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Not a Light Packer

by Meghann on November 4, 2009

Its official – packing light for a weekend is impossible!

Exhibit A:


That is the original pile of everything from my closet that I wanted to bring with me to San Francisco. A bit much, wouldn’t you say?

Exhibit B:


I then tried every outfit on I wanted to pack and coordinated them with shoes and accessories.

Exhibit C:


My FULL suitcase packed with clothes and shoes thus far – still missing toiletries and hair supplies.

I know its only a three day trip, but with 2 outfit changes per day PLUS running clothes PLUS shoes it really adds up. Good thing I had already planned to check my bag.

I need to learn how to be a light packer, if I would just working with a carry on I’m not sure what I would have done. lol

Are you a light packer? How do you do it? Teach me your ways! lol

I may be awful at packing clothes for a weekend away, but I am excellent at packing snacks for my work day. My afternoon snack was particularly tasty today.


A brown rice cake topped with barney butter and 1/2 a pear.

Carbs + Protein + Sugars = Perfection. Yum!

It was another lazy dinner, but this time at least the oven was involved.


I started by roasting Butternut Squash and Brussel Sprouts in the oven at 420 for 15 minutes.


While the veggies were roasting in the oven I heated up a dozen Scallops with a bottled curry sauce on the stove top, as well as a 1/4 cup of Whole Wheat Cous Cous.

I piled everything on top of each other and feasted on my delicious hot meal.


For dessert I was craving chocolate – Amanda’s Brownie did the trick.


I love how freezer friendly her brownies are. This still tasted amazing. ๐Ÿ™‚

Now if you will excuse me, my suit case awaits! I still have to pack the rest of my chargers and running gear.

In the mean time don’t forget to get your daily votes in for the Sam-e Good Mood Blogger! Only a few more days. ๐Ÿ™‚

1 Brittany November 4, 2009 at 9:54 pm

I’m having the same problemo right now. I wish I had some good tips but I’m in the process of trying on all my outfits now! haha gotta go.

Can’t wait to meet you this weekend.

2 Amanda November 4, 2009 at 10:02 pm

No advice, I am a notorious overpacker. I find that shorter trips are so much harder too because I feel like I need options for weather, exercise, etc. etc. My friends have a running joke that whenever we get together I will show up with my rolling suitcase. Now I just bring it, even for sleepovers, to get a laugh!

3 MegaNerd November 4, 2009 at 10:04 pm

My sister is the lightest packer EVER. She came for three weeks, and brought two carry ons. That included halloween costume, dress for our brothers wedding, multiple outfits, workout clothes and shoes, EVERYTHING.

I know she mixes and matches a lot of stuff, and does cool stuff with layering. Also, I know she never packs toiletries like shampoo, etc. that she can just buy when she gets to the destination. (or borrow from me).

Have fun in san fran!

4 VeggieGirl November 4, 2009 at 10:05 pm

Good luck with the rest of your packing!

5 Matt November 4, 2009 at 10:10 pm

I am far from being a light packer. My mom calls me a girl!

6 The Pancake Girl November 4, 2009 at 10:11 pm

I am a terrible packer, and I always wait til the last minute. I usually feel like I’m forgetting something, because I end up getting sick of the packing process and just give up haha.

( )

7 toni November 4, 2009 at 10:15 pm

in august my husband and i went to las vegas for 4 days… we had a grand canyon tour and 3 days in vegas… i managed to get ALL our stuff in 1 carryon! i guess you could say im pretty awesome. hahha

we planned each outfit amd only 3 pairs of shoes each… we wore our tennis shoes, and packed dress shoes and flippers. also, the outfits were all mix and match (except the grand canyon outfit) and we were able to have choices while it all matched…. i am a good folder and luckly summertime clothing is smaller than winter. our swimsuits fit into wherever we could stick them (they are small anyway)…

basically whatever ee think we need, we cut it in half and then add only essentials… plus if something is forgotten-its not like there isnt a store EVERYWHERE.

then in sept we went to north carolina for 8 days… we were able to pack a carryon each… but my sister had a very large suitcase and a carryon… she only wore 1/3 of what she brought

wow… i have problems…


8 Melissa S. November 4, 2009 at 10:18 pm

oh man…you sure aren’t a light packer! LOL.

my secret: small bag means you can only bring so much. I use a backpack that’s just bigger than a school backpack, but smaller than a backpacking backpack. totally works.

but it also means i wear clothes more than once too. ๐Ÿ˜‰

9 Katie November 4, 2009 at 10:23 pm

LOL Yea I’m not a light packer at all. And most of the time I shop and buy new clothes to wear. Eek. I have often had to pay extra for a suitcase. I have gotten better as of late depends on who I’m with and where I’m going. Shoes are what always get me! So many pairs you need. Uggs, running shoes, cute shoes, more shoes to match other outfits. It’s crazy!

