I’m so happy with how my packing is going lately.  I have a great personalized list and I’m not forgetting things.  Here’s how I created it.

Creating your personal packing list

The next time you travel, make a list of every single thing that you have packed. Use categories like: important stuff, health and beauty, technology, clothing and accessories, plane travel, miscellaneous, etc.    On my iPhone Notes App (I expect there are comparable apps on all phones) I keep a running packing list that suits all travelling situations.  Using subheadings like Health and Beauty, Important Stuff, Air Travel,  etc., I can contain lists of things that are specific to certain types of travel.

Screen Shot 2014-10-18 at 2.47.35 PM

Screen shot of partial packing list on phone

Always pack with your list

I packed for years without a list, but now I find packing so quick and simple using a good one.  Sure you can pack without it but won’t you have that nagging feeling, “am I forgetting something?” So choose not to worry about it and never forget anything important ever again.

Before each trip I print the list, put it on my dresser, and as I pack I’ll cross off the items that I won’t be needing for this particular time.  Items get checked off as they are packed.  My phone and phone charger are always the last items checked off – the worst things to forget!  It’s a good idea to pack this list so that you come home with everything but personally I find that unnecessary.  Until I return home without my phone charger!

Side note: Have you ever boarded a plane leaving your phone plugged in at the gate.  No?  Okay, then I haven’t either. Well, maybe just the one time.  

A note on clothes

I don’t itemize specific clothes and accessories that I’m taking on my list.  I just have listed general categories: tops, bottoms, toppers (sweaters/blazers), shoes, scarves, etc.  Inspired by The Daily Connoisseur and Light by Coco I’ve been working on simplifying my wardrobe and keeping it relatively small and coordinated, with plenty of items that pack well (read I hate ironing).  This simplifies clothes packing greatly.  A couple of days before travel (making sure that my laundry is all done), and after checking the long term weather forecast for my destination, I lay out clothes that I’m thinking of packing on the bed.  I’ll consider how they can be mixed and matched for enough outfit possibilities.   Obviously you are keeping your destination, time of year, and itinerary in mind.   In my world, that’s generally one outfit a day, with consideration given to special occasions, and wearing each item at least twice.  I might throw in a few sleeveless tops in prints or fun colours for evening. My bottoms are always basic: basic black pants, jeans, and maybe a black skirt.  Obviously we have our own very individual style but hopefully you have comfortable clothes in your wardrobe that you love, are in good shape,  coordinate with each other, and pack well.  Neutrals coordinate well with each other and are great for travel.  Choose layering pieces over bulky items that will better suit changes in temperature.

The quantity of clothing that I take is always limited by the fact that I like to travel light using a carry-on bag (more on that in a future post).  Shoes are usually limited to a pair of sandals or flip flops (that double as slippers), and two pairs of shoes or sandals suitable for walking, a casual pair, and a dressier pair.  And I’ll be wearing one of those pairs on the plane.  I’d rather not pack a dress than have to pack a pair of heels that I might wear once, but if it’s really necessary (like for a wedding), then I’ll pack a third pair of shoes (rare).  And if you think I don’t like shoes you’re wrong; you should see my closet!

I prefer to be low key with jewellery, wearing the same simple items everyday (earrings and watch) and  pack a fun pair of dressier earrings and a cuff bracelet or two if I want to look fancier.

A guy’s perspective

For air travel, my husband likes to wear a shirt with breast pockets while traveling; they’re a great temporary holding spot for his passport and boarding pass (and sometimes mine too).

If we are travelling somewhere with a very poor economy, he’ll bring clothes that he’s willing to give away at the end of the trip.

A reversible belt can eliminate the need for two belts.
He loves to carry a chapstick that also can serve as sun lotion for his nose and cheeks; those places that burn easily  if the need arises.
And lastly he packs two sets of headphones in case I forget mine.  Wait, that shouldn’t happen!

Updating your master list

While you are away, and realize that you have forgotten something or wish that you had a particular item, add that item to your master list on your phone for next time. Keep updating this list every time that you travel.   Packing is really a breeze with your personalized list!

Here’s my basic list

Feel free to print and use my basic list.  I would suggest copying the items that pertain to you on your phone and working from there as suggested above.  That way you’ll always have your list with you!