I realized this morning that I can move into my house in less than a week.
But then I look in my closet and I’m a bit overwhelmed with all the…well, stuff I have. I have three bookshelves, every single one overflowing with books/movies/notebooks. I have a decent-sized closet and chest of drawers full of clothes, shelves stacked with old journals and random things I haven’t touched in years. I have a bedside table loaded with books, computer things, and the random pair of earrings. I have no clue how to begin packing my entire life and moving it from my parent’s house to my very own teeny, beautiful, amazing house. I just don’t know.
But I do know how to pack for vacations–the ones where you take as little as possible so that you either 1) have room to bring stuff back or 2) don’t have to lug around a suitcase that’s as big as you. So maybe I could use some of the principles for that ‘packing light’ to help me with my move.
For those of you who don’t know, packing light for international travel is a bit of a competition for me. I actually look forward to getting my bag weighed and comparing it to my travel buddies’ bags. Last year, I went to Turkey, Greece, and England and my bag (suitcase weight included) weighed right around 6 pounds. SIX. I actually managed to pack less than the guys on the trip, which in my opinion is bragging rights at their best. I was a bit obnoxious about it, I’m sure.
So here are three tips I have for packing for travel that I think can be carried over to moving house.
1. Pack the essentials first. Always pack things like your toiletries (toothbrush, shampoo, contact solution) first. These are things that you can buy anywhere but you’d really rather not. If you have these with you, you can go anywhere without having to worry about how gross you look. Make-up, deodorant, and body wash should also be included in this. Basically, raid your house and bathroom for things that you use every morning and evening and pack those first. When you’ve got all the essential stuff, then pack clothes and accessories. Only pack for how many days you’ll be gone, and remember that you can wear the same thing twice in row (or more), so you don’t need 8 pairs of pants. Just three.
2. Pack so that everything takes up the least amount of space possible. If you have a suitcase with an outer pocket, put your toiletries there (going through airport security, you have to take out any liquids and show security, so it’s better to have it easily accessible anyway). Roll your clothes instead of folding them, so that you can fit more without having to worry about stacking or unfolding something accidentally. If you roll something, you can always squeeze things in between rolls or rows of rolls. When you pack things like books, make sure that they’re wedged between something or laying flat. Fill empty spaces with things like socks, underwear, or scarves.
3. Pack groups of things together. Don’t put one t-shirt in this pocket of your bag and one t-shirt on the other side. Don’t pack on sock with this pair of jeans and the other with your books. Pack pairs of socks together. Line up all your t-shirts so you don’t have to pull things out, unroll them, and roll them up again when you see it’s actually a pair of shorts. This makes unpacking a lot easier, too, since you can pull out one stack of things at a time and know exactly where they go. You can glance in your bag and know what’s what without having to make a mess of it and jumble things around.
So there you have it. Three tips to packing the perfect bag. I hope this helps if you even go abroad, and I seriously hope it helps me in the coming week as I get ready to move.
Oh gosh. I might need some help.