My daughter is incredibly organized in thought and action. And she love, love, LOVES to pack! Go figure.
As for me, it is the the most challenging piece of travel plans whether I am going away over night or for a week at a time. I am guilty of taking too much. And, because I dread it, I put it off until the last minute and end up taking too much. I am a work in progress. Even the most organized people have their achilles heels.
Let me share with you the first and most important pearl of wisdom which has made travel packing more bearable for me. Whenever possible, DO NOT wait until the last minute to pack!!
Secondly, I have found it helpful to replenish toiletries and essentials upon my return from a trip. Sounds obvious, but there are so many things begging for your attention upon returning home and the empty shampoo bottle, missing razor, and the item you wish you had thought to bring go unnoticed until the next trip when, in the rush, they are left out and you arrive to your destination without them.
Yes, you can always buy them where you are going, but expect to pay too much and to settle for a less than favorite brand or to do without. Not the end of the world which has much bigger problems than hairy legs, but let us not forget the butterfly effect. A happy ripple in the pond of life is preferable to irritability!
Finally, make a list that you can keep with your luggage or in your phone. Add to it, delete from it, take photos of outfits that travel well. And, use it faithfully when packing!
Here are a few of my favorite things for travel:
Hanging organizer bags with pockets (Container Store, Target)
Mini lotions and potions (The Body Shop has amazing sales on these)
Individual laundry soap packets (a huge fan)
Travel set of super essential items...i.e., tooth brush and comb
Packing cubes (Container Store, Amazon)
Extra memory card and charging cables for my camera gear