Minimal Packing – Clothes

How to pack only what’s necessary when travelling

It’s easy to pack too many clothes as it is hard to estimate how much you really need for a longer period of time. Additionally, I often don’t want to restrict myself to certain clothes and instead want to have a variety to choose from. However, it is so much wiser to limit the amount of clothes and travel with a lighter backpack. This way you can also buy clothes abroad and have something to remind you of the good times. By now, I know how to pack sensible and want to share my advice.

1. How long is my trip?

The first thing you should keep in mind is how long are you travelling for. This is an important question. Of course you need less for a weekend trip than for three weeks Indonesia. However, I think no matter how long your trip is, you shouldn’t bring clothes for more than two weeks or even less. If your trip is longer, you can always wash your clothes along the way. On the basis of this, I always make a rough plan you many tops and bottoms I might need.

2. What will the weather be like?

The next thing you should think about is of course the weather. What will the weather in general be like? Hot or cold? Also check the weather forecast for temperatures and rain. Logically, this determines what kind of clothes you need to bring.

3. What are my plans?

Of course it is also important to have a rough idea what you want to do abroad. Do you want to do sports or go hiking or prefer to relax at the beach and party in the clubs?

4. Are there any cultural restrictions?

It is advisable to discuss any cultural norms you might have to comply with. For example, Indonesia is a mainly Muslim country, so especially as a girl you should cover your shoulders and knees to not offend anyone. Sleeveless tops and hot pants would be rather inappropriate. If you’re not sure what is appropriate, take an example of the locals. I did so and especially in Java I would have felt rather naked in hot pants.

After considering the above you can start packing. Try everything on beforehand to see if it fits and if you feel comfortable in it. Pack only things you really enjoy and love. That spares you the feeling of “I’ve got nothing to wear”.

So here is everything that I’ve packed for three weeks travelling in Indonesia. We had planned an active vacation with a lot of nature and beach time and no clubbing.

Tops:

  • 1 longsleeved blouse
  • 5 T-shirts
  • 1 sport top
  • 1 Kimono-style cardigan (I would leave this one at home next time or only pack it if to cover my shoulders when bringing sleeveless tops)

Jackets:

  • 1 rain jacket
  • 1 fleece jacket (very handy for flights, airports and train journeys)

Bottoms:

  • 3 wide trousers
  • 1 Shorts
  • 1 Maxi skirt
  • 1 leggings for hiking

Shoes:

  • 1 pair of sneakers for long walks or hikes
  • 1 pair of sandals
  • 1 pair of flip flops

Other:

  • 1 Pyjama
  • underwear for one week
  • 2 bikinis

 

I am quite satisfied with the amount of clothing I’ve packed. Of course, I could have reduced the amount of T-shirts or trousers, but this way I felt comfortable and I didn’t have to wash too often.

What are your essentials when travelling? Do you have any tips for minimal packing? Leave them in the comments! 🙂

Decluttering my closet

Tips for a reduced wardrobe

It’s a reoccurring phenomenon: Every spring people feel the urge to do a spring clean and free themselves from unwanted things that clutter their life. Just like many others, I felt the need to sort out my closet.

The problem with my closet

When I watch all the decluttering my closet videos on YouTube, I still feel quite sensible with my amount of clothes. Compared to those walk in closets, my wardrobe looks quite tiny. However, I just don’t need as many clothes and can’t even wear them all.

Why do I do this?

In my opinion, I do have a big closet and it is full. I even have troubles fitting everything in. During the past year, I discovered minimalism and it is something I want to incorporate more into my lifestyle. So far, I haven’t really minimalised my belongings and I don’t want to reduce them to a certain number. At this point, I want to reduce my clothes to the pieces I really wear, need and like. I don’t need five cream sweaters! So I came up with some tips to get a minimalised wardrobe that represents your style and makes you truly happy.

Does it still fit?

The best way to sort out your closet is by trying everything on and making sure that it still fits you. Do not keep those jeans that are way too tiny, but you keep them just in case you might lose weight again. Clothes that we don’t wear only takes up space in our closet which could otherwise be used better and filled with clothes that you really like and wear.

