How I Pack for Weekend Trips

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Photo by Sarah Brown on Unsplash

If you’re anything like me you love traveling. Everything about it is exciting, from the planning to the travel to arriving at your destination and having a blast, to coming home completely thrilled and exhausted.

Packing is not usually one of those things that travelers enjoy. I sure don’t. It can be tricky figuring out what to bring, and extremely nerve-wracking worrying if you forgot anything important. The method of travel is a huge driving force behind how I pack. In many ways, airline travel makes you much more efficient when it comes to traveling in other ways. However, traveling by car or similar forms of ground transportation gives you much more flexibility in what you take with you.

Today, I’m going to show you how I pack for a weekend road trip.

Where Are You Going

Think about where you are going geographically, which means what will the weather be there? Are you heading down south where it’s humid? Going North to colder weather or heading into a dustbowl out West? Think about where you’re going and even what states or areas you’re traveling through to ensure that you’re prepared for the elements.

This is important whether you’re going three hours away or ten hours away.

What Will You Be Doing

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Photo by Simon Migaj on Unsplash

Activities are going to be the next half of deciding what you’re going to wear. Will you spend your day walking miles through the city sightseeing? Are you planning to start your mornings in the gym or pool? Perhaps your trip consists of a fine gala, networking events, or just plain lying on the beach for as long as you can stand it.

Headed to an amusement park? Running a marathon? You will need outfits not just for a single day but for specific events or activities. For example, you may need to bring swimwear, or gym clothes. Perhaps a suit for that fancy work event. Make sure you know what you plan to do–or might do–so you can pack accordingly.

Clothes, Clothes, Clothes

Now you can actually put your outfits in order! What’s key for me is thinking about the main items: shirt and pant combos, dresses, etc. I always bring one more pair of underwear than I have outfits (for example, if there’s 3 outfits, 4 pairs of underwear). I try to keep bras simple for a weekend trip, and typically just bring two (including the one I’m wearing on my travels). The same goes for socks! If I need some sort of outerwear I choose one that will fit all the conditions I’m facing.

Here’s an example of what I wear on a typical weekend going to an art show.

Friday

• I wear a t-shirt and shorts during the road trip and once I get to my destination.

• I then have a pair of lounge/sleep clothes that I can wear around the hotel and to bed. This is usually some lounge pants and a big comfy shirt with fuzzy socks.

Saturday

• I might wear a sundress – sooo easy

Sunday

• It’s another shirt and shorts (or jeans if it’s cool) combo.

If you’re wondering about shoes, I do my best on these trips to wear the same pair of shoes the entire weekend. I usually have some Nike slides or flip flops that I can use for the pool or around the hotel. That’s four outfits (counting the sleepwear).

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Photo by Lumin on Unsplash

Toiletries Galore

I try not to go overboard here but it’s can be hard, I’m the typical girl in some ways when it comes to toiletries and makeup! I always start off with a list of basic necessities:

  • toothbrush
  • toothpaste
  • mouthwash
  • body wash
  • deodorant
  • lotion
  • facial routine (face wash, toner, moisturizer)
  • sunscreen

Once I’ve done this, I will think about how much makeup I need/want to bring. If I’m just going hiking or lounging on the beach it’s very little, maybe just bronzer, mascara and a brow pencil. But if I’m working or wanting to show off a bit for the gram I’ll bring enough for a more complete face beat.

When it comes to accessories I also keep that to a minimum: one pair of earrings (no more than two), one watch, a necklace if I don’t plan on sweating, and a pair of sunglasses. Additional jewelry is only necessary again if I’m going somewhere that requires more dressing up.

Extras

These are items that don’t deal with my person but are important, namely electronics. I usually have a point and shoot camera with me; my cell phone and charger, of course; my planner; headphones, pens, and either a tablet or laptop.

Extras could be anything you need, maybe a travel pillow or crossword puzzles for the long ride in the car, whatever floats your boat.

