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Friday, April 19, 2013

The Art of Overpacking

This post first debuted on my now-defunct "de-cluttering" blog.

I'm currently at the airport and waiting for my flight to San Jose to board. The fiancĂ© and I have been living it up in Hawaii for the past two weeks. Eating out! Beach-bumming!  Hiking! Sleeping! Sunburning!

So, uh, how many clothing items did I bring along for this cool, breezy adventure? Too many.

I don't normally love math, but I fancy the hell out of statistics. After having to buy an additional suitcase to accommodate my purchases, I decided to calculate some stats on my Hawaii wardrobe.




I originally packed 59 articles of clothing (of which I wore 14 pieces).
I purchased 19 articles of clothing during the trip (of which I wore 11 pieces).
Out of 78 (WTF) total pieces of clothing (both packed and acquired), I wore 25 pieces.

  • I wore 32% of the clothing I originally packed for the trip. (14 out of 59)
  • I wore 58% of the clothing I purchased on the trip. (11 out of 19)
  • 44% of what I wore on the trip was acquired during the trip itself. (11 out of 25)

There's no doubt about it: I overpacked. Even worse? That 75-piece pile is only a fraction of my wardrobe.

There are people out there who have made a point of owning fewer than a hundred possessions. While I'm not keen on living that minimalist a life, I will freely admit that ending up with 78 clothing items on a two-week vacation is nuts. Stuff needs to go, and my future packing and shopping habits need to change.

If there's anything I learned by doing the math, it was that LESS IS MORE. (So true!) I didn't need all of those clothes to come with me. I should have tried things on first. I should have been realistic about the weather and my love for wearing the same things over and over again. I should have anticipated the fact that I love to shop at Plato's Closet.

This, among many other reasons, is why I'm undertaking the Great Closet Purge of 2013. (My goal? To scrap 3/4 of my existing wardrobe!) Read more about my 3Q challenge here.

What tips do you have for avoiding the over-pack? Let me know in the comment section below!


KAT: If you're reading this, it means you're about to pack for another trip. I have a few humble suggestions.
  • Bringing two pairs of jeans in two different styles worked perfectly. Do that again.
  • Bringing three different styles of shoes worked perfectly. Do that again.
  • Bringing 3949320493804 dresses to "wear as cover-ups to the beach" = completely unnecessary.
  • You didn't need four fancy dresses. Bring one next time.
  • You wore only one top that had sleeves.
  • You didn't wear any of the tops that cover your chest.
  • You wore 0/4 of your now-wrinkled cardigans/blazers.
  • You packed too many bathing suits.
  • You wore zero of your 5+ pairs of shorts because they didn't work with your Spanx.
  • Check the damn weather forecast before you pack, woman!

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