Thanksgiving and Tips for Packing Light

I hope you and your family had a great Thanksgiving!! Kevin calls Cincinnati home, so we made the 10-hour drive from Des Moines to the Nasty Nati last Wednesday. While we were there, we celebrated Thanksgiving with family, put up Christmas lights, dominated Black Friday shopping and visited with friends.

Before we left, we had to do some packing. I am NOT a light packer by any means, but I’ve been trying very hard to limit myself to one or two bags.

I’ve been extremely fortunate in my life when it comes to traveling. Ever since I was a little kid, my family has taken many vacations to different places. Some of my favorites include Disney World, Destin, FL, Germany to visit family, London, Alaska, New York and San Antonio. For each of those places, I had to be very organized and strategic when packing.

Kevin and I are totally different people (in case you haven’t noticed yet). I’m completely organized and clean. Kevin, however, is not. His version of packing is throwing some sweatpants and t-shirts in a bag at the last minute. I make lists upon lists, post-it notes, and piles before I actually put anything into a bag. His routine works for him and mine works for me.

To start, I made a few lists of things I knew I had to pack. I divided my lists into categories: clothes, toiletries, things for the car, Gracie, and “other.” Once I had my lists, I laid everything out that I could (remember to leave out things like your toothbrush, deodorant, etc.)

Do you think I have enough STL apparel? I don't.

I also laid out my clothes that I was going to wear the next day.

One of my biggest tips to pack light is to wear all your big clothes the day of travel. I wore my boots and sweater because those took up the most room in my bag.

Another way to save space is to roll, not fold, all of your clothes. Five days of clothes* fit!

*Confession: I may be able to fit my clothes/shoes in one bag, but my biggest problem with packing is that I cannot fit all of my toiletries in the same small duffle bag.

Another way to stay organized is to create separate lists for each bag you pack. For example, my bag for the car got its own list. I had things like magazines, books, laptop, laptop charger, GPS and DVDs on that list. Gracie’s bag included her food, food/water bowls, treats, towels for her crate, toys and her leash. I also packed a bag of snacks since we had a 10-hour drive (munching is a must!).

It may seem a little excessive, but I promise the key to packing light is being organized. If you list out things you NEED, you won’t over pack. Promise. 🙂 Hope this helps!

Back to Cincinnati fun: Wednesday night we went out with good friends Danny and Sara. We hit up the local casino and I lost big bucks $5. Thursday was turkey day! We woke up, watched Macy’s Day Parade and went to the neighborhood parade. It was so fun!

Thursday night, now known as the start of Black Friday, was spent at Wal-Mart and Target. I can’t divulge all the goodies I got because they’re all presents! I’ll reveal my awesome finds after Christmas! We finished up the weekend by hanging out with family and friends, but we were both ready to come back on Sunday.

I have been feeling a bit under the weather, so I’m off to watch this week’s Gossip Girl (don’t judge)!

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