 

Kinds of Luggage

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Photo by Alex Azabache on Unsplash

I have packed for weekend trips in almost everything: Herschel backpacks, suitcases, weekender bags, duffel bags and small tote bags. It’s truly up to you. When I’m traveling for art shows, the van is typically so packed with supplies and products that I might as well be shoving my belongings in a narrow, cramped overhead. So my number one goal is to be as economical as possible.

If it’s just you trekking across the Midwest in an open trunk, you can take your roomiest suitcase and get to stepping, but if you’re crunched for space, there are a few tips that will help you find packing bliss regardless of what bag you’re using:

 

  • Fold everything the Kon Mari way. Yes, I know you’re tired of hearing about her but it’s very important. It starts by folding your clothing into one long bar like this:


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Then, you fold in half until you achieve a neat square that can stand on end, like so:

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  • Next, you want to create an “outfit sandwich.” I know this sounds really funny, but it save me A TON of space! Once all of my clothes are folded, I take the items needed for a single outfit and I lay them on top of one another so they’re in the flat bar in the gif above, and fold them together to create a “sandwich”. This means when I grab this bundle, I have everything I need to wear for that day or event.

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  • Stand your clothes on end. Most of the time we stack clothes on top of one another, but if you stand them on end like a book, you’ll save more space. Even if you’re using packing cubes, try standing your cubes on end and you’ll be surprised. This goes for makeup bags, toiletry totes, umbrellas, you name it.

And that’s it! You’re now ready for your next road trip and armed with everything you need to have a fantastic time. Check out my latest YouTube video to see how I pack in action.

I’ll be back with more tips for makeup packing, airplane packing and more!

Mentorship: How Being One – And Having One – Can Give You A Creative Edge

I'm excited to share this guest post from Walter Bond, speaking on mentorship and creativity, which is a great segway into our next post!

We live in a very “me-focused” society. We live in a world of selfies and social media accounts designed to constantly remind our peers about how great we are. We like to stand out. We like to work hard and be acknowledged for our successes. But in an age where we are constantly reaching for new growth, working towards that new promotion, and pushing ourselves to be the best, it can be easy to lose sight of one of the most important elements that connect us as human beings: helping each other.

Mentorship seems like a lost art in the business world. Too often, we’re so focused on our goals and our dreams and our strategies that we don’t look outside of ourselves for help, encouragement, or guidance. We see asking for help as a weakness. We think that if we admit that we don’t know it at all, we have failed. But this could not be further from the truth. Even in creative spaces, reaching out and connecting with people who know more than you, earn more than you, and do more than you can only benefit you. So why are we so worried about reaching out and finding a mentor?

Many young professionals assume that having a mentor means having another boss. And the last thing a young, fresh, hungry, entrepreneurial-minded person needs is another boss. But a good mentor is not a boss at all. It is someone who has been where you are and is doing what you want to do and can help you learn from their mistakes. They’re not there to tell you what to do or how to do it. They’re not there to make it easy. They’re simply there to tell you the truth with grace, guide you in the right direction, and be there when you fail. They are a listening ear, a source of wisdom, and an extra set of unbiased eyes and ears on a situation where you may have tunnel vision.

It seems like forever ago, but back in the day, I played for the NBA. And when I look back on those days, I can clearly see a difference in my mentors and in my coaches. My coaches were there during practices and game days, giving me the skills and techniques I needed to be better for each game, and in each season. When my team has changed, my coaches changed. When my situation has changed, my coaches changed. This is how it is in life as well.

When you seek out a professional coach, they are designed to help you with specific tasks in a specific season of your life. Whether it’s a fitness coach, a business coach, a public speaking coach, they’re all designed to help you in one aspect of your life, usually with an end date in mind.

My mentors were completely different. They were the men who were there when basketball was great and when basketball was not. They were there when relationships were great and when relationships were not. They were there when finances were great and when finances were not. These mentors came into my life to help shape and mold me as a person. Not as a basketball player, but as a person. There was no end date discussed as these relationships were being built. This was a long-term, mutually beneficial relationship where I surrounded myself with people who were smarter, wealthier, and more successful than I was. These relationships dramatically changed the trajectory of my life. I am a better man because of the mentors in my life.

