An Over Packer's Guide to Packing Light

For as long as I can remember I have always had the urge to pack a copious amount of clothes, shoes, and random items for any trip that I have taken. I would bring seven outfits for two-day trips and fifteen for seven-day trips. Over the past few years when I have started to take bigger trips with less room and a lack of desire to check a bag on flights, I have searched for ways to pack light. It has taken a while, but I have finally mastered the art of packing light and combatting the urge to take far more items than necessary. I have compiled a list of tips and tricks to help my fellow over packers.


  1. Invest in packing cubes.

Packing cubes are an easy and quick way to organize your suitcase and maximize space. On my last 7-day vacation I was easily able to fit 8 outfits, my toiletries, and two pairs of shoes in my carry-on, where I usually struggle to fit the same amount in minus the packing cubes.

  1. Only pack things you know that you will wear.

A huge part of my overpacking is that I can never decide what I will wear on my trips. So, before I leave, I always check the weather to make sure that I pack accordingly. I am guilty of packing clothes that I want to be comfortable wearing but always end up being uncomfortable in, so I always make sure that I bring clothes that I know I am comfortable wearing.

  1. Check the amenities of wherever you are staying.

Sometimes the rental properties or hotels that you stay at have washing machines and dyers and usually have smaller packaged laundry detergent. If I know that somewhere I am staying has one of these amenities, sometimes I pack lighter and plan to do laundry.

  1. Pack accordingly to your plans.

No matter my destination, I have always prioritized packing a set number of outfits. However, now that I have started to travel more, I have begun to look at my itineraries and packed according to them. If I am travelling to the beach and know that I will be spending most of my time on the beach or by the pool, I mostly pack swimsuits. 

  1. Invest in travel sized toiletries.

For a long time, I attempted to fit all my full-sized shower and beauty products in my suitcases with all my clothes and shoes. Toiletries take up most of the space in my luggage, so when I started to downsize and take travel sized items, I had so much more space.


Overall, I hope these tips and tricks help to alleviate the stress that comes with being an over packer or even just for packing your luggage in general.