I am a notorious over packer. For me, “the basics” equates to half of my closet. My argument is that you never know what you’ll need once you’re down there, what kind of mood you’ll be in, or exactly what you’ll be doing each day. It’s so hard for me to narrow down what to bring on a trip because I love all my clothes and wish I could wear all my cutest outfits in the span of five days. It’s never going to happen, but a girl can dream. This spring break, I went on vacation with my boyfriend’s family. This was the first time I’d been on a trip with a boyfriend and the first time I would fit all of my belongings into one single suitcase. Albeit a very large suitcase that normally is split between my parents and my brothers. A suitcase is a suitcase. I was determined to confine all of my junk into one bag I did not want to start things off on the wrong foot by hogging all of the trunk space.
I forced myself to give up my old ways of packing the night before and started days in advance to assure that I really thought through all of my choices. Originally, I only called my best friend into the room for assistance in making some final decisions regarding the maybe pile. Not only did she eliminate nearly the entire maybe pile, but she started hacking away at all my definitely piles. I needed that fourth black dress, just in case. She had to remind me that I was going to the beach, and that I hadn’t packed for it at all. She was right. While I had picked out a lot of cute outfits, they were just that- my cutest outfits, beach appropriate or not. I just wanted to cram all of my favorite, most parent-dazzling outfits into one week. I didn’t need three black sweaters or six different pairs of denim shorts. This was a true revolution in my packing mentality. Rather than cramming all my favorite pieces into every duffle bag I could get my hands on, I should bring the things that are cute and work for where I’m going. In other words, I had to let go of the outfits I wanted to wear there and only bring the outfits that I actually have a good chance of wearing there. When you bring too many options, you don’t end up wearing your best stuff anyway because you can’t remember everything that you brought. With my friend’s help, I cut down what I was planning on bringing by at least half and I still felt cute and confident in my outfits each night and had outfits to spare.