Streamlined Clothing Equals easier Packing


I had a request to discuss how I am able to pack one carry-on for both Bean and I when we go on vacation. It really isn’t very hard if you already have just a few clothes, like me. For Bean, or children, I do find it more challenging. In my house, Bean has all of the clothes. In the beginning, it was because she would soil everything so quickly and I am not good at getting stains out. Now, Bean has more clothes because I am trying to balance giving her too many clothes and not giving her enough. We always have some clothes coming in the house and a bag of clothes going out.

My wardrobe consists of a few pencil skirts that I bought a couple of years ago in colors that who match well with tops that I already owned: black, blue, beige, grey and a few printed ones. I have a few basic colored cardigans to layer when the weather is cooler. I purged all of the dresses and other items that I did not absolutely love and ended up with three-year around every day dresses that I really like. I have a four nice church dresses and a few tops and bottoms for church as well that mix and match throughout the year.

Bean loves dresses, just like me. It makes her wardrobe about as simple as mine. She has church dresses, school uniforms and everyday dresses. She does have a couple of skirts and tops that she can mix and match, but dresses are by far the easiest thing to grab out of the closet and put on. She has more accessories than I do, like headbands and tights. Dressing herself and doing her hygiene in the morning should take no longer than ten minutes if she can focus on what she is doing.

With that said, packing for a trip is normally pretty simple depending on where we are going. If we are going to a climate that is the same as ours, I can just pull out our current wardrobe and pack it in the suitcase. If we are going to the opposite climate, then I will need to look at the clothes I have put away for Bean. My clothes can be layered, so it is not such a big deal for me. We both only have a few pairs of shoes, so I pick a pair of shoes that match the outfits that I have packed.

Normally, we have at the most, one event where we may dress up. Depending on my mood and the event, I may choose our really nice things and pack a little more than usual. If I can’t be bothered, I will just make our everyday items a little more polished.

For toiletries, we share. I have a Ziploc baggie of trial size shower gel, toothpaste, lotion, aloe vera gel, deodorant, and lip gloss. We both are pretty low maintenance, so we do not need to pack items like curling irons, combs, brushes, make-up, etc. I have been low maintenance for so long, I really don’t know what other people pack that makes their bags so full of stuff.

One thing that I have learned is that we almost never use all of the clothes that we pack. However long our trips are, I like to pack outfits that will allow everything to be worn at least twice. Even with that, there have been times that I come home and realize we haven’t worn something. With every opportunity to travel, we get the chance to perfect our packing.

In all honesty, we are getting ready to spend two weeks out of the country. This particular trip I will not be packing as lightly as I normally do. One reason is that we are going to spend time in two different climates. The other is that a friend wants me to bring her some items from her family members. I will try to keep our personal items to one carry-on and the other items to a personal bag. Wish me luck…and tell me how you pack lightly!

8 Comments on “Streamlined Clothing Equals easier Packing

  1. Good luck. I’ve spent 27 years traveling and packing and STILL can’t get it right. Still need 2 bags and a carry-on!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Thankyou Candace! I find your writing so full of common sense, it’s like a breath of fresh air in this crazy world 🙂

    Happy Holidays to you and Bean!

  3. Good luck on your upcoming trip. Enjoyed reading about you and Beans minimal wardrobes and travel packing.

  4. Sounds like it’s easier to pack for a girl! My son has pants and shirts. He is also sometimes a magnet for dirt, so I have to plan on an outfit for each day or to do laundry. His clothes take up most of our bag.

    For me, I like a good church dress but I feel more comfortable day to day in pants and a tshirt. I can get away with 1-2 pairs of pants, but I sweat a lot, so I can’t repeat shirts without washing. My problem is shoes. We often go swimming on vacation and we go to church and do something like hiking. I usually pack sneakers, flip flops, and dress shoes. Yes, I could maybe wear sandals that could work for both beach and church, but I find myself not liking ones I’ve seen. In one instance, they feel a little too casual, and in the other instance, flip flops get less sand stuck in them on the sand, so I really prefer them. Having a single pair of shoes would be glorious! I just haven’t found them yet.

    • Maybe you could invent the wonder shoes!
      In all seriousness, I believe it is more
      important to have what you are truly going
      to use in your bag. If you are using 3 pairs
      of shoes, then no worries.

  5. Lovely post. I am an experienced light-traveller as well:) I have learnt the hard way. Before my minimalist life, I used to pack a lot of stuff and bring most of them back without even having used them. Now I pack carefully, doing my homework about the weather, cultural specifications of the destination we are heading and have a lighter, happier journey. I hope you and Bean had a lovely Christmas and wish you a happy 2016:)

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