I'm convinced there are two kinds of packers in this world: people who pack Everything You Could Possibly Need and people who pack minimally, almost effortlessly, delicately accounting for all kinds of weather and occasions into three coordinating outfits and one easy to manage, well organized, carry on.
I am in the first camp, certainly.
Overpacking is one of my spiritual gifts. Minimal packing is my husband's.
Naturally, it's a joy to travel with me. Once we added a baby in the mix, our packing level went to an even higher, unfathomable level. The soundtrack to our trip prep started to sound something like this: "Hey! Got any extra room in your suitcase for more diapers/wipes/a hair dryer/my ice skates?"
If could pack the kitchen sink, I would.
Thankfully, people change, and I'm learning how to pack more efficiency and effectively. Travel-sized instead of Costco-sized bottles are a start, as well as limiting my shoe choices (still working on that one.) Also helpful: durable, well designed suitcases. Thule, who makes outdoor gear (and our favorite stroller) just released a line of luggage, built to withstand the elements just like their well loved roof racks and bike racks. The two sizes we have are the 30" and the 28". The 30" is ingeniously designed to zip into two bags, one rolling and one duffel, perfect for using alone or together, for separating baby items, or for overpackers like myself still learning how to pack light. My husband loves the laptop bag for work, and it's designed to hook onto the top of either suitcase.
When I pack lighter, I realize that I usually don't even miss whatever's not there. There is always, always a creative solution, and sometimes, having fewer choices can actually make it easier than having too many (capsule wardrobing taught me that).
I started to think about other things I carry with me (figuratively) that actually make my life more difficult or unnecessarily complicated.
Things like, first birthday party expectations. Somehow (maybe thanks to Pinterest and other forms of social media), this event is HYPED. Where did we get this idea that babies needed this extravagant first birthday party? If you want to go all out for it, great, but if you don't? Also fine. We all know this party is more for the parents than the baby anyways.
In June, we will be celebrating Trey's first birthday. But I'm choosing a small, simple party. Nothing fancy, no paper invites, no rented space, no caterer.
I'm taking this off my plate because it doesn't bring me joy to spend the time or the money in this way. I will celebrate the one year milestone in a way that works for us, not how someone else (or society or culture or social media) thinks I SHOULD be doing it.
These days I'm taking more and more off my plate, letting go of thing after thing, lowering my expectations, packing lighter. This "good enough" space of motherhood is so much better than striving for the unattainable perfection.
I'm trying to pack lighter this spring in all sorts of ways. It's a work in progress, but a great place to be.
Shared in partnership with Thule, the trusted outdoor gear brand. We're big fans of their durable designs.