
I would suggest everyone keep a Packed vs Wore list as least once. I bet you’ll never pack the same way again!
My name is Misty Day (yeah, that really is my name) and I'm a normal every day person. I'm a twin, I work as an analyst, I take my daughter to Girl Scouts and swim team, I play bass guitar in a band, I love food and wine, I like new clothes, and I'm trying to be a better person.