10 Tips for Procrastinating on a Packing Job

I'm really excited to leave for Chicago in the next few days, but I'm having trouble motivating myself to get the packing done. In that spirit, here's a list of useful things you can do instead of packing for a trip.

1. Suddenly realize your house/apartment/condo is in dire need of a deep clean. Don't just tidy, get on your hands and knees to scrub those floors, go through the back of that closet you haven't cleaned in a year; these things are highly important and necessary at the exact moment.

2. Get caught up deleting old emails from your inbox while checking for flight and/or hotel confirmations.

3. Go through every item of clothing in your wardrobe and try on pieces in bizarre combinations. Silk harem pants, an oversized cropped tee and a black velvet blazer? How bad could it be?

4. Watch some of the things that have been piling up in your Netflix queue.

5. Begin rereading an old favourite book in the middle of hunting through your bookshelves for unread novels to pack for the plane/drive.

6. Eat all of the food left in your fridge. I've heard that ice cream can go bad after five days in the freezer.

7. Make a mixed CD (tape?) or iTunes playlist for the road.

8. Look at photos on Instagram and begin mentally planning the next trip you want to take.

9. Stare blankly into space.

10. Guilt-play with your dog. I'm sorry I'm leaving buddy, it'll all be okay.

Just so you know, you can expect posts to continue as usual while I'm gone, although I'll likely be slower on the commenting and social media front.

One Week Packing Guide

Chris and I leave for New York tomorrow! Woot woot!

I'll be away for a week, but posts will continue (Mondays and Fridays) while I'm gone. I'll be a slow to reply to email, Twitter, or comments, but otherwise, everything will be up and running as usual. I've got so many fun posts planned in the coming weeks!

Since I'm currently in a mad dash to get everything packed and ready, I thought today would be the perfect day to share my personal guide to packing for a one week trip. As I've posted about before, I avoid checking bags at all costs, so here's what I pack in my carry on for a one week trip.

pictured, but not packed
- 1 irresistibly adorable dog :)

- 2 pairs shorts (1 denim cutoffs, 1 printed cotton)
- 1 pair linen-silk blend capris
- 2 skirts (1 printed, 1 denim)
- cotton sundress
- 1 pair boyfriend jeans
- 3 t-shirts (all plain, solid colours)
- vintage sweatshirt
- chambray shirt in light wash
- black silk button up
- sports bra
- gym shorts
- gym t-shirt
- oversized tee for sleeping
- 3 pairs socks
- 7 pairs underwear - all stuffed inside my water bottle
- nude bra
- brown leather waist belt
- brown leather regular belt
- water bottle
- reading material
- hair brush

inside my cosmetics bag
- sunscreen
- tinted facial sunscreen
- face wash
- toothbrush
- travel-sized toothpaste
- mascara
- cheek stain
- eyeliner
- lip balm
- moisturizer
- facial serum
- eye cream
- travel sized shampoo & conditioner

not pictured - in a smaller carry-on bag
- wallet
- camera
- extra film
- hiking boots
- additional reading material

This may not seem like a lot for a one week trip, but I find it works well. Here are a few tips on how to get the best use out of your limited wardrobe:

1. Restrict your colour palette. This one is particularly easy for me, because I mostly wear black, grey and blue. All of these colours can easily be mixed and matched. For a pop of colour, I'll throw in a hit of red, or in the case of the printed skirt, pink.

2. Pick lightweight clothing in natural fabrics that can be layered or scaled back. I'm incredibly picky when it comes to fabrics. If it's not cotton, silk, linen (or wool in cooler months) I usually don't buy it. All these fabrics breathe well, so they're cool in warm weather, but can also be layered for added warmth.

3. Make you airport outfit part of your packing strategy. My go-to airport outfit is a pair of opaque black tights, a cami, a chambray shirt, and my Converse sneakers (I add a wool-blend cardigan in the winter). Every one of these items can be mixed in with the clothes I've already packed to provide me with additional outfit options. 

4. Leave room for new purchases. When I pack, I always keep in mind that I'll be shopping on the trip. I make sure to leave room for these items, and I'll often add new purchases into the outfit rotation during my trip.

Using these strategies, even though I wear each item multiple times, the outfit is never the same. Do you have anything to add to my list? What are your packing secrets?

Keep it Light

An airline only needs to lose your luggage once and you too will become a firm believer in carrying on.

The first time it happened to me was on a flight to Rome, where I made my connecting flight by mere seconds, but my bag did not. I spent three days in my mother's clothes, calling the airline repeatedly, terrified my bag would not arrive before we moved on to Venice. My suitcase finally made it, but since that time I avoid checking bags at all costs.

While this isn't always possible for longer voyages, if you're willing to wear your pieces more than once (excluding underwear and socks of course) and you're not one of those people who needs a minimum of five pairs for shoe selection, you can easily do this for trips seven days or less.

So here are a few of my top tips for packing light. Added bonus, you don't have to spend days uncomfortably wearing your mother's/travelling partner's generously donated, but totally not your style clothing.

First up, the bag.

The dream?
Lo & Sons O.G. Travel Bag

I don't even want to admit how much time I've spent watching the cute little videos for each of their bags and drooling covetous drool on my keyboard.

Don't have three hundred dollars to drop on a bag? Yeah, me neither. Etsy and Everlane also have some good options.

Or, if you want to be all Up in the Air about it, you could also go with one on these rolly-deals from Wakamatsu.

Second, when it comes to packing, choose pieces that do double, even triple duty.

A prime example is a classic button up in a breathable fabric like cotton or silk. This one, from Madewell, would do nicely. You can wear it tucked into a high-waisted skirt, loose and casual over jeans or cutoffs, layered with a structured blazer or a cardigan: the sky's the limit.

And finally, pare it down. Instead of automatically throwing your entire makeup bag in, just bring a tinted moisturizer (preferably with an SPF of 15 or higher) blush, mascara, tinted lip balm and a cream eye liner or a nice lipstick for a night out. Do you really need 5+ pairs of shoes? Probably not. Wear your sneakers on the flight, and pack a pair of heels for a night out. Throw in a pair of flats, sandals or boots, depending on the weather, and you're good to go.

When it's all loaded into your bag, it may not look like enough, but trust me, with time and practice, you'll always have a suitable outfit, and it will never be stuck at some airport in a city where you're not.