stowaway: packing a minimalist weekend bag.

June 18, 2015

stowaway: packing a minimalist weekend bag | reading my tea leaves 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:
stowaway: packing a minimalist weekend bag | reading my tea leaves 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.
stowaway: packing a minimalist weekend bag | reading my tea leaves 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.
stowaway: packing a minimalist weekend bag | reading my tea leaves 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.
stowaway: packing a minimalist weekend bag | reading my tea leaves 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.
stowaway: packing a minimalist weekend bag | reading my tea leaves 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: packing a minimalist weekend bag | reading my tea leaves 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: packing a minimalist weekend bag | reading my tea leaves Stowaway‘s new summer products launched yesterday and the goods are good. There’s their new fig creme lipstickcanteloupe 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.

This post was sponsored by Stowaway Cosmetics. Thanks so much for supporting the smart, innovative businesses like Stowaway that help Reading My Tea Leaves thrive. 

You Might Also Like

49 Comments

  • Reply Hannah S June 18, 2015 at 1:51 pm

    Love this. Where is your weekend bag from?

  • Reply Francesca June 18, 2015 at 2:03 pm

    Sandal in your shoe bag… info please. I like what I see so far.

  • Reply Emily June 18, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    Where did you get your drawstring bags? What a great idea! I always cringe at the thought of putting shoes in my suitcase.

    • Reply Erin June 18, 2015 at 2:47 pm

      I've had really good luck saving the cloth bags that things like shoes and baby clothes come in! (The one in the photo was used to wrap my leather bag!) We have a little collection of six or so by this point! But you can also do a search on Etsy to find similar ones!

    • Reply admin June 18, 2015 at 2:47 pm

      I've had really good luck saving the cloth bags that things like shoes and baby clothes come in! (The one in the photo was used to wrap my leather bag!) We have a little collection of six or so by this point! But you can also do a search on Etsy to find similar ones!

  • Reply Smidge June 18, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    Would be lovely if Stowaway delivered to the UK 🙁 The products look lovely.

    • Reply Erin June 18, 2015 at 3:02 pm

      I think they're working on it! Stay tuned!

    • Reply admin June 18, 2015 at 3:02 pm

      I think they're working on it! Stay tuned!

  • Reply Anonymous June 18, 2015 at 3:45 pm

    Smaller sizes also means more packaging ends up in the landfill. Is Stowaway's packaging easily recyclable (or even compostable)?

    • Reply Erin June 18, 2015 at 4:03 pm

      Hey there: I think with things like shampoo and conditioner that's definitely the case, and cosmetics do have a waste problem in general, but the idea behind these smaller sizes is that they'll create *less* waste, not more! Compostable packaging would be ideal, wouldn't it?

    • Reply admin June 18, 2015 at 4:03 pm

      Hey there: I think with things like shampoo and conditioner that's definitely the case, and cosmetics do have a waste problem in general, but the idea behind these smaller sizes is that they'll create *less* waste, not more! Compostable packaging would be ideal, wouldn't it?

  • Reply Melissa June 18, 2015 at 4:19 pm

    Out of curiosity – do you/have you used their BB cream? If so, which shade do you use? I'm thinking I'm between shades (and may/may not be seriously considering buying the kit + free lipstick, so: props to them for sponsoring you/you for having them as a sponsor, because seems smart all around), and if you use fair then i'm almost definitely light but if you use light then I imagine that would work for me as well….

    • Reply Erin June 18, 2015 at 4:28 pm

      Yes! I use the fair! (I would have probably chosen the light had I not been steered in the right direction by Chelsa—co-founder and makeup whiz!)

    • Reply admin June 18, 2015 at 4:28 pm

      Yes! I use the fair! (I would have probably chosen the light had I not been steered in the right direction by Chelsa—co-founder and makeup whiz!)

  • Reply Anonymous June 18, 2015 at 4:47 pm

    I still can't thank you enough for introducing me to Stowaway! I got my first kit last month and I haven't even made a dent in them even with daily wear. I mix the BB cream with my Devita daily SPF and it works great. The concealer is also the best I've ever used. Love having a perfect little "get up and go" makeup pack.

  • Reply Emma June 18, 2015 at 6:05 pm

    What great tips! I love the idea of using small bags-genius!

  • Reply Laura June 18, 2015 at 6:14 pm

    I'm all about the travel-sized toiletries. And as much as I try to be eco-friendly, I find that refillable bottles don't really work for me. I can never remember what product is in what bottle, and I end up having to clean out and refill, and it's annoying. So, I "splurge" on mini products I might never buy full-size.

    • Reply Anonymous September 9, 2015 at 9:50 am

      I actually reuse mini bottles from Bodyshop, and it's easy to distinguish what's what since it says on the label if it contains shampoo or conditioner, even if it's no longer the same brand of shampoo or conditioner.

      Mo

  • Reply Kayleigh June 18, 2015 at 6:51 pm

    Where is the canvas bag from that you put your makeup in?

    • Reply Erin June 19, 2015 at 12:05 am

      Archival Clothing from a few years ago! They still have other great pouches in stock though!

    • Reply admin June 19, 2015 at 12:05 am

      Archival Clothing from a few years ago! They still have other great pouches in stock though!

