Monday, November 17, 2008

My overpacking problem

If anyone hears me say out loud that "I pack light" when traveling, slap me across the face. Why? Because it's a big, fat lie. LIE!

I used to pack only the bare essentials, but then I got more "girly" and into make-up, fun clothes and accessories and suddenly the amount of stuff I bring along for a weekend at home has multiplied by like 100 percent.

Case in point: this weekend when I went home, I brought my "carry on" suitcase, which looked like it was going to explode at any given second. It was stuffed with laundry, shoes and make-up within an inch of the zipper's life. I nearly had to lay myself on it so that it would close. And with trips coming up for Thanksgiving and Christmas (when I'll be home for over a week), I absolutely must upgrade to the bigger suitcase.

Why? Options. I overpack because a girl has to have options.

Now, I try not to bring my entire apartment with me (anymore) when I travel, but somehow I end up bringing the following (keep in mind, I'm home for 48 hours):
  • Three pairs of shoes
  • Five necklaces and assorted bracelets
  • Two jackets
  • Two to three purses
  • Almost my entire bathroom
  • Two belts
  • Four to five outfit choices (or at least two outfits per day)
I'm a horribly indecisive person on clothing so I overpack because I never know what mood I'll be in when it's time to get dressed each day. And, mentally I know if I take items out of the suitcase, I will want them when I go home and they won't be available.

So in prep for Thanksgiving and the Christmas holiday, dad and I had a heart-to-heart and I begged him to pick up a few things for me to store at the house - like toothbrush, contact solution and toothpaste - to make my packing simpler....and so I can fit another purse or sweater in the suitcase to replace what is staying here.

I'm sick, someone help me. Does this happen to anyone else?

47 comments:

LJ said...

I used to pack the same way, shoes always take up the most space! But then you always regret when you don't have a certain pair.

Just pack think on it and then repack and take out one thing repeat as many times as necessary. You will find you actually didn't need as much.

Lacey Bean said...

I am the same way. A girl needs options!! My boyfriend doesn't understand, so I basically state it that he'll be unhappy if I don't pack that way, because if I dont have choices in what to wear, and have to wear something I'm not happy with, then HE wont be happy. :)

jamie said...

I don't think there is anything wrong with that! :) It's all about the options. And, how do you know today what you will want to wear three days from now? I'd say you're right on track, girl! xxxo

Jossie Posie said...

I totally agree with Jamie...as a girly girl you have to have options. You never know whats going to be thrown at you and its imperative to have the perfect outfit.

Maki said...

Let's blame it on being women!! I'm the same way although I'm getting better at it.

I always think to myself when I pack, "What if??" which causes me to overpack... When I finish packing, JT always carry the suitcase and tell me to unpack and repack:(

It feels good though when my suitcase is lighter than 100 lbs!!!

Good luck, Jess - You can do it!!!

Angela said...

I used to have the same problem. Until I moved across the country for college and I realized it's a pain in my ass to wait at the baggage terminal for my suitcase when all I really want to do is get home and pass the eff out after being in airports/on a plane for 10 hours.

So, now, when I travel, I am a minimalist.

Well, except when I went to Vegas over the summer. A girl's gotta take her LIFE to Vegas!

Mega said...

My rule is that if I can't fit it in my backpack, I don't take it. Toothbrush, deodorant, change of socks and undies, nothing else needed.

Rachel Burton said...

I used to be a super-light packer, but I've gotten girlier in my old age too. i go home to FL for two weeks at Xmas, so packing is a nightmare. The upside is it's all smaller, lighter summer clothes so I can fit more than if I were dealing with sweaters and boots!

Erin said...

I am the exact same way. When I went on a cruise this past May I had an entire small suitcase just full of shoes.

Ginger said...

I'm exactly the same...my excuse is always weather. "Well it might be warm during the day but cool at night." "What if it rains?"

Oh, and the ever present, "Do you think we'll go somewhere nice-nice, or just nice-jeans-nice?"

Heidi Renée said...

