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You are here: Home > Organizing Advice > Travel > Taking the Pain Out of Packing
Taking the Pain Out of Packing
by Lori Vande Krol, Life Made Simple, LLC

One activity that I dread is packing for a trip, and Iím sure I am not alone.  Following are some tips and tricks I have learned over the years to help make this task less painful.  Whether you're traveling with the family or going out of town on business, these pointers should take a bit of the stress out of preparation.

The week before your trip (or even earlier), start a list of everything you can think of that you will need.  Keep the list handy and add to it whenever you think of something new.  You may have this list electronically on your phone, iPad or laptop.  Print it and check off the items as you pack.  Not only will this help you as you get ready to leave for your trip, but you can use the list when you return home to make sure you didn't forget anything.  You will also have an inventory of items if your luggage gets lost or stolen.

If there is anything from the packing list that you do not have, make a second list of items to purchase before your trip.
  • Pack with a similar color theme (like black and white and/or neutrals).  This will minimize the number of jackets, shoes and accessories you will need. Try to mix and match outfits to utilize fewer pieces.
  • Try to pack lightweight clothing that does not wrinkle. For clothing that does wrinkle, stick in a travel size bottle of Downy Wrinkle Release Spray.
  • Lay out your clothes before packing them. I like to lay my clothes out in piles of possible outfits. Make sure you have everything you need and that you need everything you have.
  • When you put your clothing in the luggage, use smaller storage bags to separate items like shoes, accessories, undergarments, etc. Pack largest items first and fit smaller items in the spaces between. Rolling your clothing is the best use of space. Put liquids in small, tight containers in a ziploc bag. Use solids as much as possible.
  • If flying, wear your larger, heavier coat and shoes (if they are comfortable) for the trip. But pack your larger purse and carry a small one through the airports. Weigh your luggage before you leave to make sure it is under your airline's weight limit, or be prepared to pay for the extra weight.
  • Bring an e-reader, such as a Kindle or Nook, instead of books and magazines. If you have your laptop along, you can even use it to download and read your books.
  • Don't stress too much about forgetting something. Chances are, wherever you are going will have a department store or pharmacy.
Thanks to Lori Vande Krol of Life Made Simple, LLC, for contributing this article.As a trained organization and productivity consultant and owner of Life Made Simple, LLC, Lori Vande Krol helps individuals and businesses create and maintain order in all areas of life.  Using a unique 5-step process, Lori works with clients to determine the best solutions to their specific challenges.  Through education, training and experience, she has developed systems and tools that save you time, energy and money -- all resulting in less stress.   Lori's experience as a professional organizer, as well as 13 years as an actuary and risk manager in a Fortune 500 company, personal role as wife and mother, and community roles with various organizations have provided her with a great understanding of how an organized and productive environment can impact all areas of life.  Lori is passionate about helping her clients achieve their goals and find balance in their lives, allowing more time for what matters most.  Lori is a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers, is currently Treasurer of Iowa Professional Organizers, and is the only Certified Productive Environment Specialist (CPES) in Iowa.  You can learn more about Lori and Life Made Simple by visiting and
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