May 12, 2016

Travel Light Grid System 5 Step Process


In my bag, packing for a California weekend getaway for a Spring holiday.

Awhile back I referenced my travel light grid system in a packing post, and a few of your had questions so I thought I’d take today to explain it a little further. Let’s get into it, shall we?

The travel light grid system I am talking about just refers to the organizational method I’ve developed for packing for a trip. It involves dividing your bed (easiest) or any other flat surface into a grid where the days span horizontally and the people vertically. I know it sounds really complicated and scary when I call it a grid system, but I promise it’s one of the easiest and most efficient ways to look at packing (while still remaining stylish). It looks something like this:

Travel light grid system, an easy and visual way to pack light for any amount of days and any amount of people.

Each row of the grid represents a person, while each column represents a day. Here are some easy steps to further break it down:

  1. Choose your surface
    I prefer somewhere large and flat, so often I use our (king size) bed. You could also use the floor or a couch depending on how many people you are packing for and how much space you actually need.
  2. Imagine the Grid
    In your head, imagine the amount of columns and rows you will need. In the example above I am packing for 4 people, for a 5-day trip. You can even coordinate family outfits for each day or activity.
  3. Plan Ahead
    Check the weather and take note of any activities you will do on each day. Sometimes if our trip is really busy, I’ll put a post it at the foot of each column to remind me of what I should pack for.
  4. Start with the Basics
    I don’t pack a new outfit for everyday. I start with basics like jeans and other items that can be reworn, then fill in with the other stuff like tops or specialty items (swimwear, etc.), and lastly intimates.
  5. Take One Last Look (or a Photo)
    Eyeball everything as you have it laid out and visualize each day. I like to snap a photo on my phone so I can remember what each person should wear on each day. It makes it easier to get dressed while traveling too.

Any questions? I’d be happy to answer in the comments below. Do you have a special type of system you use for packing light?

Expand Comments

I thought I was a light packing pro until I tried your grid method. Amazing! Taking the time to arrange and lay out specific daily outfits makes all the difference. Bravo! (ps GREAT blog)

[…] important to plan your items ahead to make the most of available space. I love to utilize my travel light grid system as it works for every single trip I’ve ever been on. It makes packing quick and effortless […]

[…] coordinate with your other packed items. Because I use my travel light grid system when I pack, I know what outfits I will wear ahead of time. I know which bags I’m packing, […]

[…] organize them in columns and rows by day and activity. I always use the same system, I call my travel grid to lay my items out by day and outfit. It makes it really easy to see exactly what you’re […]

[…] your travel outfit ahead. In the grid step of my packing process, I actually include my travel outfit in the first day’s square. My […]

[…] Pack all of your items at once with my grid system. […]

You’re like a professional packer on the side too? right? Lol I always go with basics but that leaves me with a pair of white jeans, distressed jeans, regular jeans and then about 3 white t-shirts and some dresses and 5 pairs of shoes. I need serious packing help!

How perfect is this?! I’m going on a quick trip this weekend and will use this guide!! <3
Amanda |

This is great advice. You always seem to have well packed suitcases based on your photos! I need to learn how to compress everything better xx Adaleta Avdic

cool! i haven’t tried this before. Doing it for my next trip!
Southern Elle Style

You are so organized and efficient with your packing!! I am impressed! I try to pack so that I can rewear some of the items but I am not nearly as organized about it as you! Great tip!
Charlene The Frugal Fashionista

great tips, i always pack way too much!!

This is probably the most genius thing I’ve ever seen!!

Taylor |

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