Notes On Packing: Or, How Am I Going to Fit 1 Year of My Life in 3 Suitcases?

Luckily, I don’t have this much baggage. … Nearly, though.

Photo by kthread

I’ll be the first to admit that I have a problem. Well, maybe more like two or three problems. As I sit here on my bed surrounded by postcards, ticket stubs, half of pairs of socks, six pairs of jeans and books I never read while playing a game called TAKE, TOSS or STORE, my problems are impossible to ignore and borderline embarrassing. And the first step is admitting to that problem, right? Here goes.

Problem #1: I’m a chronic overpacker. Let me put it this way: I went home for three weeks at Christmas and came back with an extra bag, bringing my suitcase total up to 4. For the return trip, I’m attempting to limit myself to the use of two suitcases, while leaving one (the largest one) stored here for my return in the fall. This has made me realize that I own a lot of clothing… But I never have anything to wear. Huh, the conundrum of being a girl. This leads into…

Problem #1.5: I like having stuff. Now, I wouldn’t go so far as to say I’m materialistic, but I like things. When I get paid, I enjoy spending my money on clothes, books, magazines, shoes — pretty much, anything and everything I absolutely don’t need. I recognize this needs to stop, and recently it has, but not before I accumulated so much stuff in this apartment that I’m not sure what I’m going to do with it.

Photo by Drew Coffman

Problem #2: I’m a hoarder. The most difficult part of this packing extravaganza is sorting through everything I own, one year’s worth of stuff!, and deciding what to do with it. And guess what? I hate parting with nearly everything. I’ve managed to fill my bedroom in Michigan with movie ticket stubs, pictures I took in middle school of people I no longer talk to, magazines and random party favors. Spending a year in Europe has given me an extraordinary opportunity to collect useless brochures, un-sent postcards, train ticket stubs, cards/postcards/letters people sent to me and everything in between. In this case, I don’t keep these things just because I like them, but because it has true sentimental value to me. Tossing the souvenirs in the trash bag makes me sad.

So I sit here, surrounded by my life and memories of this year, with my apartment in shambles and I am perplexed. I’m not sure how I’m ever supposed to fit everything into a few suitcases, and I wonder how my assistant friends are faring with this packing business.

Photo by zenobia_joy

But mark my words: I’m going to get home and streamline this process for next year. First step, be able to strap my life on my back. Then… try to take over the world. Or something like that.

Do you have problems packing, too? Or do you think I’m insane? Let me know in the comments!

Until next time…

Author: Alaina

writer + explorer

8 thoughts on “Notes On Packing: Or, How Am I Going to Fit 1 Year of My Life in 3 Suitcases?”

  1. I am EXACTLY like you! Hahahaha. I kept all my ticket stubs from my European trips in 2007 and made a huge poster out of them when I cam ehome. Pretty cool, but unnecessary. Lol. And it’s ok, I understand your love for “stuff.”

    1. Glad I’m not the only one! ๐Ÿ™‚ I plan on making a probably equally as cool-but-also-somewhat-pointless scrapbook this summer.

  2. I get it. I’m usually pretty good when I’m actually on the move (although I will insist on buying books which I will then be unable to part with) but as soon as I stop its like all my possessions are breeding like rabbits while I’m not looking. Ridiculous. Good luck with squeezing it all in.

    1. That’s my problem, too – I’ve been essentially stationary for 9 months-ish, so my stuff is apparently breeding as well ๐Ÿ™‚ (good analogy btw!) Books are the bane of my existence, always have been. Thanks for the luck, I’ll need it!

  3. Have you ever been backpacking? It just might be the cure for over packing. I still have issues with over packing, but after two backpacking trips, I am much much better about it! I like your new layout, by the way.

    1. No, I have never been truly backpacking… and that’s my goal for next fall – to actually fit everything in one big backpack, and keep it that way! Thanks for the tip, it gives me hope… Hope that it’ll cure me ๐Ÿ™‚ And I’m glad you like my new layout – I do too! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. hahaha i laughed out loud when i read “what about you? do YOU have trouble packing for stuff” my first thought was “come ON alaina you already know the answer to that question.” but then i realized you write this blog to more people than just me ๐Ÿ™‚

    all i can say is, toss the shit you dont wear and the books you dont read. it will feel great afterwards. but dont toss the letters i sent you! haha we have to look back on those in 20 years and laugh our heads off ๐Ÿ™‚
    love you boo! good luck with everything!!!

    1. Haha, Hil! I love you! I’m glad that you actually typed this thought out to me instead of assuming I knew what you were thinking ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Anyway, that is some sound advice you give. However, it’s much more easily said than done. Already worked out the book issue, though. The clothes, that’s a bit more of a problem. Definitely not tossing the letters, cards, or anything people sent to me – don’t worry!!

      Love you too, so much! Thanks for the luck, I need it!

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