How to Overpack Effectively

I am no master packer, but thanks to the worldwide web (aka google and pinterest) it is easy to find the master packers out there. I am pretty horrible at packing light so the prospect of packing for four months away has been pretty daunting. I am driving distance away from NYU so I usually have the whole back of an SVU when I pack for school (this hasn’t helped my packing skills). Now that I’m flying across the atlantic ocean to go to school my packing space is much much smaller and I still have to pack for 2 to 3 seasons. I’ll be bringing two medium sized (25in) checked suitcases along with my Stella & Dot weekender as a carry on. Two checked bags is more than most people bring, but my airline had a good deal on a second checked bag so I decided it would be safer to do two bags instead of one giant one that could easily go over the weight limit. 
I’ve spent the last month searching for the best packing (specifically study abroad packing) tips so that I could fit my whole closet all the essentials in my suitcases and I thought I’d share some of them with you all. 
Ahead of time:
– Use the hanger flipping method to find out what you actually wear and what you don’t so you know what isn’t worth packing. 
– Find out specifically the climate of where you are going and the amount it rains. My friends going to Prague had to pack plenty of boots, but I’m only bringing one ‘snow proof’ pair of boots. 
– Only buy new clothes that replace old ones. That means if you buy a new pair of jeans you must get rid of a pair of jeans (I know I know this is a hard one). 
Before Packing:
– This may seem obvious, but plan to wear your heaviest pieces on the plan. I’m planning on wearing my biggest/heaviest boots and bringing my biggest jacket as a pillow. 
– Make a list of the pieces that you know are your must-haves without looking in your closet or drawers. These are the most important pieces to pack!
– The Rule of Threes is a smart guideline. The rule of threes means if you cannot wear a piece in at least three different outfits don’t bring it. Try to follow this as much as possible, but it’s ok if you have one or two of your favorite pieces that only work one way (as long as you know you’ll wear them). 
– Cut down on the shoes. To be honest picking shoes has been the hardest part of my packing (but you probably already knew that…), but the most important part of shoe packing is picking practical shoes. What that means is brining comfortable shoes that you actually like. I’m not someone who will wear sneakers or tevas for everyday wear, so my version of practical is comfortable brown flats, flat sandals, and ankle boots (plus a few more shoes). 
While Packing:
– Lay out everything you plan to put in your suitcase and organize it by type and weight so that you can roll effectively.
– After laying everything you want to bring out write a list of all of it and then cross off what you don’t actually need. I’m not one for the get rid of 50% of what you think you want method because I usually weed things out as I start planning. 
– Roll your clothes the right way and when you are done organize them in packing cubes or ziploc bags so that the rolled pieces don’t unroll.
– Line the bottom of your suitcase (where the awkward indents from the handle are) with shoes. 
– Stuff roomier shoes with socks to keep their shape and use less space. 
What do you think of these packing tips? Have you all used any of them before? I would love to hear any of your packing tips!
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