It took me a long time to realize that mentorship is a two-way street. It wasn’t until I started to mentor entrepreneurs myself that I realized it is a mutually beneficial relationship. Being a mentor meant a lot of self-reflection on my end. It meant a careful analysis of what I did and why I did it because I knew someone was watching. Many of the people I’ve mentored have given me a fresh perspective on business and life. They’ve helped me remember what it is like to be young, hungry, and eager for success. Having a mentee challenged my thinking in many ways, and made me a better leader. This idea of taking people along with me on my journey to success is what sparked the idea for my book Swim!

Swim! is about the relationship between a shark and a suckerfish. The shark possesses six key qualities that make it an apex predator. They never swim backward, they’re flexible, they never stop swimming. A suckerfish is a smaller, less experienced creature that identifies a shark, makes a connection, and goes along for the ride. But the suckerfish is not a leach. It’s not there for a free ride.

It benefits the shark in its own way.

They need each other.

They help each other.

They do for each other what they can’t do for themselves. It’s a powerful image, and it has changed the way I approach mentorship in business.

Part of being a shark is taking people with us. We have to be aware of those around us instead of staying stuck in our selfies and our personal successes. When we intentionally make room in our lives for others, we only benefit. And in the areas of our lives where we are suckerfish, we have to deliberately seek out sharks who are willing to guide us through the waves.

While everyone can benefit from a coach, those of us in the creative space may benefit more from a mentor. We don’t need someone telling us how to do our craft; we just need someone there who understands it. We need someone who has already reached the place we’re trying to go and stands by us as a source of wisdom and support on our journey to get there.

Having a mentor and being a mentor can give you a creative edge that you can’t find anywhere else. It can open your mind to new possibilities and opportunities. It can challenge you in a way that fosters growth. And sometimes, if you’re really lucky, a mentor-mentee relationship can blossom into a beautiful friendship.

 

About Walter Bond

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Walter Bond is a renowned business coach, author, motivational speaker, and former NBA basketball player. His time in the NBA taught him the fundamentals every team needs to be successful, and today he shares his knowledge with global audiences to help entrepreneurs, business leaders, sales teams, and employees get to the next level.

My Life on KonMari

This is the last in a 3-part series on the Kon Mari method.

I actually started writing this blog about a year ago and here I am, finally finishing it. Over the past year, so many of you have been binge-watching Marie Kondo’s hit Netflix series, Tidying Up. A major argument erupted among the bookworms of the Twitterverse about whether or not Marie was insane for suggesting that we only keep the books that “bring us joy.” There was quite a stir when I logged on and saw folks practically cursing Marie for even suggesting that we part with our precious hardback treasures. And there’s so much of it that I agree with. But I also had the privilege of completing the KonMari method, of reading Marie’s book and of knowing that most people were probably misunderstanding some of her methods by the quick tidying summaries we watch on the TV show.

So before I dive into the last of this three-part KonMari series, I have to tell you: The KonMari Method above all else is NOT about what you get rid of, contrary to what you think. It’s not about this minimalistic, streamlined life in which you only have five items in every room. I know you’re wondering, how?? The whole point of this is to declutter my home! And you’re right, but you don’t do this by mindlessly chucking things in trash bags, you do it by identifying what brings joys to your space and disregarding those things that don’t bring you joy and aren’t necessities for living.

This means that there’s no cutoff to how many things you own. If you want 100 pairs of stilettos or 300 books, you can have them. If 20 mugs bring you joy, then so be it! Marie actually says in her book that the method makes room for different kinds of people: “a writer may have an extensive library while someone else owns lots of teapots.” (see why nothing beats READING THE BOOK?)

So the argument that the KonMari method actually trash because it tells you to get rid of your books isn’t true at all. All the writers, bookworms, etc can rest easy. I’m a bookworm and I barely parted with 10 books, half were duplicates (I bought them twice without realizing it–oops!), and some were children’s books that really didn’t bring me joy, not even enough to pass along to my own relatives or kids. The last couple were books I’d just been given or picked up randomly that, upon further review, I knew I would never ever touch. And as she says, if for some reason the Guide to Hiking Italy becomes relevant to your life again, you can just buy it. We bookworms buy books all the time anyway, trust me – it won’t hurt you.