Oh god, packing shoes kills me every time. Jason, on the other hand wears the same shoes every day. For work, for the gym, for going out... WHY CAN'T MY LIFE BE THAT SIMPLE?

The Odd Duck said...

Wow Jessica, just wow.

Little Miss Obsessive said...

I really used to pack light.. A couple years ago I could honestly say I was a light packer but then I started really loving shoes. And that is when my light packing days ended. Shoes take up A LOT of room and now I am the average girl packing way too much stuff. heh

Princess Pointful said...

I'm nowhere near as bad as my sister, who brought 10 pairs of shoes for a week in Mexico. I would pretty much only bring flip flops. My problem is the small stuff, like earrings. They don't take up a lot of room, but I'll be damned if I don't always leave at least a few behind!!

SA said...

Unless it's makeup, any other bathroom items I buy 1. the travel size and 2. at the city/town I'm in. It takes up more space when you carry your own big tube. Pick up one of those tiny sizes when you get to town. It really saves you space.

As for the clothes I can't really help there. I guess I haven't fully grown into my girly girl self yet because I'm such a t-shirt and jeans type person that I can take it all in one duffel. As for shoes if you're not going to be at a certain place or on the road for more than two weeks you really only need two pairs-one comfortable pair and one slightly dressy pair. Unless you're going to a formal gathering or something at which case bring three.

However, I kinda wish I was more like you and had to wrestle with what I take with me. Weird, I know.

miss button said...

I am exactly the same. It's just impossible to determine what you might feel like wearing...
What's funny is, if I'm going for business, I am SO much better. Because I generally know exactly what will be happening (and feel silly if I overpack).

jenniferalaine said...

I definitely used to do the same thing... but then I started traveling around Europe every weekend while I'm abroad and my suitcase of choice? My Vera Bradley large duffle. You learn to lighten the load when it's a suitcase without wheels and you have to CARRY IT.

Kat from Tough Girl 101 said...

consider a ruck sack! its durable and roomie!

Beave said...

I don't like the fact that this is a womanly thing. Mainly because I'm just as bad. Going away for the weekend requires an entire suitcase, and most of the time it's larger than my fiancee's. Yeah, I need to work on that.

Cass said...

I agree, you never know what you're going to need! you might decide to go to a nice restaurant, there might be down time where you need a book, you might not feel like reading that book so you better have a bakup or something to do on the plane, it might snow, it might be warm... I blame girl scouts for making me worry about being prepared for everthing ;-)

Jamie said...

I usually pack a ton of stuff then when I get to my destination, hate everything I brought!

erin said...

I would say I am now a light packer, but it is because I'm traveling around Europe and I don't want to pay to check my baggage, so it all has to fit in my backpack.

What I do is limit myself to a colour/theme for the weekend so that brings down the shoes to 2 pairs and that way everything matches, so it can me mixed.

Now if I am home and I have a car or don't have to worry about bags, I am the queen of overpacking. I like to be prepared for any and every situation.

MC said...

I don't like to pack either because I can't really plan ahead my outfits. I always dress to fit my mood or the occasion so I can't visualize what I want to wear on a day that isn't now. Then, when I finally do get my luggage to fit perfect, I can never repack it for the trip home. It somehow grows to 2 times the size and I can't figure out how I made it fit to begin with.

The end.

L.C.T. said...

Haha, I actually do still pack light. It's ingrained in me!

Summershoegal said...

I had the same problem!! But than I read this article on the right way to pack about a year ago, it really send me thinking! When I go for a longer trip like a week or longer I always create a mindmap on a piece of paper, creating multiple outfits with only a few pieces!! But although I pack a lot less than before everyone still complains about my overpacking!! I soo feel for you :)

Miss Grace said...

Yknow, I get flack for overpacking, but without fail, whenever I leave something behind, an alternate bra perhaps, or extra shoes, I absolutely REGRET it.

Jessica said...

OMG, this is so me.

I over-pack to go anywhere. One week's vacation to an island? 12 sundresses. Is that really necessary? No..but I don't like to feel limited in choices especially on vacation.

