Low Stress & Last Minute: My One Hour, One Bag Packing Challenge

Planning quick summer getaways can be so much fun, but why is the packing so daunting? If you’re anything like me, packing doesn’t happen until the very last minute and I almost always need to run out for something to toss in my bag. Having been in this position countless times I can safely say that 1) I have figured out a convenient way to conquer last minute shopping, and 2) I have developed a method of packing that makes it much easier to get out the door with as little stress as possible.

 

The Challenge: One Hour. One Bag.

 Last week I visited my parents at the beach for Father’s Day. As I packed my bags I was immediately inspired to put myself to the test in hopes of shedding some light on how to conquer packing. For a real challenge, I gave myself one hour to drive into Old Town and grab everything I would need for my trip (side note: you would realistically need one or two items, but needing almost everything proves how amazing our local shops are). The kicker: it would have to fit in one large tote.

 

On Last Minute Shopping: Call Ahead.

Make a habit of shopping local and you’ll quickly realize that the folks who work at the local boutiques in Old Town, Alexandria become your pals.

The clock started ticking, so I jumped in my car and called a few boutiques on my way into town, a 10-minute drive. My stops included TSALT, The Hive, and The Shoe Hive. On the phone I let them know my size, style, and precisely what I was looking for. When I arrived the staff had already pulled options for me to select, try on, and purchase. I spent no more than 15 minutes at each store. This whole process saved me so much time! Calling the stores ahead of time was half the battle and I sincerely hope more of you take advantage of this because time is of the essence these days. Put all of your stores on speed dial!

 

On Packing: The Method to the Madness.

Now, onto the other half of my battle: packing. Packing can be very simple if you choose items within a similar color story. I suggest starting with an item that contains a print or pattern. From there, choose the remainder of your items by pulling colors within that print/pattern. You can also pull complementary colors. You’ll quickly realize that everything works together, i.e., a color story.

When it comes to styling looks for your trip, do not be afraid to repeat pieces. No one notices when you double up because how you style the piece makes all the difference! P.S., if necessary, hand wash and hang to dry before re-wearing.

How do you fit all of this into one large tote? Easy. Stick to lightweight items and roll them tightly, which also helps reduce wrinkling. Wear all of the heavy stuff on your travel days (sneaks, jacket tied around your waist, hat, etc.).

If I still have your attention, my biggest secret when it comes to styling looks for a trip is planning out exactly what I’m going to wear for everything on the itinerary. If you follow the four rules above, you’ll find that you pack less, you’re less stressed on your trip, and you’re more prepared. Need a visual? Check out how I did it below!

 


TSALT: (30 percent off): Smythe Blouse, Paige Straight Leg Jeans (in store) & Jean Jacket (in store), Kempton&Co Bag (in store), Jenny Bird Earrings (in store)
The Hive: Janessa Leon Hat, Illesteva Sunglasses, Hair Elastics (in store)
The Shoe Hive: Tretorn Sneaks, Donni Pearl Sunglasses Chain (in store)

 

TSALT: (30 percent off, not including Catherine Osti) Brochu Walker Tank, Paige Straight Leg Jeans (in store), Catherine Osti Clutch (in store), Jenny Bird Earrings (in store)
The Hive: Reversible Scarf (in store), Donnie Tie (in store)
The Shoe Hive: Stuart Weitzman Heels (new-in store)

 

TSALT: (30 percent off, not including Secrid Wallet) Smythe Shorts, Paige T-Shirt, Secrid Wallet (in store)
The Hive: Janessa Leon Hat, Illesteva Sunglasses, Donni Tie (in store)
The Shoe Hive: Tretorn Sneaks, Donni Pearl Sunglasses Chain (in store)

 

TSALT: (30 percent off) Nanushka Cover Up
The Hive: Janessa Leon Hat, Illesteva Sunglasses, Hair Elastics (in store)
The Shoe Hive: TKEES Flip Flops (in store), Donni Pearl Sunglasses Chain (in store)

 

TSALT: (30 percent off): Smythe Blouse, Paige Jeans (in store), Jenny Bird Earrings (in store)
The Shoe Hive: Stuart Weitzman Heels (new-in store)

 

TSALT: (30 percent off) Paige T-Shirt, Jean Jacket (in store) & Jeans (in store), Jenny Bird Hoops (in store)
The Hive: Janessa Leon Hat and Hair Elastics (in store)
The Shoe Hive: Tretorn Sneaks

 

TSALT: (30 percent off) Smythe Shorts, Brochu Walker Tank, Jenny Bird Earrings (in store)
The Hive: Reversible Scarf (in store) and Donni Tie (in store)
The Shoe Hive: Stuart Weitzman Heels (in store) and Donni Pearl Sunglasses Chain (in store)

 

TSALT: (30 percent off) Paige T-shirt, Jean Jacket (in store) and Straight Leg Jeans (in store) and Kempton&Co Bag (in store)
The Hive: Janessa Leon Hat and Illesteva Sunglasses
The Shoe Hive: Tretorn Sneaks and Donni Pearl Sunglasses Chain (in store)

 

  • The latest from Ali
Ali’s greatest passion is empowering women to look and feel their best. With this mission in mind she launched her personal styling business, ALH Style. On a daily basis you’ll find Ali cleaning out closets, shopping for clients, or creating lookbooks for the busy professional women of D.C. and Alexandria. Starting a fashion-based business from scratch has given Ali an eye for marketing. She’s now also managing TSALT’s social media, styling their new product shoots, and promoting their fun and fabulous brands to women in the DMV. Ali has lived in Alexandria, Virginia for eight years. She met her husband Cameron here, and they have a precious daughter, Cavin, and two little yorkies, Ollie and Lou.

TSALT is a boutique that has developed a dual concept of producing private label styles along with complimentary brands that embody the same vision ~ women who are looking for chic and sophisticated clothing that will travel well and compliment their busy lives.

www.tsaltstyle.com

106 North Saint Asaph Street
Alexandria VA 22314

703.664.0585

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