So a few weeks ago, I went to spend a few days with my friends in Ottawa. Packing is one of my favourite parts of any trip, as I love organization of any kind. I’m not the lightest packer in the world, but I’ve never had an overly large or overweight bag, and more importantly, all of my things are perfectly packed and placed within the bag. I also personally love reading or watching YouTube videos where other people describe how they pack, so I thought that would be nice for me to share with all of you today!
My room usually looks something like this a day before any trip…a huge mess. I also usually have a few weeks of laundry that need doing before I can go anywhere. It always feels like an overwhelming task at this point, but I get it done without fail. I usually have three goals to complete before I go on a trip: do all my laundry, pack my bags, and clean my room. Never skip cleaning your room! Nothing beats the feeling of coming home to a perfectly clean room after a long trip.
The next thing I do is I get out my suitcase, whatever size it is I’m taking, and my toiletry bags and packing cubes (which I just have thrown inside my suitcase here). I then go through my clothes…dirty and clean…and plan outfits for the days I’m going. Two traveling outfits (for going there and back), and then enough everyday outfits to last me. In order to keep my bag on the light side, I try to pack lighter clothes, and bring a common sweater to layer between outfits if it’s chilly. I also try to plan on using one pair of pants between two outfits, so that I’m not packing a different pair of pants everyday. I also make a pile of bras and underwear I need for the trip (1-3 bras depending on the length of the trip. The longest trip I was on recently was a month long, and 3 bras lasted me perfectly). For underwear, I pack twice the amount of the days I’m going…because underwear is light, and you never know. I also make a pile for pjs, and a pile for sweaters/outerwear. As you can see in this picture, not all the piles are complete. This is due to the fact that I had already thrown the dirty laundry in the wash before I took this photo. The only thing that’s not in this picture that should be are shoes….I usually wear one pair, and take one extra pair for a different look. If I’m going somewhere with a gym, I also take a pair of running shoes.
Next I pack my toiletries. Pictured above are what I call in my mind my “general toiletries.” They include: toothpaste/a toothbrush, a razor, a comb, a brush (I just am bringing my tangle teaser), deodorant, face wipes, hair protection spray, and body cream.
Next in the toiletries category is my makeup. I generally bring just the basics, with a few different shades of lipstick and an eye-shadow palette for changing up looks. I know the Urban Decay Naked Palette isn’t the most compact thing in the world, but the eye-shadows don’t crack easily, and it has it’s own good brush and mirror, which makes it perfect for travelling in my books. Plus, the shades it provides can make a range of really diverse looks (I also use “Buck” for my eyebrows when I’m travelling). Pictured above, I have: concealer, foundation, powder, bronzer, blush, four lipsticks, an eye-shadow palette, mascara, eyeliner, tweezers, nail clippers, nail polish (not a usual item, but my manicure was almost gone), a hair clip, and body spray.
Next, I pack the brushes I will need. In this case, I brought a powder brush, a foundation brush, the brushes I use for bronzer and blush, and my eyebrow brushes.
Now I pack everything Away. I have shampoo, conditioner, and soap in a plastic bag (in case of spillage). Otherwise, my general toiletries are in the clear bag (so I can easily see where the item I need is), and my makeup is in the other bag (I generally use all my makeup at once anyway).
Alright, by now my laundry is done, so it’s back to clothes. These packing cubes were one of the most brilliant purchases I ever made. I have 4-5 for different purposes, but for short trips I keep it simple…tops in one, bottoms in the other. It makes it so easy to find all my clothing, and everything gets rumpled so much less. Plus, it protects my clothes from any spillage that happens inside the suitcase.
Next comes the part where I fit everything inside the suitcase…which is an art. It can take a lot of rearranging to see where everything will fit best. One piece of advice that I have learned over the years…if something doesn’t seem to fit, roll it up tight, then try again. Rolling takes up so much less space than folding. My bras, underwear, and socks go in the top compartments. The small zippered compartment I keep empty for dirty laundry on short trips.
Now for my carry-on…the backpack. I love how I organize this…I always have exactly what I need all through the flight or train ride, without fail.
These are the items that I put in the main compartment. My water bottle, a snack (I had leftover melon in the fridge…perfect!), a small purse (for nights out), my nintendo, my computer, my notebook, my pencil case, my wallet, and my chargers. The items in this main compartment are the most flexible, as they completely depend on the length and the type of trip.
These are the items in the middle compartment. Kleenex, cough drops, hand lotion, gum, pads/a tampon (I wasn’t expecting my period on this trip, otherwise I would have also had a toiletry bag filled with the necessary items, but it’s always good to have them on hand), and my keys.
Lastly, these are the items in the top compartment of my suitcase. More gum (always gotta have gum!), the lipstick I was wearing that day, and hand sanitizer (the biggest must have for airports or trains).
And now I just put on my comfy outfit and I am good to go!
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