9 Simple Steps to Pack Like a Minimalist

It’s almost the holiday travel season. Despite the current events, many people will still want to go away for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Traveling can be stressful enough as it is. Getting to the airport, going through TSA, and catching your flight on time.

So why add to it with trying to cram all your stuff in a suitcase the night before? Packing like a minimalist can lower the stress of it all and make your trip much more enjoyable.

Here’s a few tips you can follow to keep things as simple as possible.

Girl red hair brown suitcase how to pack like a minimalist

1. Get started early and finish early

Don’t wait to get everything packed up the night before. You’ll be rushing, you’ll be stressing, and things will likely be very disorganized.

With extra time to do things comes peace. You realize if you don’t have everything done now, you still have many days ahead of you to finish up.

Getting things organized little by little feels a lot more relaxing. You can be much more detailed in bringing only what you need and what you truly want.

You won’t deal with arriving somewhere and realizing you didn’t need half the stuff you threw in your bag. That could be a whole lot less strain on your back if you’ll be carrying around your stuff.

How early you start is up to you? One or two weeks ahead of time would seem reasonable enough.

Not only should you start early, you should finish early too. I would recommend finishing two days before your trip.

That way on the day of your travels, you can wake up relaxed and be able to just take your time.

2. Have a checklist

A checklist is something I’ve become more accustomed to doing since my last travels. It’s a burden to have to think about everything you need to remember to take with you.

Worst of all, if you forget something you wanted or needed to bring, it can potentially ruin your whole trip.

Create a list of all the items you need on a piece of paper, a Word document, or somewhere on your phone.

Normal things I always put on my list include my toiletries, a few pairs of clothes, maybe an extra pair of shoes, and my tech gear.

Everything that I’ve put into my bag or suitcase, I check it off my list. It’s a nice feeling when you see how much progress you’ve made.

Then when everything is checked off, that’s an even better feeling.

3. Learn folding techniques to make space

Pants and large shirts tend to take up the most space in our suitcases. Try to learn some folding techniques that can help you fit items in your bag more easily.

Here’s one I found that seems particularly useful.

4. Share space

If you have a partner, friend, or family member you’re traveling with, try putting all of your stuff together. Maybe one of you doesn’t have to organize as much as the other.

Let the other person with the most stuff put some of their items in your bag. That way you both can be minimal in your organizing.

5. Try to avoid bringing back a souvenir

I know those souvenirs can be tempting, but unless you have the extra space, don’t buy something to take back with you.

Our culture tends to emphasize getting stuff to remember your time in different places. In a way, we’ve lost the art of just relying on our memories.

But if you do really want to take something back with you, only take an item that’s small enough to fit in your hand.

I remember a commercial once where a truck driver would always bring back rocks from different states to his daughter.

It seems like a cool and more meaningful idea to take a piece of the land that you traveled to back with you.

6. If you’re unsure, don’t bring it

There are probably going to be some things you hesitate on. To be on the safe side, if you’re unsure up to the day before whether to bring something with you, don’t.

If you end up realizing you would have wanted to have that item with you, take it with you on your next trip.

The goal here is to not have your bags cluttered with stuff that makes traveling more difficult for you.

7. Bring what will enhance your trip

When thinking about what you want to bring with you, think about whether it’s going to make your trip better.

Will it make your time better to bring every single gadget you have, or will it distract you from being in the moment?

Maybe instead of a smartphone, you can just bring a flip phone. That’ll allow you to take in your surroundings more rather than just taking pictures and putting it on Instagram or Facebook.

Think that way with other items. If you’re going to plan on going out and enjoying the night life, then go ahead and bring your nice clothes if it’ll make you feel good.

Otherwise, any items that you don’t know how it’ll enhance your trip, perhaps just leave it behind.

8. Use a suitcase with multiple compartments

Compartments can be a good way to more easily store your items. Find a suitcase that has multiple compartments that you can use.

It’s good if has them at the top of the inside of the suitcase, the sides, and also some on the outside as well.

9. Packing cubes

I never knew about these until I saw my partner using them when packing her suitcase. Packing cubes create for storing smaller items like power cords and socks.

You can even store your clothes in them if you use the folding techniques in the video above. It’ll allow you to fit more items into your travel bag.

Traveling can be very stressful in these times. Choosing to simplify how you organize your stuff when traveling will save time and allow you to have a more peaceful trip.

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