How to pack for 6 months and 3 seasons in one backpack

Coco Chanel once said, “A girl should be two things — classy and fabulous.” I am confident looking at my pile of 12 t-shirts, 6 pants, 3 shorts, etc. that for the next 7 months I will be neither both, Kiwi style. Packing is a stressor in my everyday life. I stress when I pack my lunch. And today I finished packing 6 months of my life into a backpack. Did I mention when I am in New Zealand I will experience three seasons– winter to summer?

How did I do it?

Check it out.

I like the garbage bag approach as a starting point. Take all potential items and throw into a pile. Bonus points for ruffling up t-shirts as they are about to get very, VERY wrinkly. Once you get to this step you start weeding out the “meh” items you can do without. (This may not be a lot, I managed to say goodbye to 3 t-shirts. The rest I stubbornly refused to do without.)

Now let me introduce you to your new best friends…plastic bags. Gallon size. Freezer quality.

You can foldroll, shove up to 9 t-shirts into a gallon size. How? Put it in and get on top of the sucker. Push all the air out and zip up tight.

Remember the vacuum space bags? Same concept. Bet you didn’t know that the only technology you need to accomplish this level of smooshing is your booty. For an even more impressive level of organization, group items that are similar together. I had a short sleeve bag, long sleeve bag, workout gear, etc.

Here’s the end result.

And here’s my niece modeling the pack. Yes, it all fit inside. 3 jeans and 3 pairs of shoes included.

Items that didn’t make it into my 6 month backpack? Blowdryer, curling iron, flatiron. Which means Classy and Fabulous will continue to be redefined once I touch down in Middle Earth.

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