My house is currently a mix of random items that have been left behind from not fully packing everything for the move, clothes that I will be taking with me on the plane, random books, my laptop, and candles. That’s right, I have yet to fully pack for my move to Austin as I write this, and I am literally a day away from my flight.
I know, that sounds really stressful, and it sort of is, but I have always been a terrible packer. I know that I’ve written about moving before and gaining a shit-ton of wisdom from moving so many times, but the act of packing itself has always sort of fallen by the wayside. I am what you would call, a spastic packer. In a matter of five minutes, my room can go from tidy and Marie Kondo-ish to a whatever it would look like it a small but mighty tornado of myself was released in a small confined space.
Clothing everywhere. Laundry piled up for the last minute, and way too many bags.
With a lot riding on this move and on me, to get this house in tip-top shape, I have sought the help and drafted the responses from more unassuming and likely unqualified-but-still-definitively-worthy Instagram passerby. Along with Instagram, I asked all sixteen people in the local coffee shop by my house—that’s right, I crowdsourced.
Hopefully, it will help you as much as it helped me, and hopefully, it will help you avoid the potential disaster of losing your deposit and missing your flight like I almost did.
About 50% of the advice I got was ‘don’t procrastinate.’ Many articulated the fact that I was spending my time writing an article about packing, rather than packing, was simply a waste of my time. Other people suggested that this was something they have to remind themselves, especially when traveling is further ahead in their calendar. This is probably an obvious one, but something about it just seems to go forgotten amongst most people—especially me.
You Probably Only Need One Pair of Shoes
The most helpful advice from a whopping 2% of the people polled and replied via Instagram. One gentleman, who happened to be in his mid-twenties told me that whenever he heads back East to visit his family, he only brings with him a pair of sneakers. I looked down noticing he was wearing sneakers and asked if these were said sneakers? He replied, ‘yes.’ I retorted with a report warning about the hazards of wearing one pair of shoes, he responded, “I do it all the time and I’m fine.”
Only Pack Items You Know You Are Going to Wear
This seemed to be another common thread amongst travelers alike. Which is a lot easier said than done. If I happen to like mixing and matching and dressing according to my own visceral desire to experience all that I can emotionally—then dressing is much too complex. The other problem with this is that currently, I have a limited amount of items in my wardrobe due to constant overhauling and continually being dissatisfied with my current state of attire.
Carry-On Queen’s and Check-In Kings
There are two different people in the world, carry-on people, and check-in people. I used to be a carry-on person until I got so tired of carrying my stuff and trying to fit everything I wanted to bring with me in such a small bag. A few good friends actually reminded me that depending on the airline, checking in, might be worth it—because I am flying Southwest, it most definitely was. Also, I realized that I never take the time to properly pack, hence this post so I would fall into the free-baller category of people.
Capsule Wardrobes or Monochromatic Dressing
One fine lady, dressed head-to-toe in normcore, reminded me of the ancient capsule wardrobe trend of 2012. Apparently, it is still alive and thriving for some people, and for traveling, it seems to be a nice fit. I mean think about it—all of your clothes in one shape or another can create a multitude of different outfits, depending on the simplicity of the style. A few tee shirts, a few jeans, a few shorts, a few different jackets, and one to two pairs of shoes. Done. That’s it. Only problem? Boring AF.
If All Else Fails, Stuff Everything into a Bag and Bring Extra Ones You Can Throw Out Just In Case
This advice hails from a one, Morgan. His tip was to throw everything in my suitcases. If It doesn’t fit or is overweight pay the extra amount or buy a cheap suitcase you can throw away if you don’t need it. If you do, you’ll have a backup. While this sounds nice, it’s also super wasteful, along with being extremely impractical. Who knew such advice could come from someone who prides themselves on being practical.
At first glance, everyone’s advice seems to make some sort of sense to me, and yet, my packing has seemingly gone nowhere. Instead. I did as I always do. Overpacked for an overnight stay. My suitcase is loaded with four jackets to bring to Austin’s 100-degree weather. On the off chance that it will be cold, snow-covered, or rainy, I will be prepared. On the off chance that I need a suit to wear at night for a gala that I could be invited to by happenstance, I’m prepared. Need to provide someone with an extra toothbrush or loofa, I’ve got three. Of both.