Hi, I’m an Over-Packer

Hi, I’m an Over-Packer

I like to think that I’ve traveled quite a bit in my life (although still not anywhere near the amount I would like). So it’s fair to say I’ve packed quite a few bags over the years. Yet somehow I still struggle to pack effectively for trips of any length of time.

My issue is that I pack way more than I need. The thought of living out of a carry-on, for instance, makes me shudder. I guess in the back of my mind I’m planning for the possibility of getting stranded somewhere with only my suitcase of clothes to get me through. Or maybe I suddenly plan to be one of those people that change outfits throughout the day?

I mean, it isn’t a bad idea necessarily to maybe bring along an extra outfit just in case. I have spilled stuff on myself countless times to know this. But I usually pack enough clothes for several extra outfits.

So why don’t you just pack less?

That’s a great question. Well, my problem is that I am terrible at planning outfits ahead of time. I’ve never been able to pick out my clothes the night before, for instance. Admittedly, I should work on this as part of my resolution to be more presentable at work, but that’s a topic for another day…

So instead of bringing a couple of complete outfits, I bring a bunch of articles of clothing so that I can make outfits as I go along. It’s not like my wardrobe isn’t cohesive. My color palette is mostly neutral (black and gray) and green, so most of my clothes matches each other fairly well. I just struggle to visualize how outfits will look on me. So sometimes I have a great outfit planned in my head, but when it comes time to put it on, I realize it doesn’t look good in person. So I enjoy having the flexibility to change stuff out. But, this means I’m carting an excess amount of clothes across the country with me at any given time. I’m essentially transporting a closet.

Then there’s the makeup…

Look, I wear a lot of it. My “everyday look” requires at least 15 products. So that in itself takes up a lot of room. Then add the brushes and tools…well, I might as well bring a separate suitcase just for hair and makeup (struggles of being high-maintenance, amirite?). In this category I do feel more justified, because I use everything I bring along. But I need to try to pare things down a bit…

So between clothes, shoes, makeup, toiletries, styling tools, shoes, accessories, and then electronics…I pack quite a bit.

So that’s where I am. In a couple of days I’ll be flying to Denver where I’ll be staying for over a week. I paid for a single checked bag. My goal is to pack less stuff, but without feeling like I’m missing anything.

I made myself a nifty Google Docs so that I can access my list from my phone. Here’s a quick snapshot of it:

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Just a portion of my list

I feel like laying it all out in this format makes it easier for me to combine outfits.

After my trip I’ll be going through my list to see if I used everything I brought along. And hopefully I can use that data to adjust the way I pack. In general I am trying to be a less cluttered person, so this is a start.

Wish me luck!

Italia.

10 Ways I’m Hoping to Become a Less Crappy Person in 2017

10 Ways I’m Hoping to Become a Less Crappy Person in 2017

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At the beginning of every New Year I always set out to make goals for myself. However if I’m being honest I think I tend to set some unrealistic goals. So, behold, part of my list of what I consider to be totally reasonable and attainable resolutions for 2017.

1) Work out semi-regularly: In the past as I’ve tried to make lifestyle changes, I’ve forced myself to stick to strict exercise schedules, only to get burned out and eventually quit. I realize now that I need a certain amount of flexibility with my time. So I’ll make it part of my routine to go to the gym, or go out for a walk/jog, but I won’t stress if I’m not able to make it every day.

2) Cut back on the amount of times I eat out: This one is tricky. Going out to eat is such a big part of my social circle. That isn’t something I want to lose. But I also know that I have a terrible habit of eating out for lunch during the work day. So that I can work on at least.

3) Continue to drink a ton of water: In the past 2 months or so I have done a great job of cutting out soda from my diet. I want to make sure I continue to make drinking water all day a priority. Plus it helps with hangovers…

4) Stick to a better sleep schedule: Shockingly, going to sleep at 2am and rolling out of bed at 7:30am to make it out the door by 8am isn’t working out so well for me. I’d like to wake up with enough time to get ready and have a little time to myself before heading out the door. Which leads to my next goal…

5) Look like a functioning human during the week: If you only saw me in the office Monday through Friday you would be shocked to find out I even know what highlight is. I reserve my full on glam looks for the weekends, and rarely wear makeup in the office during the week. Now I have no qualms whatsoever about going out barefaced, but sometimes a little concealer under the eyes would go a long way. I can look a little haggard at times…

6) Use my makeup collection: Y’all, I own a lot of makeup. I’m not embarrassed about it because I consider it a hobby, therefore I have no guilt about investing money in something I enjoy. What I do feel bad about is the fact that I have products in my collection that I have either never used or have used maybe once or twice. So my goal is to be more versatile with my looks and use more of what I have before adding to it.

7) Improve my skincare routine: I have come a long way from when I used to sleep in my full face of makeup every night. I have a very simple skincare routine that seems to work decently enough, and I don’t want to go all out buying a ton of products since I know I probably won’t use them…but I have some room for improvement. For instance I still haven’t found a good daily moisturizer I like.

8) Force myself to be a little more outgoing: I don’t need to go out and meet someone new every night. But it won’t kill me to make conversations with new people now and then.

9) TRAVEL: Jokingly I told my friends I would like to take a trip each month. Now, that might not be entirely possible, but it’s easy enough to take a quick road trip somewhere for the weekend now and then. Plus, I need to get started on my mission to watch a game in every NHL arena. I only have 29 to go…

10) Don’t sweat the small stuff: This one is probably the most challenging out of all of these. But I want to live more of a stress free life. This just means I need to stop making such big deals out of little stuff.

Anyways, I have several more goals for myself than what I included here. But it will be fun for me to look back in a year and see what I accomplished, if anything at all…

-Italia