Also, I am a commuter to my school and when I need to sleep over for sorority or something I bring a huge ass bag, because I like options and then I look like a freak going to class with my big herve chapelier bag full of clothes and textbooks! haha.

Paula said...

I ALWAYS overpack, especially books!!! I'm more terrified I'll run out of books than anything else . . .even underwear!!!

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Lauren said...

I'm so like you. I do not pack light. I need backup clothes. I need alternatives. I change my mind! I change during the day! I just can't..CAN'T pack light!

Mandy said...

I am a horrible packer! I always have to have options, shoes, accessories etc. I hope you dad can help you out, because really - you ALWAYS need an extra sweater. LOL.

Katelin said...

i have so become the same way. i need clothing options when i travel, i am just too indecisive not to, haha.

stealthnerd said...

I'm like this all the time! In college, my friends used to ask how much stuff I had with me--sometimes it was the difference b/w bringing another person w/us or not. Whoops!

Megkathleen said...

I have the same problem especially with shoes. I always bring way more shoes than I need. My one little trick is I only bring one or two pairs of pants or skirts (my absolute favorites) and then I bring different tops. So I still have options, but pants always take up the most room. Jersey dresses are always great too - they don't take up much room and they don't wrinkle.

Kyla Bea said...

I definitely agree with bringing options! The way to pare down that my sister use - and she runs a fashion blog & is definitely a girly girl - is bringing basics that you can layer into different outfits, as well as a number of dressy options. It means that you aren't bringing different complete ensembles, but bringing your foundation pieces with some additions for flare here and there.

Blaez said...

i'm that way too only because you never know if the weather is going to change, etc etc etc...

nothing wrong with being prepared!

Fabulously Broke said...

Used to. Until I had to check everything in and wait for the damn things!

now it's the bare minimum with a ton of accessories!

susan said...

I am the same way- I don't know what happens between the time I choose what bag to bring and when I am ready to go.

Maxie said...

Oh I'm such an overpacker too... I've gotten better about it recently, but still...I way overdo it.

Pam said...

I am the EXACT same way. I am the world's worst packer. Whenever I go up to my parents' house for even a night, my bag nearly bursts at the seams. I always have to have at least two pairs of shoes, two purses, a few different shirts, jeans for flats, jeans for heels, etc. I am so indecisive when it comes to dressing myself and packing. I'm glad I'm not the only one out there!

Single in Vancouver said...

You described me to a T! I am always the same. Take a large suitcase with me just for a 2 day weekend AND an extra bag with all my hair and makeup products.

I could never backpack across Europe I would need my own entourage.

bodelou said...

i am the same way, but actually, i have mastered this great problem. as in, i overpack, but i can do it with ease. so i can fit anything into anywhere. so despite the fact that i have a million and one things to go into my suitcase, they all manage with ease.

lifeintheleftlane said...

I am exactly the same way! I have to have all of my products and hair appliances with me. Plus you never know what you will be in the mood to wear or what the weather will be like, so you need tons of options.

I'm going to NY for Christmas for 8 days, I know my suitcase is going to look like I'm moving there!

EP said...

If it's any consolation, I do the exact same thing. My boy makes fun of me for it, but I would rather have a couple options than not.

Sara said...

My theory is that you never know what you will need until you are in the moment. So, the only responsible thing to do is to have anything you could possibly need at your finger tips, which requires extra packing:)

G+D said...

LOL! You are not alone, girl. I'm right there with you. It's the shoes that get me!

Here's a blog post I did on my packing meltdown if you're interested in checking it out: http://tinyurl.com/6oa5mo

Bobbie said...

I do the same thing. And I pack my boyfriend's stuff usually, so I can sneak more stuff into his bag, since it won't fit in mine. Haha!

I've learned the hard way....I've needed a dress at the last minute and had to buy one because I didn't pack for ALL scenarios.

And I always pack my whole bathroom too! I am obsessed with hair products. My sister used to work at a salon, so I'd constantly get freebies, and you would die if you saw my linen closet. One shelf for linens, the rest for hair products!