How much space is your travel section taking up in your home? More than one client has had a whole closet devoted to travel items. The kind of travel items designed to simplify any trip. The problem is that everything is single purpose and often, single use. So there is a lot of it. By the time you pack it all, you have way more than you bargained for, and your travel light dream is out the window.
I see it all the time. Samples, travel size bottles stolen from hotels and spas — freebies overflowing from drawers, cabinets and bags. Kept in anticipation of future travel. The next trip comes up and you head to the drug store to check out the currently available options. Once home, the new ones are the ones that get packed.
Really, would you rather have the antiperspirant that works or the one that was in the travel bin when you are about to step onstage at the conference for your keynote presentation?
I’ve tried it both ways and I can tell you the one that works is always better, and it helps you travel light.
Packing light is easy. There are some really simple packing tips you can follow to have the travel stuff take up not only less space at your home where it lives 80% or more of the time, but in your suitcase as well.
This is another example of knowing why you do a thing will help you streamline your process and save space. Here is the process in two parts, home and away.
At home do this to declutter your bathroom, travel drawers and linen closet, and anywhere else you are stashing this stuff:
- Group all your small personal products by body part.
- Toss old, partially used and separated and smell funny items.
- Gather all empty containers that might work for travel and assign each one to a product you use daily.
- Toss any extras. Keep the keepers with your toiletry & cosmetic bags.
- Use up any still valid travel products in your regular living.
When you need to go away do this:
- Take the travel bottles and empty containers and fill with the things you use every day, as you use them.
- Don’t pack the single purpose items and the things you can live without for a few days.
- Pack into travel bags that are stand up with a flip lid, to save on the unpacking and repacking of your toiletries.
- Create kits by body type (teeth, face, body, etc.) and use smaller cosmetic bags rather than one large one they are easier to tuck into your suitcase.
- When you get home, use up what is left in the travel bottles and then wash them, and put them away. So they are ready for next time.
- Use up the luxury items brought home to extend the vacation a few days. That way you don’t have to store them.
Part of the stress when you travel is that you feel a little discombobulated and outside your routine in a new space. Travel light and minimize that stress. Keep the few things you can control on a trip as close to your normal routine as possible. That way you can enjoy the new experiences.
Keep Reading: Make Travel Easier – Tips for Control Freaks and Others