Every since my first cruise, when I haphazardly packed three suitcases for a three-day cruise, I’ve tried to simplify. Gone are the days when I pack 15 pairs of shoes and 5 extra outfits. As anyone knows, the worst part about packing is the unpacking after the vacation! Cruise ships are so large, you rarely see the same people more than a few times. If I can’t remember what I wore two days ago, surely no one else will.
In my last post, I mentioned editing. Editing requires effort, but is well worth the time. Editing is like solving a puzzle.To begin the editing process, I lay all of the chosen clothes on the bed, including jewelry and shoes. Then, I begin switching out items as needed, subtracting some of the one-time-wear items. I always want maximum outfit options while packing the least amount of clothes. As I edit, I try to keep mostly things that I can wear again, in a different way. Here are a few tips for editing….
1. I take a neutral pair of heels that can match most of my dinner clothes. This time I’m taking gold, but often I will take a taupe pair, instead. The gold heels go with everything except my black formal dress. I can even wear the gold heels with my navy formal dress just by adding gold-toned accessories. It’s very important to keep an open mind when mixing clothing, shoes, and accessories! I’m still packing my black heels to match my black formal dress. But, since those shoes are very simply styled, I could wear those with other things. Although I could, I no longer pack a different pair of shoes for every outfit. I feel a little sad at leaving the coordinating shoes at home (especially my new brown zebra prints), but I’m happy to be satisfied with less. I also pack a comfy tan-colored pair of wedges. They make my legs look so much longer. I also pack gold flats to wear around the ship. And athletic shoes…..unfortunately, there’s just no way around that! With all of the good food I plan to eat, I will need to walk! I have been able to drastically reduce the amount of shoes I now pack. I’m good with taking only five pairs of shoes. For me, that’s quite the accomplishment!
2. I pack three of my favorite swimsuits. I really just don’t need more than that. I pack a couple of dress-type cover ups, plus a long back maxi skirt. The maxi is always a favorite. I can roll it and pack it in my beach bag. Plus, it looks good with my one piece swimsuit and a sweater for grabbing lunch. It would be comfy, too, for traveling, paired with a t-shirt and fun jewelry. See how pieces can have different purposes?
3. I pack a couple of knit jumpsuits or maxi dresses. These look neat enough to wear during embarkment or to ports, but comfy enough for lounging. An all-in one outfit requires no thinking. They can be dressed up or down.
4. I coordinate my gym clothes. I pack about three tops, two bottoms, and a lightweight pullover. Mix and match! I make sure the items I choose can easily be rinsed in the sink. If I work out more than three days while on vacation, it’s a miracle!
5. I pack a couple of sweaters. I used to pack a jean jacket. However, they are really heavy and don’t work well for my dressier dinner clothes. I now take sweaters that can be rolled and easily packed. I can throw them on over anything when I get chilly.
6. When choosing jewelry, I pack either silver or gold, but not both. I chose jewelry that can coordinate with more than one outfit, too. Thankfully, jewelry doesn’t take up much space!
When I edit and have my outfits on the bed and floor, I nearly always end up changing things out for more versatile items. Although editing is difficult, it gets easier with practice. I’ve been able to downsize my packing each time. The craziest thing is that I never feel like I am without what I need. Less packing, less unpacking, less washing, and less stress….
Do you have any editing ideas to share?