How to avoid overpacking


pack-for-a-week-long-trip-9668Packing at the last minute has become a bad habit that inevitably leads to overpacking. I usually have a small window of time before rushing to the airport or train station to get all my travel essentials in a single carry on. Now, I've got packing down to a science and along the way I've learned how to minimize what I bring without sacrificing style. So, here are the three steps I take when packing under a time crunch:

1) Pick 1-2 signature pieces and build around a color palette. For me, it's usually earth tones or classic white and black. I'll pick one or two signature items within that color palette (a blazer, vest, or favorite pair of jeans) and then incorporate pieces that I can get multiple uses out of. Also, my general rule of thumb is that if I don't wear it while I'm home, I likely won't do so on vacation. Of course there are exceptions to the rule (i.e. special occasions or different climates).

2) Think day to night. Pack outfits that go from day to night. Planning for multiple outfits per day isn't only stressful while preparing for your trip, it can also interrupt the flow of the day while you are there. Keep it easy by bringing outfits that can easily transition from day to night by changing your shoes or adding a piece of jewelry.

3) Last but certainly not least, leave the just in case items at home. This one can be tough. Unless you absolutely know it's going to rain - don't bring an umbrella, raincoat, and poncho. Here's one that gets me every time - gym clothes! I'll always pack more than enough work out clothes and never actually make it to the hotel gym. It's probably safe to just bring one gym outfit. Ultimately, if you really need something there's a good chance you can buy it wherever you are going.

I'll be in Portland this weekend, follow along on Instagram and happy packing!