Working moms are always on the go. Between work, home, errands, ball games and school events, it seems as if you never sit still. Nor do you stay in one place. Whether for work or for personal, being on the go often means overnight travel.
Many trips can be marred by the pre-trip task of packing a suitcase and the post-trip task of putting it all away. Use these 6 tips for packing a suitcase to help you get organized and eliminate stress.
Choose the Right Bag
Start with a 25' - 30' rolling duffle bag with a separate zipped compartment in the bottom. Its lightweight material helps you to stay within the per-bag weight limits set by the airlines, and its flexibility makes it easier to pack bulky or odd-sized items.
Put Complete Outfits Together
Think through your trip and begin laying out clothes on your bed in complete outfits. Include pants, skirts, shirts, socks, shoes, undergarments, belts, scarves and the jewelry you typically wear with the outfit. Packing complete outfits will ensure you never find it necessary to wear tennis shoes with your little black dress because your cute black shoes are at home under the bed.
Complete this step before you put anything into your duffle bag.
Pack Like Items Together
When you do begin packing, start by putting all shoes in the zipper compartment at the bottom of the duffle. Next, roll (to avoid wrinkles) each garment and begin layering them in the main part of the duffle keeping complete outfits together. If your duffle has separate zippered compartments, use them for underwear, socks, belts and scarves.
Pack Jewelry in a Cloth Jewelry Pouch
Another of my favorite tips for packing: use a cloth jewelry pouch. Inside are individual compartments perfect for earrings, necklaces and bracelets. Once full, you simply pull the drawstring to close the pouch. If you've ever stuck all of your jewelry in a single box or small bag only to find everything hopelessly tangled together upon your arrival, you will love the jewelry pouch. They are available at most travel stores or places where jewelry is sold.
Pack Toiletries as You Use Them
The easiest way to make sure you have the toiletries you need is to pack them the day of travel as you use them. As you finish using each item, place it either on the side of the tub or on the counter. Once you are completely ready, you will have all of your toiletries in one place ready to pack.
While there are many travel bags available for toiletries, gallon-size storage bags do the trick just as well if not better. Sort into individual bags as follows:
- Shower items
- Hair products (mousse, spritzer, hairspray)
- Toothbrush, toothpaste and mouthwash
- Skincare products and make-up
You might also include one zippered pouch for items such as Q-tips, tweezers, bobby pins and hair scrunchies.
Using sealable storage bags for toiletry items also ensures that you don't arrive at your final destination with leaky shampoo or conditioner all over your clothing. Using storage bags also makes unpacking much easier. Simply grab the bag you need, unload it, and throw the used storage bag away.
Pack Super-Size Storage Bags
Pack three super-size storage bags in the top of your duffle bag. Use them for dirty clothes as follows:
- One for darks;
- One for whites;
- One for delicates/dry-clean only garments
When repacking for the trip home, pack the three bags at the bottom of the duffle with any clean, unworn clothes packed on top. Once home, unpacking is as easy as 1-2-3. Take the clean clothes out and put them away, and wash your pre-sorted loads of whites and darks. The dry cleaning is sorted and ready to be dropped off.