Organize + Energize: 8 Things Not to do When Packing for Your Summer Vacation

Tuesday, June 26, 2018
Kristin MacRae, GoLocalWorcester Organizing Expert

Planning on taking a trip this summer? Are you the type of person that brings 3 suitcases for a weekend getaway? Do you find that you over pack and then realize you’ve even forgotten items once you arrive at your destination? Vacations are for decompressing, relaxing and are supposed to be stress-free. Don’t let the process of packing become an overwhelming task.

Here are 8 things NOT to do when packing for your vacation:

Don’t wing it. Plan and prepare. Start making a list of things you want to pack. Coordinate outfits, write down all of the toiletries you need to bring. Clear the mental clutter and put everything onto paper. Do this a week or two before you go away. Take 15 minutes to write out your list. Use this as a guide when you’re getting ready to pack. If you wing it, you’ll overpack and will also forget to pack items.

Don’t pack like you’re going away for a month. Overpacking is the biggest mistake people make. Coordinate outfits ahead of time. Mix and match pieces. Think about the different outfits you’ll need. Again, planning will help you figure out what you need as opposed to waiting last minute and throwing everything into a suitcase.

Don’t leave any empty space in your suitcase.  Fill every inch of your suitcase. Stuff socks into shoes. Place underwear, bras, and other small items in between crevices in the suitcase. Maximize the space in your suitcase and don’t leave any empty space.

Don’t throw your clothes in the suitcases. Fold items as small as you can. There is a process to packing a suitcase and the smaller you fold the clothes and the tighter you pack them, the more you’ll be able to fit in the suitcase.

Don’t bring your entire shoe closet. Choose one or two pairs of dressy shoes, a pair of beach shoes and a pair of running shoes. Wear one of these the day of your trip. Don’t fill up your suitcase with shoes. Again plan your outfits and pick a shoe or a couple of pairs that match multiple outfits.

Don’t bring full-size toiletries. Purchase trial size items or transfer liquids into carry on containers. You may even use the entire product by the end of the trip and then you will create more space in your suitcase for souvenirs or other items. Full-size toiletries take up prime real estate in a suitcase, plus if they leak, they will cause more of a mess for you.

Don’t assume that you will remember everything. Use a checklist and cross off as you prepare to pack. The one item you think you will remember is usually the item you forget to pack.

Don’t pack a half hour before you have to leave. We have enough stress today in regards to traveling.  Don’t let this packing process overwhelm and stress you out. A few nights before you leave, lay out your clothes and everything you want to pack. Have everything folded and ready to go. The night before, you can pack everything into your suitcase in an organized fashion. Pack your travel toiletries and anything else you won’t be using. The morning of your trip pack your daily items after you use them.

Remember, this process doesn’t have to be stressful and overwhelming unless you allow it to be. Planning and preparing is the key to success. Have a great trip!


Kristin Carcieri-MacRae, is an organizing & efficiency expert and owner of Organizing in RI. Kristin teaches her clients that living an organized lifestyle will save them time and money, decrease their stress levels and help them become more efficient and productive. Her articles have been published in local and national magazines. She has also given over 80 presentations throughout the state. Kristin has created a one-of-a-kind weekly planner. More info here.

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