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  • Writer's pictureSarah

Minimalist Packing Tips & Tricks

I've taken what I've learned from minimalism and applied it to travel. I've gotten minimal packing and travel down to a science and I am excited to share my tips and tricks to mastering minimalist packing. #minimalisttravel #minimalism #packinglight

Minimalist packing is all about getting down to only bringing the bare necessities. Since discovering minimalism, I’ve learned that there are so many things that I can actually live without, especially while traveling. I used to be the kind of person who would over pack in large suite cases filled with items that I seldom touched or never used. After a lot of practice, I’ve mastered minimalist packing and have learned that you really don’t need a bunch of stuff to travel. Here are my tips for packing light.

When In Doubt, You Probably Don’t Need It.

Have you ever been torn about whether to bring an item or not? If you aren’t sure if you need it or not, then there’s a good chance it’s not really a necessity. When deciding whether to bring something or not, ask yourself a few questions: What’s the worst that could happen if I don’t bring it? Is this something that I could easily pick up on the road? What’s the probability that I will actually need this? If it’s easy to acquire along the way if you needed it in the off chance or if it only adds marginal value to your trip, you can probably leave it at home.

Create a Capsule Wardrobe When Traveling

A capsule wardrobe is a small collection of essential items of clothing that are versatile and timeless. A couple of seasonal or trendy items can be added to enhance the wardrobe as well. The items in a capsule wardrobe can be easily mixed and matched to create multiple outfits. For example, a small capsule wardrobe might consist of a pair of jeans, a pair of black pants or a skirt or dress, 3-4 tops, 2 pairs of shoes and 1 or 2 seasonal items such as a pair of shorts in the summer or a sweater and scarf in the fall.  The amount of items for your travel capsule wardrobe will depend on the length of your trip. Don’t be afraid to re-wear items a few times before washing. Especially items such as pants or jeans. You can do a weekend trip with just one pair of jeans and 2 or 3 tops. It always helps to plan your outfits out ahead of time.

Packing Cubes

Packing Cubes are essential to my packing process. It helps keep clothes and items compact and is especially useful when packing for a weekend trip in a backpack. Packing cubes can also help you limit the amount of stuff you bring. I can fit all of the clothes I need for a short trip into one cube and if something doesn’t fit, I don’t bring it. 

Use Contact Cases to Store Small Amounts of Liquids or Small Items

This is a great way to save space and is perfect for flying. I usually will put a few squirts of my face cream, foundation, and moisturizer into a contact case for trips. This drastically cuts down on the number of bottles I bring and frees up lots of space in my toiletry bag. I will also put small items such as pills into contact cases – usually 3-4 ibuprofen tablets in case I get a headache and maybe 1 or 2 melatonin pills in case I have trouble sleeping.

Travel Size Bottles

For larger amounts of liquid, you can decant your liquid products into small travel size bottles. I prefer the flexible silicone bottles because I find that it is easier to get product out.

Shampoo Bars

If you don’t want the hassle of trying to travel or fly with liquids, I recommend trying shampoo bars. I’ve used them both at home and while traveling and have had a good experience overall. You can even cut shampoo bars down to smaller sizes if you want to save space. Some of the favorites that I’ve tried are J.R. Liggett's Old Fashioned Shampoo Bar and Lush's Godiva Shampoo Bar. Lush's Godiva Shampoo Bar both washes and conditions. If you are worried about conditioner, Lush does make conditioner bars, but I haven’t personally tired them yet. I’ve found that my hair is actually ok if I go a few days without conditioner. You can also use a shampoo bar as soap if you wanted, but it will feel more slippery than regular soap. 

I hope that you find these minimalist packing tips helpful. Let me know down in the comments if you have any tips for packing light.

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