  • Reply Mary June 18, 2015 at 8:30 pm

    Have you liked the new mascara? I'm loving all of my Stowaway products except the mascara… it gets crazy smudgy and I inevitably find myself in the lou looking like a raccoon wondering why no one has told me I've gone the route of the robber mask. But I LOVE everything else! Just curious :). Then I could completely and unabashedly recommend Stowaway to every woman I know.

    • Reply Erin June 18, 2015 at 9:45 pm

      Yes! I agree that I started to notice the old one falling a little bit after a long day—though I've avoided the robber mask look so far—but the new mascara is seriously awesome. I've been wearing it for the last week and have seen a huge improvement. Will be buying again!

    • Reply Mary June 19, 2015 at 12:36 am

      Awesome! Thanks!!

    • Reply admin June 18, 2015 at 9:45 pm

      Yes! I agree that I started to notice the old one falling a little bit after a long day—though I've avoided the robber mask look so far—but the new mascara is seriously awesome. I've been wearing it for the last week and have seen a huge improvement. Will be buying again!

  • Reply Roxanne June 18, 2015 at 9:34 pm

    Where'd you get the little drawstring bags? (Or maybe you've just been collecting them from various places over the years!)

    • Reply Erin June 18, 2015 at 9:46 pm

      Collected from other things over the years! But you can definitely scoop them up on Etsy, etc.!

    • Reply admin June 18, 2015 at 9:46 pm

      Collected from other things over the years! But you can definitely scoop them up on Etsy, etc.!

  • Reply Steph June 18, 2015 at 9:42 pm

    Great tips!

  • Reply Stacy Rutherford June 18, 2015 at 11:09 pm

    I feel like we are much the same with packing. Either over-packing or forgetting things in the name of traveling light. This line made me laugh: " I can easily convince myself to pack another book or to tuck my laptop into my bag at the last minute." Last time I visited my parents for the weekend (to see a baseball game, no less), I brought 3 books. One day I'll get it right! The stowaway cosmetics look beautiful! Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply evencleveland June 19, 2015 at 2:10 pm

    Since airlines have gotten so crazy with carry-on rules, I've found myself appreciating the luxury of getting to take a little more than I need whenever I travel by car or train (I'm enjoying it while I can, since once the kiddo arrives, there will have to be adjustments).

    I covet that tiny makeup! I hope Stowaway adds some verbal descriptions/recommendations for their shades in the future, or maybe starts offering some teeny tiny testers. I've built a kit 4-5 times, but I can't bring myself to buy it. I just feel too uncertain about the colors.

    • Reply Erin June 19, 2015 at 3:21 pm

      Ah, I know! Internet make-up purchases are tricky! But you can definitely email products@stowawaycosmetics.com for advice on colors! I sent a photo and Chelsa led me in the right direction!

    • Reply admin June 19, 2015 at 3:21 pm

      Ah, I know! Internet make-up purchases are tricky! But you can definitely email products@stowawaycosmetics.com for advice on colors! I sent a photo and Chelsa led me in the right direction!

  • Reply Anonymous June 19, 2015 at 9:09 pm

    I tried to buy the stowaway starter kit but the code from here didn't work with it! It wouldn't even let you go to the next checkout step. I tried to call them at the number they list within their business hours but it went straight to voicemail. If you have any feedback, that would be great!

    • Reply Erin June 19, 2015 at 9:10 pm

      Oh darn it! Definitely send me a note and I will connect you to the right people!

    • Reply admin June 19, 2015 at 9:10 pm

      Oh darn it! Definitely send me a note and I will connect you to the right people!

  • Reply Krista June 25, 2015 at 2:15 pm

    I also tried to use the code, but it said that it could not be applied to purchases less than or equal to $86 (but, the starter kit is $75). Advice?

    • Reply Erin June 25, 2015 at 3:52 pm

      Hi Krista! Update from the Stowaway team: in order to use the code, you need to add the extra item to your cart—a lipstick for instance—and then the discount will kick in! Let me know if that makes sense!

    • Reply Krista June 25, 2015 at 6:41 pm

      Thanks – that did work!

    • Reply admin June 25, 2015 at 3:52 pm

      Hi Krista! Update from the Stowaway team: in order to use the code, you need to add the extra item to your cart—a lipstick for instance—and then the discount will kick in! Let me know if that makes sense!

  • Reply Anonymous September 9, 2015 at 9:59 am

    I actually have a perpetual packing list on my iPhone, which let's you tick and untick items as you go. Right now the unticked items (as in items that I need to pack but haven't packed yet) contain things like slippers (as I'm going to my dad's, where I need them), pyjamas, clothes, electronics and toiletries. Hidden items are things like ball gown and dance shoes (as I'm not going to a ball) and professional wear (as it's not a business trip). Makes packing for different occations easy.

    Mo

  • Reply Brittney September 22, 2017 at 2:55 pm

    Hi Erin! I love your toiletry bag – do you remember where it’s from?

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE September 22, 2017 at 2:59 pm

      Oh thanks! I love it too, but it’s from the now-shuttered Archival!

    Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    Comments are moderated.