10 Mara @ What's For Dinner? November 4, 2009 at 10:30 pm

I’m a SUPER light packer! I managed to spend a week in Oregon with my dad and only brought one carry on and my big purse. The key is to have two or three key bottoms, thin tops to layer, and wear your heaviest stuff (hoodies/jeans) on the plane to save space!

11 Susan November 4, 2009 at 10:35 pm

I just packed a hiking bag full for an overnight trip to my mom’s, so I’m definitely NOT a light packer ๐Ÿ˜› Running gear + sneakers definitely do not help. But I also have a ton of toiletries that I cart with me everywhere. Cremes, soaps, contact stuff, hair product, etc. I swear I’m not high maintenance, but I apparently need a lot of potions to look the way I do! ๐Ÿ˜›

12 greensandjeans November 4, 2009 at 10:44 pm

I am NOT a light packer, except when I go backpacking and I have to be one! My workout gear is really what weighs me down, well, at least that’s what I tell myself…

13 jennylikestorun November 4, 2009 at 10:48 pm

For light packing, I would suggest going through your clothes and picking out some “staple items”. For example, a pair of jeans, a hot dress, a nice top and a skirt. Just some things that are favs of yours which you can mix and match to make different outfits so you’re not wearing the same thing everyday.

I used to be TERRIBLE at packing light and would bring ridiculous amounts of clothes. Now I just keep a couple of staple items and change either the top or bottom each day to keep it different ๐Ÿ™‚

14 Allie (Live Laugh Eat) November 4, 2009 at 10:51 pm

I am NOT a light packer–I have NO ways to teach ya!!! I must have it all with me ๐Ÿ™‚ Glad you managed to stuff it all in!

15 Tracey @ tropicalhappiness November 4, 2009 at 10:57 pm

Nope, not a light packer. But I’ve heard if you lay a bunch of tops on top of each other, and then roll them up in one big roll, it saves tons of space and eliminates wrinkles. I haven’t tried it yet!
I took a three week trip to Europe for my honeymoon… it was TOUGH to limit it to one big suitcase! LOL! It’s safe to say I came back with a few extra carry-ons!

16 Deva (Voracious Vorilee) November 4, 2009 at 11:28 pm

I wasn’t a light packer until I started packing stuff in a small backpack for weekends with The Boy. Now I’m pretty good about packing light. My trick was to limit the extras – what I can use at our destination (hair dryer), and to try to keep a toiletry bag with travel sized bottles of my lotions, shampoos, conditioners, etc, all set. ๐Ÿ™‚

17 Britt November 5, 2009 at 12:36 am

It is so hard to pack light when you workout on the road. I find my sneakers take up the most space, so I usually wear those on the plane and layer as much as I can with the clothes I’m wearing on the flight.

I just traveled to NYC this past weekend for the marathon and managed to do it with just a carry on. But then again, I didn’t put too much thought into my outfits other than my running clothes. LOL

18 Jenna November 5, 2009 at 12:37 am

yummy brownie! good luck on the packing ๐Ÿ™‚

19 Tay November 5, 2009 at 12:41 am

I am the farthest thing ever from a light packer. It’s ridiculous!

And that is not a lazy dinner by any means. You actually cooked! Lazy dinners to me consist of cereal.

20 Emily November 5, 2009 at 12:44 am

I’m having packing problems too! I’m actually a really really light packer but this trip I’m nervous I’ll be underdressed for everything.

21 Amber from Girl with the Red Hair November 5, 2009 at 12:49 am

I too dream of one day being able to only take a carry-on with me when I go on a short trip. That day is yet to come, I always pack WAY TOO MUCH stuff!!

22 Christy November 5, 2009 at 12:59 am

i pack exactly like you… it’s hard cause what if you pack something that you change your mind on and don’t wanna wear!? have to have a back-up plan!!! ๐Ÿ˜€

23 chasingthenow November 5, 2009 at 3:52 am

I’m a terrible packer. You should have seen me trying to fit my whole life into suitcases and a carry on to move to Japan. It was terrible!

24 Sarah (Finding My Balance) November 5, 2009 at 5:57 am

I pack so that everything goes with everything else, and then I can mix and match to create different outfits with fewer “sets” of clothes. It takes a little planning, but it pays off–I went to Russia for a month last winter with just a carry-on suitcase and a backpack!

25 grace b November 5, 2009 at 6:53 am

I LOVE to pack! And I have gotten pretty good at it if I do say so myself. Simple–I just pack for how many days I am going, toiletries, underwear, socks, maybe an extra nice outfit and that’s it. I have packed as many as four or five times in a month for 3-4 day trips and it only takes me about 20 minutes (that is if I’ve done laundry!). The trick is to not overthink it and soon you’ll have packing basics. Good luck!! Enjoy San Fran!

26 Anne P November 5, 2009 at 7:57 am

It’s the workout clothes that always do me in! If I didn’t want to work out when I travel, it’d be easy to pack light ๐Ÿ˜‰

27 Anne P November 5, 2009 at 7:58 am

p.s. I so wish I were coming to SF this weekend!!!

