Friday, 18 March 2016

Minimalist packing for beginners!

Minimalist Packing - Overnight bag

I don’t know about you but when I pack, even just an overnight bag, I find an excuse to pack all of the things. The amount of times I have overstuffed a bag, broken the zip and put my shoulder out carrying it all because I simply can’t be without things. Things, things, all the things, and how much of what I pack do I actually use? I’d say less than half easily. I’m a worrier, I pack for things that may or may not happen, I take extras just in case and pop in bits and bobs because you never know.

Well, now I know. 

When I went away overnight recently, I challenged myself to pack as minimalist as possible. I wasn’t leaving the country, anything I desperately needed that I might not have packed, I could buy, so I boiled everything down to the bare essentials. Minimalist packing an overnight bag actually turned out to be not as hard as I thought - once I stopped picking up all of the things!

I started by putting everything into piles, then put these piles into multiple toiletry bags. I keep everything so I’ve got a horde of wash bags, toiletry bags, gift bags etc that look like they’re going to be ideal for travelling. I figured if I limited the space I could fill, instead of seeing how much I could toss in a suitcase, I’d have no choice but to only take what I really needed.

1) Make-up brushes
I’ve had this Bare Minerals gold travel brush case for years, it fits around 10 brushes in, so 10 brushes is all I can take. Hands down, this was the easiest one to do; foundation, concealer, bronzing, blush, highlighting, flat eye brush, fluffy blending brush and a blending/finishing powder brush. I could have actually doubled some of these brushes up and took even less. 

2) Teeth
No, not actually teeth, but dental care. Toothbrush, floss, toothpaste and mouthwash. I’d have took smaller, travel sized toothpaste and mouthwash but decided to go with what I had on hand. 

3) Evening clutch
My perfect Kate Spade black clutch never leaves its dust bag, so that was easy enough to pop in. I did pre-pack the bag with perfume atomiser and evening purse, then put other bits like make-up and money in before we went out. 

4) Shoes
I tossed my evening shoes in a tote bag to stop them getting scuffed and to stop the heels damaging the clothes that would be going in the case. I’ve actually started storing my shoes in canvas tote bags instead of shoe boxes - takes up much less space in my wardrobe!

5) Wash bag
My trusty Cath Kidston is waterproof inside and out, making it great for face clothes, towels and anything else that might get wet after use. I put my deodorant, hairbrush, hot cloth and face towel in here. The hot cloth and towel could have stayed at home, especially as it was only one night. I could probably scrap this bag altogether in the future. 

6) Clothes
OK, not all my clothes, but my pjs, underwear and socks. I think I put them in a bag because everything was in a bag by this point and it just looked good haha, small things amuse me. Get over it!

7) Skincare
Hands down, the hardest bag to pack by far. I ended up picking out sample sized products I had rolling around my drawer and tester sachets I’ve picked up on the counters. This made it so much easier, especially the sachets as they’re pretty much only good for one use. It was one night, so I had to be realistic about what I was going to use. Was I really going to do a deep cleanse and a face mask? Hell no! I took the basics; cleanser, day moisturiser, evening moisturiser, eye cream, make-up remover, lip balm, serum, and cotton pads. I could have easily dropped the evening moisturiser and serum but they were so tiny, they took up zero space! 

8) Make-up
I knew exactly how I was going to do my make-up so I took only what I needed for that. I opted for compact, slimline palettes, and travel sized mascara and lipgloss. I cut down on as many separates as possible, e.g taking my Sleek combined contouring kit, but could have packed my Urban Decay ‘On the Run’ palette; it houses eyeshadow, highlighter, bronzer, blush, mascara, liner and lipgloss all in the one palette! 

Once all the bags were in, I popped in my straighteners, evening dress, leather jacket, alcohol and snacks! 

I discovered one great bonus of packing everything in toiletry bags too; it took me 10 seconds to unpack! I can’t stand living out of a suitcase, and all the bags fitted perfectly into one drawer. 

It was clear by the next day I could have easily cut back on a few things, and there was nothing I had to run out and buy, so I'm going to call my first attempt at minimalist packing a success! Winner winner, chicken dinner and all that.

Are you a minimalist packer or a leave no-thing behind? 

Until next time,


  1. Your suitcase looks so tidy! Very impressive! I always take way too much when I pack too, but I have learnt the trick of using samples of skincare products when I only have a short trip - it saves so much space!!! xxx

  2. I don't leave anything behind! :)) One of reasons we got an estate is my inability to pack light. You did great. x

  3. lovely packing tips! I usually overdo it haha

    Life in Pastel

  4. I'm definitely a "leave nothing behind" type of packer. I honestly love your idea of minimalist packing so I think I'm going to try it next time I go somewhere! I definitely need to work on my prioritizing in that department. 😂

    xo, Kimberly