Packing is the bane of my life.
Even if I’m just going to sleep at Chris’s for a night or two I’ll always take way more than I need “just in case”. I honestly get anxiety about being away from my own room- what if I need something in it?!
Rather than doing the sensible thing and reasoning with myself why I won’t actually need 18 pairs of underware, 8 books and my entire makeup collection for one night away, I take it all with me.
I think I have a problem!
I do the same thing with my day to day handbag too; I carry everything in it but the kitchen sink…wait, can hand sanitizer technically class as the kitchen sink these days?
I genuinely think I have a fear of being away from home. I come from a working class family, so my parents never had any money to take me on holiday (none of us even own passports!) or go on the residential trips with school, so I’d never really spent any time away from home until I was 17/18.
I think the most annoying thing is I love traveling! I love going to new places and experiencing new things, I just get super homesick after a day or two and panic I don’t have everything I’ll need with me.
Hence the serious overpacking!
I’ve got much better over the last two years though, mostly because me and Abby went to so many gigs where we had to stay in a hotel for the night. We even went down to London for three days on our own- a massive achievement for two people with serious social anxiety!
I’m going on holiday to Wales tomorrow for a week and of course I tried to pack my whole wardrobe, makeup collection and bookshelf into one medium sized suitcase which was never going to fit.
So I did what I always do when I’m stressed: I made a fancy little checklist and I decided to make it available to anyone else who might struggle the same as I do.
Not only does this help me make sure I have everything I need, but there is a section to tick everything off a second time when you’re packing to come back- which helps make sure you don’t leave anything behind!
The reason I end up overpacking is because I let that little voice in my head go “yes but what if” way too much. Rather than letting separation anxiety win, ask yourself if you’re realistically going to need it or not.
If the answer isn’t a strong yes then leave it home.
Pack your case a few days before you’re due to leave. If you do it last minute you’ll be panicking about time and will just throw whatever is closest in: this means you’re a lot more likely to pack things you don’t need…and leave behind the things you do!
If you’re going away for longer than a few days but don’t want to take a giant suitcase with you, then you need to pack smart. Roll up your clothing rather than just the traditional folding: it lets you fit so much more into a smaller space!
Okay I’ve already mentioned this one but seriously- lists!
You can use my mine or just scribble it down on a bit of scrap paper; either way it will make your life so much easier!
Not into pen and paper?
Then use your phones Notes instead; it works just as well and you’re less likely to loose it if you’re prone to putting things in a “safe place”, which you can’t find when you actually need it!
Also if you get anxiety while travelling you can check out this post on how to help minimise it!
Do you love or hate packing for a holiday? Let me know!
A twenty-four-year-old autistic writer and designer from Sheffield. Tattoo obsessed, animal lover, self confessed bookworm and eclectic witch.