Capsule Packing for Las Vegas

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I’ve always enjoyed packing a suitcase or overnight bag.  The planning, the organization, the list making – everything that goes into packing makes me feel like I’m getting ready for the first day of school.  I guess packing gives me a sense of control, which isn’t something I crave in my every day life (I’m not exactly a type A personality).

But packing as a family of 4 takes on a whole new level because now I am trying to be as minimalist as possible.

Okay, I’ll be honest, you can’t really pack minimally with kids.  I mean even if you are going away for 6 days you still have to pack 12 days worth of clothes.  Well 15 because you need back up clothes for your back up clothes 😂.  With more than one kid, diapers, wipes and all the other stuff kids are comfortable with, that could take up an entire checked luggage.

So when we starting planning for our 1st multi-generational vacation I knew that going with more than one checked suit case was more then we could handle.  I mean we have only so many hands and carry ons and backpacks work better with umbrella strollers and babies in carriers.

I had to get creative and decided to plan all outfits (included back ups of back ups), pare down the number of shoes I normally take and research as many ways as possible to be as lean as possible with our packing.

I was pretty happy with myself when all we had was one large checked luggage, one carry on luggage and one backpack for 6 days!

I figure I’d share my capsule wardrobe for Las Vegas.  Mind you I didn’t do any clubbing but considering the girls’ grand parents were with us I did plan in case we would be able to get out (we didn’t – the time difference didn’t make for easy for evenings).

Daytime outfits were needed for hanging out at the strip, shopping, checking out the free hotel attractions, going to the gym and taking a day trip to go hiking.  Evening outfits were normally just for dinners (restaurant or buffet).

I was able to make 13 outfits from the following pieces:
– 4 fancy tops
– 1 tank top
– 2 t-shirts
– 1 button up
– 1 black skirt
– 1 light weight jacket
– 2 pairs of shorts
– 2 pairs of leggings (1 was vegan leather)
– 1 pair of gym crops
– 2 gym tops
– 2 bathing suits
Accessories included: wide brim fedora, chocker, handkerchief
4 pairs of shoes (runners, converse, mid heal sandal and flip flops – should have left the converse at home).

What started out as way to save space in our luggage actually turned out to be an efficient and quick way to get dressed for different activities on our trip.

Have you tried capsule/minimalist packing on a trip?

My Buy Nothing Challenge

The other day I watched the documentary Minimalism.  And after it finished I immediately wanted to watch it again.  I guess lately I feel like a fly on the wall looking at all the STUFF at big box stores, grocery stores or even my own home.

….Maybe because I have two kids now and there is a lot of clutter in our play area and basement (although the Hubz and I find it really refreshing to rotate out the toys, but still the boxes of toys downstairs have got to go), or maybe because I am becoming more in tune with how much I create vs consume or maybe I am thinking about our environment (well always thinking not enough doing on my part) or maybe just the thought of Christmas  gift giving/wrapping paper is giving me anxiety or maybe I just need to change, somethings’ got to change.

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The movie essentially says that we can lead more meaningful lives with less.  I am glad that they had a father of six give his perspective, a couple with two young children give their experiences and even a husband and wife who admit that their son is more ok with being minimalist than their daughter.

I think Miss S is almost at the age where she is realizing she gets stuff (presents, gifts from abroad, loot bag goodies etc) but from the beginning I’ve tried to teach her also about giving back.  But we definite balance out what she is playing with vs what she actually receives.

It’s also got me thinking about people bringing gifts for the birthday parties we’ll host and celebrate this year.  I mean, I know the only thing I remember from my birthday parties as a kid was cutting the cake and playing with my friends – so maybe there is an opportunity to teach our children something here also.

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As for me, I want to try something new.  I would love to do Project 333 but my postpartum body needs a minute.  I think a reasonable goal would be to cut down on unnecessary spending.  I will challenge myself for the next 3 months (Jun 1 through to Aug 31) to not BUY anything for MYSELF.  It’s unrealistic for me to go cold turkey so I have a few rules that I will follow:

  • food is OK (as in groceries obviously)
  • toiletries / costs associated with self care is OK (Vitamins or Physio as an example)
  • paying for experiences is OK (costs associated with travel, day trips, photo printing, events, date nights or activities)

And to be clear, items that I normally buy for myself which are not allowed during this challenge are: nail polish, make up, shoes, clothes, jewelry, craft / stationary supplies (this will be hard)

Wish me luck :)