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Don't Pack Lighter... Pack Smarter!

I’ve got issues! I mean really, I have a ton of issues. But I’ll let you in a funny little quirk about myself. I’m sure down the road I’ll have plenty of time to tell you about more of them. But this one is heavy on my mind, as I am about to head out on another adventure.

You see, I have this OCD type tendency that will not allow me to re-wear an outfit without washing it. And I mean I really will NOT wear any article of clothing over again. Like not even a cardigan or jacket. Even if I have one of those moments in the morning where I change my mind on an outfit. If I’ve worn it for even like two seconds, it’s going to get washed again. If an article of my clothing falls out of the dryer onto the floor, it’s getting rewashed. I know, I know, I’m a complete weirdo. This obsessive quirk is quite the talk around my house and in my family. But they love me despite of my weirdity. My husband likes to taunt me by saying that he purposefully drops my clean underwear on the floor without my knowledge while helping out with laundry and then puts them in the clean pile. Ughh! Okay, so what does a girl with these kinds of issues do, when she is about to be taking a seven-day trip? You plan out all your outfits and get smart about the packing!

So here are some packing tips that help this poor, unfortunate soul on the journey of traveling with completely clean outfits for each day (and night). But I think any lady can benefit from these tips. You don’t have to be OCD to pack smarter, but I’d love you to join me on the weirdo side.

1.) First, you must buy Jumbo Size Zip-Lock Baggies. . Hefty Brand Jumbo Size with Zipper Top is my favorite.

2.) Next, Layout out each “Day” look as a complete outfit…. Undergarments, tank top, dress or shorts outfit, etc. Put this complete outfit in the zip lock bag and zip as you press out the extra air. Voila! Everything you need for a day is in a bag. On your trip, all you need to do in the morning is pull out your chosen “Baggie for the Day”. No need to fumble around for bra, underwear, accompanying items etc. This also helps a nutso like me know that not one item of this clothing has touched the hotel drawers or anything like that! Whew.

A Sporty Day on the Beach and Exploring! Complete Look from Athleta, Shoes from Target

Island Hopping Breezy Dress Day! Dress from Dress and Dwell. Necklace, a treasured souvenir from Hawaii

Take Me to the Beach! Dress and Shoes from Target

All Tucked Away and Ready to Go!

Everything You Need for the Day in One Bag!

3.) Layout all your “Evening” looks, if you need different stuff for that. I am usually going to take a daytime look for running around with casual stuff or bathing suits with coverups. I’ll pack completely different outfit ensembles for the nighttime or dinners. Repeat the Jumbo Baggie trick.

Sunset Dinner Cruise! Striped Maxi Dress from Target. Necklace from Dress and Dwell

Tropical Nights! Dress from H & M (Hint, it's Maternity!) Necklace from Target

All Your Night Time Look Ready to Go. Perfect when you are in a hurry to get changed and on to a romantic dinner!

4.) Strategize your Shoes. I will take a lot of shoes, but I do strategize the best way to take shoes for each occasion that can overlap or work with many looks. That usually includes a pair of tennis shoes, various colors of flip flops, a few pair of dressier sandals (black and neutral).

I will mix the shoes into Jumbo Bags and I don’t get too weird about the shoes. But they ARE going to go in a plastic bag. So that nothing is touching the clothes. It’s like double protection!

5.) Now on to your Bathroom Essentials. I highly suggest a Three Fold Organizer that has a hook on the top! Many of my trips are on a small Sailboat. The bathroom is very small and it's hard to lay things out as rough seas can cause things to toss and tumble. But this trick works just as wonderful for hotel or condo stays as well. I try to get as many of my products in Travel Size containers. If I'm going to be going on an extended trip, I feel like a double of Travel Size products is still better than full size. The Three Fold Organizers that I have found are usually of a water resistant fabric, with three pockets made of plastic. Everything is safe and sound and you can hang the organizer on the back of a door with hook, or even shower head if necessary. I typically keep this bag with all my essentials ready to go at all times!

Everything You Need at Your Finger Tips! Orla Kiely Bag from Target

6.) Hairdryer! Okay, usually the hotel-included hairdryers are ok and I will resort to that if need be. But I recently stumbled upon a great product that will be with me on all trips from here on out. Its a "travel size" hair dryer. But really its similar in size to a normal hairdryer and has the same power. It does, however, fold and comes with a super cute bag to put it in!

Dry Bar Hair Dryer! I got mine from Sephora

7.) Jewelry! While I showed jewelry with all these looks, I actually do not pack these in the zip locks with the outfits. I do though, lay the jewelry out with the outfits to make sure I will have what I need and don't forget anything. I put all earrings in a small tin, and then necklaces and bracelets in some kind of organizer or bag that suits what I'm taking.

There you go! The Laurie Life way to pack. This is the best way to get organized and not forget anything, ensure rain on the tarmac won't get your clothes wet, prevent TSA agent's grubby paws from touching your stuff too much while rummaging through your bag for security checks, and keep those outfits germ free at the hotel! I am crazy to be sure. But this system helps me take 14 + outfits on a trip and get it all in one suitcase and under the 50 pound weight limit (I've been super close though on numerous occasions). So go on girls, pack to your hearts content and never be without while you are on your adventures!

Have fun filling up your suitcase to the brim!

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