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How to Pack Light

How to Pack Light

a short stack of my favorite japanese notebooks with pencil case 

Welcome to the second installment of our Well Organized Life series, where we showcase our favorite tools and techniques for... what's that? A well organized life! Today our focus is how to pack light for a practical day's use.

Keep Reading If:

  • Every day you leave the house with enough gear to survive a week on the road
  • Your daily-use bag is heavy and full of stuff you might use but rarely do
  • You appreciate efficiency but also fun

When I think about packing light, I think about carrying only what I know I'll use during an outing. A lot of times I find myself getting ready to grab a coffee at the cafe down the street and suddenly realize I've put about ten pounds worth of extra stuff in my tote bag. Am I really going to read three different books while I'm out for an hour tops? Do I need my laptop and all my notebooks? Do I wanna walk around with all that stuff in case I decide to go somewhere else? Not this time, no.

What I've learned to do is be stern with myself (does lugging all this bring me joy?) — pick one book, bring something to write in, bring your pencil case, wallet, headphones, keys, and go. 

Something that really helps to prevent me from bringing tons of needless stuff is the size of my bag. When I'm carrying gear for work and a full day out, I have my backpack and its modular cases (as discussed in our last installment). But when I'm just going out on my day off, I carry a little tote bag. Even though I could carry a lot more in that little bag, I want most of all to be comfortable. I pack light.

Here's a nice example of a light pack for an afternoon out. Let's say we're going out to get coffee, do a bit of writing, stop at the library, enjoy lunch in the park.


packing light for a day's errands with notebooks and tote


Ok, what do we have? Two notebooks, a planner, a zip case, pens & pencils, pencil case / wallet, umbrella, extra shopping tote if we suddenly need to carry something big, small pouch (for coins, lip balm, or earbuds), and our tote bag.


packing the contents of your bag before putting them in your bag. yes. 


Our tote bag is spacious with wide straps, but putting like items into cases and flat zip pouches beforehand will keep everything tidy if and when you need to put more stuff in (like a few library books) later.


putting cute items in a baggu tote bag 


Looking good!


 our tote bag is all packed for an afternoon adventure!


This tote is called a Shopper and is big enough to carry a lot. The potential is attractive, isn't it? But hey, just because you can carry more doesn't mean you should. Reprising a rule of thumb from last post, we don't need to carry every thing we might need. We carry what we know we will use.


study inspiration! writers desk! our favorite notebooks in action


 What are your necessary items in a light pack?


Japanese notebooks have great quality and design


See you at our next installment of A Well Organized Life series! ^~^/

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1 comment

  • Brittney

    I’m enjoying this series immensely. I downsized to a very small day bag for everyday use and can attest to how great the Baggu shopper is. It can carry a lot while remaining comfortable on the shoulder and looks really great.

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