Does it suit you?

Does a piece of clothing suit you and do you feel comfortable in it? Does it complement your features? If something doesn’t suit me, I won’t wear it. I will only intend to wear it but then change into something else. You can easily throw these pieces out of your wardrobe.

Do you like it?

Do you even like everything that is in your closet? Are there some pieces that have negative connotations for you? If it doesn’t make you happy, get rid of it!

When have you last worn it?

This is a question that you have to be really honest with you. I own a lot of clothing pieces that I really like and think they are cool, but I have never or rarely worn it. Like that velvet jumper I never found the occasion to wear. I recommend to get rid of those pieces even if you like them. If you have never worn it there might be something wrong with it and there is no point of keeping it.

What to do with the clothes?

So, after you went through your whole closet piece by piece, you might end up with a huge pile of clothing. The next step is to get rid of these things. In my opinion there are two options. Donate or sell. Donating might be the easiest and quickest way. I try selling first but so far, I haven’t been really successful. Ripped or washed out clothes you could throw away or reuse as a cloth for cleaning.

What you shouldn’t do

I hate it when YouTubers upload a “decluttering my closet” video and two weeks later that upload a huge haul. If your reason for sorting out the closet is trying out a more minimal lifestyle, then don’t buy new things afterwards. Instead, enjoy the newly won space in your wardrobe and how easy it is to look through your beloved clothing pieces!

If you’re interested in general advice on how to reduce your fashion consumerism, you should check out this blog post!

Packing the toiletries bag for travelling

How to avoid overpacking

As shampoo, conditioner and shower gel can be heavier, toiletries can easily increase the weight of your backpack or suitcase. Therefore, it is important – as with packing in general – to reduce the toiletries to only what is necessary but also to not forget something (although in most cases you can just buy the things at your destination). So I created a list with things that you should definitely pack and things that you might consider packing.

The essentials

In my opinion, these are the most basic essentials you should definitely have in your toiletries bag if you want to keep it very minimal. Depending on the length of your stay, you can use refillable smaller bottles for products like shampoo and shower gel.

  • Tooth brush & tooth paste: depending on the length of your flight, you should pack these two into your hand luggage
  • Shampoo
  • Shower gel
  • Sun screen: always use sun screen! Your skin will be grateful in the future.

What you might pack

This category contains items that might come in handy but you could probably also live without them.

  • Make-up remover – if you don’t bring any make-up on holiday, you obviously don’t need make-up remover
  • Cotton pads – they might come in handy for using make-up remover or cleaning your face. I’m using reusable cotton pads, so I don’t produce any extra waste on holiday and it also reduces the amount of cotton pads I need to pack.
  • Deodorant: might come in handy if you want to keep fresh on the go. I use a spray bottle because I don’t like the aerosol deodorants (I can’t breathe after using them) but I also don’t want to use a roller in sweaty armpits.
  • Conditioner: It’s more of a luxury product, but saltwater in combination with sun can be really drying my hair out.

What is likely to be forgotten?

  • Nail file: I have so often forgotten a nail file and then one of my nails split.

In general I would advise you to go through your morning and evening routine and think of all the products you use. Then think of the things that you really need or regularly use. You won’t need ten different kinds of moisturiser, peelings and oils. Stick to the basics. For example, I won’t bring a body lotion because the thought alone of a sticky body in a hot climate is daunting to me.

Here is everything that I’m packing in my toiletries bag:

For the body

  • Shampoo
  • Shower gel
  • Conditioner
  • Razor
  • Deodorant
  • Sun cream with a high SPF
  • Hand sanitizer

For the face:

  • Cotton buds without plastic
  • Cotton pads, washable and reusable
  • Eye make-up remover for waterproof make-up
  • Facial oil
  • Tooth brush
  • Tooth paste

Tools

  • Nail file
  • Manicure scissors
  • Hair brush
  • Hair ties

Always remember: You can buy almost everything everywhere (except your travelling to a deserted island). So, don’t overpack and rather leave things at home. You can buy things locally afterwards if it becomes apparent that you can’t live without them.