It has taken me a long time to finally get to the stage where I am today, and that is a I can literally pack for an overnight or a few days away in minutes. I'm always flitting off somewhere or another, whether it's an overnight in a hotel in Sydney, going away to house-sit my brother's house in the Central Coast, traveling somewhere or going to my family in the country.
I haven't always been a savvy packer though. In my younger days I would almost take half my wardrobe with me 'just in case' I needed to wear something. These days, I take mix and match pieces and am ruthless with my discipline on not over packing.
Here are my tips on how to pack for an overnight stay without even thinking about it.
Toiletries: I must admit I am away a lot so I have a bag ready to take away with my make up and toiletries which I keep packed ready to go at any notice.
Overnight Bag: Have a bag that is easy to pack.This is mine, I Iike it because it is light, it's rectangle and can fit a lot in to it plus it has wheels and a handle.
Shoes: Do you really need 5 pairs of shoes? No of course you don't. If you are only going for a few days then choose a pair of shoes that you can wear every day. It's winter now as I write this and I am an ankle boot junkie so I have a nice pair black ankle boots of that are not too high, are comfortable and I could wear with a skirt, jeans and or more formal black pants. If you are going somewhere where you need to have a dressier shoe then of course you will need to pack extra.
Coat: Choose a jacket that is easy to wear with a number of outfits. On my trip to Thailand last year I had one small suitcase for the whole 5 days. On the plane I had my jacket for warmth, a pair of smart but easy to wear black pants, a top and my Vans. This was the perfect outfit to travel to and from Thailand. The top was easy to hand wash, the jacket was light and non crushable and the Vans stylish enough for plane travel and practical.
Jeans: My favourite and it doesn't matter if you wear the same pair when you are away. If I'm going for more than two days then I'll also throw in a pair of black straight pants that I can dress up or down. The plainer the jeans the more you can get away with wearing them with different outfits.
Tops: I always choose tops that do not crush so in winter I like fitted knits as they don't take up much room and not too bulky under your jacket.
Sleepwear: I really dislike getting into a cold bed so I like to be prepared to have something warm to wear that I know I'll not shiver if I'm a guest at someone else's house or in a hotel. So a light pair of ribbed pj's like the ones below do the trick very nicely.
Roll up your items rather than pack flat
Pack items into plastic bags for easy access and to be things in order
Take travel size toiletries or put some of your favourite skincare products into small travel containers
Stick to basics
Make a list and stick to it
If you are going somewhere where you will by buying items then make sure you leave enough room in your back to bring them back