Things I Love

DIY: Packing Tips

While this is a bit different from the normal food and crafting “DIY”, packing is still qualified as a “DIY” activity.

You “do it yourself” and there are tips for it.

So… I say it works.

Anyway, we are approaching the vacation season. Once Memorial Day hits, the pools and beaches open up, condos near the beach are booked for week-long family vacations, and road trips are planned.

For me, my least favorite part of any trip is packing. There are few things are more annoying than having to sit on your suitcase because you’re having trouble fitting your stuff into it.

What’s even worse is finding out that you totally over-packed. You get home to realize that only half of your clothing are actually dirty and the other half just smells really bad from the suitcase stench (so you have no choice  butto throw it in the wash).

So to avoid all of this, we need to be realistic. Bring only what you need, maybe less, and some things you maybe didn’t think about.


Remember that you can re-wear jeans. I’ll be honest and admit that depending on what I wore them for, sometimes I can get three wears out of them, otherwise I wear them twice before washing. Remember too that airing the jeans out in between wears can help.

Shirts can be a bit more complicated because of armpit sweat. However, the fact that you do not need to pack as many jeans as you do tops helps to balance this out. Specifically, you can pack two blouses to wear with one pair of jeans.

Never be afraid to pack a light jacket. Sometimes a jacket can help to completely change a look, even if it’s technically the same outfit twice. Plus, jackets are good for chilly nights.

It’s also a good idea to pick out your outfits before you pack. Make a list of the events you are going to and the type of outfit that you need. Seeing how many casual and nice outfits you need has been so helpful to me. Take each outfit lay it out. See what kind of accessories and shoes you need. Then, see if you can wear the same accessories with other outfits that you are going to pack. As much as I love jewelry, you don’t need a different necklace and bracelet for every outfit. Personally when traveling, I only need two pairs of earrings… pearls and maybe a nicer pair for a night out.

You can also wear the same shoes over again. See how many different things from one outfit you can wear with the other and you are good to go!

When it comes to packing the clothing, my advice is to roll up your articles of clothing…NOT fold. This will save you a surprising amount of room in your suitcase.


When it comes to toiletries, do your best to only pack minis. Whether you raid the dollar section of Wal-Mart or just pour your shampoo and conditioner into smaller containers, going small will save space. The good part about buying minis is that you can just throw them out at the end of your trip—saving space in your suitcase. The bad part is that it does require you to spend money. However, if you store your shower needs in a portable container, you’ll probably want to take it home which will take up space in your suitcase.

So basically, take your pick.

Also, remember that most hotels have shampoo and conditioner for you. However, sometimes it’s not the best kind. Plus, I like to pack those in my suitcase and take them home with me (pretending I used them all up). So again, it’s totally up to you.

My last trick for this is to pack toiletries in a bag…either a toiletry bag of zip-block, for organizational purposes and in case anything leaks.

The “Don’t forgets” 

There are some pretty obvious items on this list, yet you’d be surprised how many people forget these things:


-Toothbrush and toothpaste



-Glasses or contact lenses


-Phone charger

The “you never know” items 

There are a few more things that should always be packed that you may not have thought of. One thing is lightweight rain gear such as a rain jacket and an umbrella. Even if your favorite weatherman says it is not going to rain, they could still be wrong.

Be prepared.

Another great item to carry with you is a pack of sanitary wipes. If you go away on vacation, you never know the conditions of the public restrooms at the restaurants and stores you go to (heck, the ones near your house are unpredictable).

It’s also a good idea to carry plastic bags with you in your suitcase. Your clothes may get stained or wet and it’s not the best idea to mix them in with the other clothing items in your suitcase. Keep them separate by filling plastic bags up and putting those in your suitcase. You can still roll them to make space.

Any other packing tip? Let me know in the comments below.



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