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Ask Erin: Summer Travel

By Melanie Moffett
In Center Block
May 21st, 2014
Packing Like a Pro

article by Erin Sharplin Love

Summer is fast approaching, and that means it’s time to start prepping for that upcoming beach trip!  When it comes to packing for the beach, “minimal” is the word you should live (and pack) by.  Admit it…lugging around a heavy, overly-packed bag isn’t fun – not to mention the stress it will cause when you try to get dressed each day. Vacations are supposed to be fun; why shouldn’t the preparation be fun, too?  Below are my tips for packing like a pro:

Preparation is key! Stop cramming your suitcase with pieces of outfits; instead, take the time to create a written list of what you’ll need based on your itinerary.  How many dressy outfits will you need?  What about casual outfits?  How many days will you lie on the beach or sight see?  Once you’ve answered the major questions, you can begin choosing clothes that will mix and match to create the perfect outfit for each occasion.  You can even go one step further by taking snapshots of each outfit and labeling them according to activity.  No thinking – just fun!  Finally, give yourself a little leeway by adding an extra outfit or two for anything that may come up unexpectedly.

Never underestimate the power of a list!  I suggest making a list of the necessities you will need such as sunscreen, toothbrush and toothpaste.  Better yet, print the list that’s included with this article or create your own.

 Pack efficiently!  The better organized your suitcase, the more you can pack!  Below is a bullet list of tips for packing efficiently:
• Compartmentalize by using plastic baggies and zippered pouches for toiletries and other small items, such as your MP3 player and ear buds.
•  Roll your clothes instead of folding them.  A rolled item takes up less space than a folded one; plus it is less likely to wrinkle.
•  Shoes and other heavy items should be placed along the wheel base, or the bottom of your suitcase, to balance the suitcase’s center of gravity. Use the inside of those shoes for socks and other small items.
•  Lining the bottom of your suitcase with a plastic bag helps prevent wrinkles, and you’ll have an extra trash bag if needed.
•  Crushable items should be the last thing placed in the suitcase.
•  Utilize all built-in compartments for small items like underwear and bathing suits.
•  If possible, leave one large compartment empty and ready for any soiled or dirty clothing. It is always better to pack clean clothes separately from dirty clothes.
•  I suggest packing similar items together, such as shirts with shirts, so nothing gets compressed by a heavier object.  This is why my first tip of taking quick snapshots of each outfit comes in handy!
•  Pack most-used items, like MP3 player and ear buds, near the top or in a separate, easy-to-access compartment.

Remember, the fewer items you pack, the fewer you will need to unpack when the trip is over!  One way to pack efficiently is to take one or two basic jeans or pants with three or four tops that would work for both dressy and casual occasions.  Remember, accessories can transform the simplest of outfits into the most stylish so be sure to pack some statement-making pieces.  Have fun!

Erin Sharplin Love, owner of Panache by Erin, is a Certified Fashion and Image Consultant, Professional Organizer and Certified Wedding Coordinator whose specialties include outfit coordination and closet organization.  Love has a knack for helping her fashion clients develop their own personal style, as well as, helping her wedding clients create the wedding of their dreams within their budget and without the stress. To learn more, please go to www.panachebyerin.com.