It can be daunting to offer universal tips for packing a minimalist weekend bag. One person’s weekend away might include ritual bonfires deep in the woods while someone else’s might include small talk and ice sculptures and a crowded dance floor. Heck, a third person’s might very well include both. But while the particulars will vary from person to person and weekend to weekend, I think there are some packing rules of thumb that can make quick and light work of preparing for a weekend away, regardless of destination. I’m partnering with Stowaway Cosmetics on this post—a company who knows a thing or two about keeping things small and streamlined. Here are my best tips for keeping a weekend bag minimalist, cosmetics included:
Be realistic: What are you actually going to need? When I head to my mom and dad’s house for the weekend I usually end up wearing the same one pair of jeans for two or three days, and I’ve finally stopped packing an extra pair. Same goes for non-clothes items. I have the tendency to imagine a weekend away as a time when time will stretch out infinitely. I can easily convince myself to pack another book or to tuck my laptop into my bag at the last minute. To avoid the trap of lugging too much with me, I try to make a mental list of the activities and schedule of the days ahead of me so that I’m not packing anything that I know I likely won’t have the chance to put to use.
Pack multiples only where it counts: Here’s the good news and the bad news: a weekend is short. You’re only packing for two or three days, tops, so the only things you really need in multiples are tiny. Bring more underwear and fewer jeans, more socks and fewer shoes, more t-shirts and fewer sweaters.
Consider comfort: I’ll be the first to admit that I can sometimes take packing light to an extreme and on more than one occassion I’ve arrived somewhere for the weekend only to realize that I’ve come without pajamas or a sensible sweater. I find that weighing my comfort and habits as I pack helps me to be realistic while also preventing me from getting too minimalist. I can be perfectly happy kicking it in the same pair of jeans all weekend, but I’ll be grouchy without a sweater to get cozy in. Think about your own threshold for comfort and pack accordingly.
Shoot for multifunctionality: Avoid single-function clothing. In the summertime, I like to pack a simple cotton dress that can toe the line between casual and dressy. The addition of a scarf or sweater can mean that I can wear the same dress out to dinner that I wore to the beach. Same goes for footwear. When possible, I bring along shoes that can work in a range of scenarios. To be sure, some of this comes down to a question of mindset. Often I decide that I can take an easy hike in a sundress and sturdy sandals as well as I can in a pair of leggings and running shoes and I decide to leave the latter home.
Stay organized: Throwing things willy-nilly into a bag usually means that I end up packing more than I need. I lay everything into piles on my bed before I pack. Once I’m ready to fill my bag, I use smaller drawstring travel bags to keep things organized. I typically have one for clean underwear, one for dirties, and one for an extra pair of shoes if need-be.
Lighten your load: I can’t count the number of times that I’ve congratulated myself on a light packing job only to realize that I haven’t yet included toiletries. And it’s no fun to when you need reevaulate everything in a bag that’s already packed so you can squeeze in your dopp kit. Consider cosmetics and toiletries from the get-go and make sure you’re not lugging around more than you need, which of course brings me to Stowaway.
Stowaway‘s cosmetics come in sizes that mean a bb cream, concealer, lipstick, rouge, mascara, and eyeliner can all fit into the palm of my hand. They’re not teensy tiny; they’re right-sized and meant to be used up before they expire. (Bonus: their sensible size also means they don’t need preservatives like parabens to stay fresh. Still better: they’re EU-compliant and cruelty-free.)
Stowaway‘s new summer products launched yesterday and the goods are good. There’s their new fig creme lipstick, canteloupe cheek and lip rouge, and extreme mascara, all of which I’ve been wearing on the regular. Stowaway is offering RMTL readers their choice of a free summer product with a purchase of a Stowaway Starter Kit. Use the code SUMMERTEA to scoop yours up.