28 rhodeygirltests November 5, 2009 at 8:55 am

To pack light I just re-purpose one item for another use. For example, I will wear jeans as part of my casual day outfit but then pair them with high boots at night to make a new outfit. I also don’t give myself options for outfits and only have the one I planned. OH, and I will wear a shirt as the main part of an outfit but then use it as my undershirt layer for the next day’s outfit.

HOWEVER, this is the first time I am checking a bag in the last 2 years besides our honeymoon and it is so FUN to be able to bring options for clothes and such! I am SO stoked that I can bring my hairdryer AND straightener and don’t have to choose just one for space’s sake.

Anyhoozlessssss just make sure you save enough space for SWAG! You heard Ryan!!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

29 rhodeygirltests November 5, 2009 at 8:59 am

And a double P.S.

I can be both a serious overpacker and a serious light packer.

Overpacking memory: I had to pay $150 coming home from my study abroad in Italy for having a suitcase that was way too heavy and that was AFTER I had shipped home 3 boxes. What can I say? I love to shop!

Light packing memory: I went to visit a boyfriend in Ecuador for a week and brought only a small backpack that fit my sleeping bag plus all my clothes and stuff. The only way I think I managed was because I meticulously planned my packing list for a month.

30 Amanda November 5, 2009 at 9:13 am

Let me know when your freezer stash starts running low or if you need to stock up for the holidays. ๐Ÿ™‚

31 Tammy Eros November 5, 2009 at 9:25 am

I am also a notorious over-packer…I envy those people who can just throw a few things in a duffle bag and go…I guess I pack “options” so I have several things to choose from, but I rarealy wear half of what I pack! Hehe…my friends always tease me mercilessly…

32 inmytummy November 5, 2009 at 9:28 am

I”m awful at packing . I always end up with like 10 pairs of shoes and no socks or something like that.

33 Sweet and Fit November 5, 2009 at 10:04 am

I’m not a light packer at all! Its nice to know that someone else is overpacking too =)

34 Tina November 5, 2009 at 10:20 am

Oooh, that looks like a great meal. I love those things you can just throw in the oven. I haven’t had brussel sprouts in forever!

35 Jenny @ nutmegger November 5, 2009 at 10:36 am

Traveling is part of my job and i can’t check a bag, and I’ve always been a heavy packer. So the first thing to overcome was that I lvoe all my clothes and have so many outfits I would love to wear, but just pick one pair of jeans and then the tops that go with that. You’ll have to stick with either the go to pair with flats, or the skinny black jeans. And then gofrom there!

36 Brandi November 5, 2009 at 11:08 am

I haven’t even started packing for San Fran yet! That will happen tonight, but I think I have my outfits picked out in my head.

I AM carrying on simply because I’ve had too many lost or damaged bags. But since I’m not taking workout clothes or heels, that will help.

37 Lindsay @ bananaandchocolate November 5, 2009 at 1:17 pm

I am not a light packer at all! Compared to me, you look light a light packer! Have a fun trip!

38 Sammi November 5, 2009 at 1:28 pm

I was shocked when I saw you had that much clothes for only three days! haha I’m definitely a light packer though. My dad’s an airline pilot so I grew up traveling a lot. We only ever bring a carry on and usually a backpack (for cds and things to stay occupied with on the flight) Rolling your clothes helps tremendously when it comes to fitting everything in. Also, make sure you put articles of clothing in your shoes to make the most of your space. I have a bad habit of wearing the same jeans more than once before I wash them… that helps.. lol. If you’re going somewhere where you’re going to need a jacket, it helps to wear the jacket rather than pack it. Jackets take up SO much room!
It was required for us to dress nicely when flying because my dad works for the company so I always wore my dress shoes on the way which helped a lot because normally dress shoes are the biggest shoes I have to bring with me (which might be different now that I’ll be bringing running shoes with me for traveling from now on!)
Hopefully this will help!
Okay. I think my comment is long enough now! I’ll stop writing lol

39 RunToTheFinish November 5, 2009 at 1:52 pm

i am sort of a ridiculously light packer. I tend to usually find that I didn’t bring enough…because I’ll take a back pack for a 5 day trip…don’t know why!

40 Amanda @ Cakes and Ale November 5, 2009 at 2:53 pm

I am a total light packer – very proud of my skills! I travel a ton for work and for fun and just always find trips so much more enjoyable with less stuff.

The key is to think about versatility. Pack things that work in two different outfits, in neutral colors. Then use your accessories to change your looks around or add bolder colors.

Also, stick to 4 pairs of shoes: gym shoes, dressy shoes, ballet flats and flat sandals.

41 Jenny November 5, 2009 at 9:48 pm

I am definitely guilty packing every sweatshirt I own with me when I go on vacation – though I always end up only wearing one anyways…something I need to work on.

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