The end of summer is both bittersweet and a relief – come on admit it! We are creatures of habit – we like order. Yes we like sunshine, barbecues, outdoor sports and sand in the car (not really), but there is something settling about settling back into a Fall routine. Knowing that you aren’t packing a beach bag, picnic basket, boat bag, backpack, golf bag, tennis bag and on and on.
Don’t get me wrong – I love all of my activities just like you – but honestly, shortly into the summer haze, I feel like a bag lady!! Do you remember the George Carlin routine about STUFF? According to Carlin, the meaning of life is trying to find a place for all of your stuff with your house being just a pile of stuff with a cover on it. Very funny stuff – take the time to watch below – perhaps while you are folding your stuff.
If you were visiting or moving back and forth between houses, vacation homes, winter homes, log cabins, yurts, tents, or mobile cruisers this summer you know it has been all about your stuff. Did you stay at someone else’s house? No doubt you had to deal with their stuff, almost worse than dealing with yours.
Are you currently getting ready for vacation and stuffing your stuff into anything you can get your hands on? Are you thinking of buying one of those magic vacuum bags so you can make your stuff smaller and then bring more stuff? Are you sick of the word stuff yet? Are you sick of your own stuff?
What to bring, what to wear, what fits, what washes well, what line dries without attracting the bears, what you can wear for a week without washing! So many decisions – oh crap – just bring all your stuff!
No, don’t do it! You’ll be forever sorry. I remember the first time I seriously over-packed. I was headed to Europe with my brother and the plan was to travel from country to country for 3 weeks using a Eurail Pass and sleeping on the trains at night while we moved about the continent.
What the hell were we thinking? Off we went with 2 large over stuffed, heavy, hard Samsonites! Oh, great idea – let’s bring ALL our stuff, let’s pack and unpack ALL our stuff nightly, let’s haul ass ALL our stuff up and down the train steps and lets embrace the daggers as we knock the heck out of everyone’s knees while we attempt to walk down the aisle of the train with all our stuff. Oh yes, then there are the taxis and the walk-ups.
We lasted 2 days and found our way to La Poste, where we packed up our stuff and shipped it the heck home! Voila – somehow we made it through 6 more countries on less than a dozen things each!
If you have been travelling around this summer, you can relate to moving your stuff, missing your stuff, washing your stuff, packing your stuff, sleeping on your stuff and tripping over your stuff.
Seriously, the cavemen used to wear animal hides that were blanched in water and oak tree oil to make the skins smell better – pretty basic ‘stuff’. So how did we go from being minimalists to being excessive consumers? Too big a question for this page, but here is what I have found from a lengthy summer of moving around.We don’t need one-third of that stuff!
My parents both faced some pretty serious health issues this summer which required me traveling between states a few times per week, sleeping in hospitals, childhood bedrooms (is that mattress really 30 years old – help me!), relatives homes, hotels and the list goes on. Here is what floated to the top.
You just don’t need that much stuff to function! I found myself perfectly content, and well-enough dressed by lugging one Vera Bradley shoulder bag filled with the same few things – over and over, trip after trip.
- Toiletry bag
- Cosmetic bag
- Boyfriend jeans and a pair of dark wash skinny jeans
- Gladiator sandals & a pair of flats
- Something to sleep in
- Underwear including one black and one white under-liner
- Something resembling a casual t-shirt and something resembling a blouse
- A sweater
- Belt, 2 necklaces, watch, rings and a few stacking bracelets
- A scarf for a pop of color or if there was a chill forecasted in the emergency room.
Let me help you out here, it is time to institute the 2 ‘F’ Rule!
Flattering means…does it fit; is the style current, is it age appropriate, does it even match who you are right now or what you plan to do over the course of your travels?
Functioning means…is it currently functional or dysfunctional? If it hasn’t seen the light of day in 10 years then I certainly don’t think it is going to be the first thing you pull out for your next trip abroad. And if it is not going to function then it is just a waste of real estate in your suitcase, to say nothing of the added weight (which could cost you big time depending on the airline).
The next time you are pulling together items to move about the country with, ask yourself, does it fit and will it function. If the 2 F’s do not apply, then get it the ‘F’ out of the bag!! Less is more girlfriend!You are now free to move about the country – without your stuff!
Book a complimentary Boost Your Image Breakthrough Session with me. We’ll chat about your stuff and what to do with it!
Doreen Dove empowers women to use style as a tool to take strategic control of their image. She is an image consultant, personal stylist and professional speaker.
Her extensive background in all aspects of retail has uniquely qualified her to work with women of all ages and professions, coaching them to personal style success. www.DoreenDove.com