The point is, as historians, writers, teachers, bookworms and the like, the idea is that most books will bring you a form of joy, and that means you keep them and go about your merry tidying way! Don’t think too hard about this folks, really.

Now, as promised (but delayed because life and SAD are real ya’ll), here’s how my space currently functions after KonMari, with detailed notes about what it was like before.

My Shelves

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Prior to KonMari, these Ikea shelves were cluttered with a mixture of items that didn’t really go together: books and trinkets and paper and boxes. There was no order to it and the overall impression was messy.

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Now, my shelves are open and have a very particular function. On the top shelf, I keep a letter organizer with stamps, address labels and other tools for mailing. I also keep two Ikea storage boxes: one holds CDs and the other holds paper scraps and tickets for scrapbooking.  In the middle is a figurine I received for my high school graduation that means a lot to me.

The bottom shelf is all decor and a little function. I show off some art show finds, a craft mug that holds all my Sharpies, and my college grad cap. In the middle, I stack my Bible, journal, planner and an important booklet so it’s easy to grab while I work and easy to put away.

My workspace

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This is arguably the most important part of my room. This is where my workday begins and ends, where future novels are written, and where Facetime chats go down. Before, there was not space to write, I have stacked who knows what on top of it and there was always junk mail poking out from under the drawer.

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I now have my mic freestanding, but sometimes I have it set up this way

Now, my space is open and I have room. My computer and hard drives are neatly stacked together, I have my mic for my podcast, a jar of pens for easy access and business cards under my lamp.

And that’s it! Literally. Because I’ve opened up space I can write in my planner or journal, take notes during the day, go through mail, etc without having to move things out of the way first. It helps to keep my mind clear while I’m working for things don’t feel chaotic.

My Dresser

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As you can see, there was no dresser before KonMari, and I didn’t think one could fit. It’s a very small dresser from Wayfair and it holds a good amount of seasonal clothes that I am using at the current time. My previous setup was a small (Ikea) table with a TV I never used and anything else I felt like piling on top of it.

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Now I have my clothing organized in the dresser, my jewelry on one end, my skincare and lipsticks on the other and my fragrances and body care in the middle. It’s not my ideal vanity situation, but it stays tidy and serves its purpose in this small space.

My bookcase

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I have way more books than this, which are in the family “library” in our den where all the books are, but before I had this baby filled to the max and other knick-knacks all over and in between.

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I now have my favorite books in the middles two shelves and my poetry/YA books at the bottom. My top shelf is a shrine self with some of my favorite possessions that I like to show off and that makes me happy. It’s also a great spot for my alarm clock for those mornings when I really need to get up early and force myself out of bed to turn it off.

My closet

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My closet was always a horrific nightmare. I must say that this photo I took the day I started the KonMari method is the worse it had ever gotten – I basically let it go since I knew I would be starting the tidying marathon soon. But even when I bothered to clean this closet, it never got much better. I would hide my closet from shame and could barely close the door. There’s not much to say here except I threw things here and turned my back on them.

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My closet currently functions with order. I have a manageable amount of magazines lined in the middle with two storage boxes on the left side and a few storage boxes on the right side. My luggage and camera equipment are below my clothes that are hanging and my bags and purses hang on the opposite end of the closet. My closet is still used as storage for the time being, but it makes sense and I actually know where everything is.

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What used to be bags of unorganized papers are now binders of categorized notes and stories that can easily be stored on a bookcase once I get my own place. A few pairs of shoes sit neatly on the floor – which I couldn’t even see before!

My Nightstand

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Even my nightstand got an overhaul during this process. Before I used this as another dumping ground for items I didn’t bother reckoning with.

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Now, I can keep my most important items nearby, like a glass of water, my retainers, a clock and speaker. Below, my home accessories have a snug place and my storage boxes hold nail care, games, and small personal items.

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It’s amazing to think that one little book changed my life so drastically, but it really did. I’m so grateful to Marie for the work she has done in my life and so many others.

Please feel free to ask me questions! I love raving about this method and sharing my experience with clutter.