when it comes to packing i have improved my ways. the meliorating has nothing to do with technique – i am a master of spatial perception and voluminous stuffing out of necessity – but with discernment. to put it bluntly, i am nowhere near those lucky few people who can grab a shoulder bag and leave for a week. i could manage without a doubt, but the action of leaving the house with the knowledge that i have almost nothing with me would cause a halt with heart palpitations.
in my past, i was terrible. i used to pack six pairs of shoes for a weekend because i was certain i wouldn't feel like wearing what i originally planned. i'm sure you can infer from the amount of shoes how many other items i carried with me. returning with a suitcase full of clean clothes was the rule, not the exception. i had to be prepared for all possible weather and food-related accidents and whatnot...
add a bit of shopping to the disaster, and i found myself regularly paying fees for my overweight luggage, and although i did realize it was something i could avoid with some careful planning, i repeated my mistake time after time.
but i improved, and my process has been a program of small recognizable steps of insights.
first, living at my sweetie's place for a few months with only one shelf for my stuff taught me that i can, actually, survive without multiple options for every possible mood. it might be frustrating at times, but tried and tested items work from one day to another. for an intuitive and emotional dresser with a humongous wardrobe normally at her disposal this was a revelation regardless how self-evident it might sound to you.
secondly, while traveling the world – albeit still very limited areas of it – i have learned that some cities require more than others. for example london with its tremendous distances is one of those places where i hardly ever return home (i.e. big sis's place) during the day, but continue to dinner and drinks straight from my daily wanderings. hence, a second attire for night is not needed for every day and what i wear during the day must be smart enough for night. these days i know to pack lightly and appropriately.
moreover, any city where i am bound to walk around lots requires only one pair of heels. i will wear them the first and second night out, but most likely will not dare to teeter around in them later on...
finally, i have also realized that using the laundry services at hotels is a safer bet than overstuffing my suitcase with frivolous items.
the most interesting and grandest revelation of all has been that simultaneously with my need to acquire less clothing these past years, my confidence in the fewer items on me has grown. i seem to trust my staple pieces more than before and can combine a holiday wardrobe with assurance that i will not need a wild card – or few.
most importantly and to avoid missing the point, this confidence is not due to my wardrobe getting any smaller or more concise, i.e. consisting of only a few pieces and that i would be choosing from a very limited collection – quite the opposite; it seems to emerge not out of necessity but a certain serenity i have found with limiting my shopping sprees. and this, surely, is an enlightening in my books and something i value as an unexpected result of my more frugal and sensible ways.
hence, i am soon leaving on a trip with just two, reasonably sized suitcases. two, because i have a connecting flight and i want to make sure i've got a change of clothes on me if something goes wrong. recently therefore, our collection of rimowa doubled because my sweetie went on tour a fortnight before me.
if you travel a reasonable amount and have trouble packing just the necessary items, these suitcases are a goddessend. they're superlight, flexible, and durable (5 year warranty) polycarbonate that never loses its shape – ours do not have a scratch on them despite several trips around europe and north america and you can pack them half-full as well as stuffed to the limit without fear of damage.
as a major plus, they're stylish in an understated way and, despite the price, relatively common to invite very little unnecessary attention at airports where the staff can feel the need to "examine" the interior of the bag more closely with the result of things going missing. a very good investment.
this time i am taking the transatlantic hop with a light heart and light bags. have you noted that changing your consumer behavior has brought unexpected and welcome changes elsewhere?