10 Tips for Packing Smarter (and Smaller) in the Summer
Leave the fourth pair of shoes and third lipstick tube behind – condense your bulk to the essentials to lighten your load
I check the weather and inquire about the activities ahead of time to plan my outfits accordingly, but if you are anything like me, deep down you secretly want to bring wedges to camping and a bomber jacket to the beach. Thus, I always find myself trying to smush my entire wardrobe and makeup collection into my duffel bag; you never know when an occasion calls for sky-high heels instead of casual sneakers, right?
My idea of packing is unreasonable and unnecessary, and the “just in case” mentality makes for irritated family members when switching to Tetris mode to strategically organize everyone’s luggage into one space. To compensate for lighter packing, I force myself to ditch full-size toiletries and clunky accessories. Though I learned to shrink my load to weather and outdoor-appropriate basics, I also discovered hacks that allow me to squeeze some makeup in and add (within reason) nonessential pieces to spice up my look.
1. Roll instead of fold clothes
Rolling garments reduces unwanted wrinkles and keeps garments more compact.
2. Leave your iron behind and Have clothes Hanging up as you shower
Save time and space as you use the shower steam to your advantage by neatly hanging your clothes over a towel rack or handle of some sort. Pleasantly surprise yourself when coming out of the shower to see, not perfect but, smoother garments.
3. Or double a hair straightener as an iron
Hair straightener can substitute an iron as well! I learned this hack from my suitemate and realized that this is a great tip for college students, who need to optimize inch of their room and think of clever ways to make use of their limited supplies for the semester.
4. Reuse mini containers for shampoo and conditioner
For years, I would throw away my minis once I used them up. However, mini bottles can easily transport your favorite shampoo and conditioner without the need to lug full-sized bottles.
5. Stuff jewelry inside of clothes
Since I can’t step outside of my house without some sort of accessory, I had to find a way to pack jewelry without making my bag or suitcase a mess. Separating jewelry pieces limits the tangles, and you can preplan your accessories for each outfit this way to save time in the morning.
6. Pack smaller items inside of shoes or small bags
This may cross off the need to pack a separate toiletry bag if you fit small shower items inside close-toed shoes.
7. Rip out skin and haircare samples from magazines
Another gem I used to ignore for years until I realized that samples are perfect for one and two-night mini trips when even mini containers are unnecessary.
8. Stick to failproof “S” shoes: sandals and sneakers
Sorry ladies, but heels don’t fit the criteria here. I love my wedges and heeled-sandals but often have to abandon these dressier shoes for long days in the city or activities at a campground.
9. Bring versatile basics and transitional pieces that go from day to night
Less is definitely more for tip nine. I try to bring pieces that easily transition from the outdoors to brunch to a night out. For example, loose cardigan makes a dress more day-appropriate, and jewelry adds drama to colorful dresses. I also stick with denim and leggings to style effortless outfits.
10. Double tinted lip balm as blush and liquid eyeliner as mascara
Get creative with your cosmetics! I still need to work on cutting back on makeup, but my go-to look consists of defined brows and a quick swipe of liner and color on the cheeks.