Packing for a trip and simplifying my life

We’re heading out on a two-week trip to Scandinavia very soon, so I’ve started planning and prepping the clothes I’m going to take.

First things first – keep it simple. And last things last – keep it simple.

Easy enough, right? Oh, I forgot to mention. Whatever I bring has to also be: comfortable, able to coordinate with everything else, fit neatly in my smaller suitcase on this trip, and of course, it has to be cute. No ugly American here!

OK, so keeping it simple, here’s where I’ve landed:

Shoe – Booties and sneakers. Check. 

Tops and pants – jeans, black pants, several black, white tops. Check.

Jackets – warm vest and short raincoat. Check.

It might sound a little boring, and at face value, it is. But I’ll jazz it up with a little personality by adding a cool scarf or piece of jewelry – and call it a day.

In going through this process I had to ask myself – “Why can’t getting dressed at home be this simple?”

The answer, of course, is that it can be. I tend to overcomplicate daily dressing decisions because I try to keep my wardrobe current, fun and creative. I either have too many choices, an unorganized closet, a lack of creativity or more likely a combination of all of the above.

Perhaps if things go well on this trip, I will come home with a new, pared down aesthetic that helps simplify those decisions. After all, there are so many more important things to focus on in life. And in my new chapter, I would love to feel chic and comfortable no matter the occasion and without a lot of fuss.

“Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance.” Coco Chanel

To get myself started, I’ve made a list of things to do, culled from a bunch of different articles and books, to get organized, keep it simple – but still fun and creative. Maybe this will be helpful for you, too.

Here goes. Take a look and let me know what you think.

l. Hone in on my favorite-to-wear colors. Black, white, navy, tan, and denim. Then use a pop of color – Red? Turquoise? – to add a dash of fun.

2. Use my key Style Words as a guide to determining the items I’ll keep or discard.

Simple, Classic (not preppy – ever), Casual, Creative, &  Contemporary

3.  Comfort is critical – physical and emotional. It can’t bind, bunch, constrict or pinch, and it has to feel like me, and I have to love it.

4. Chic is something I will always aspire to, and age-appropriate is up to me.

5. Cover all the various events and activities that fill my life so that I’m prepared for just about anything.

“Dress shabbily and they remember the dress; dress impeccably and they remember the woman.” Coco Chanel

So there you go. It’s not rocket science, earth shattering, or world saving info, but might help organize a little corner of my life. Who would think it would take planning a trip to the other side of the world to get better organized here at home.

How about you? Are you trying to simplify your style in this chapter of your life? If you already have, please share your wisdom with the rest of us.

Till next time,




  1. Debby
    September 6, 2017 / 7:54 am

    Great advice, Judy.

  2. Doris Syme
    September 6, 2017 / 10:06 am

    Thanks for the packing advice! It’s always helpful to be reminded to keep it simple which helps with the issue of over packing.
    Have a great holiday!

  3. Lea
    September 6, 2017 / 10:24 am

    Great advice! Don’t forget to leave room for something new. I love Danish design and there are lovely shops in all the Scandinavian countries and also in Finland. There is a shoe designer in Helsinki that is a hoot to visit… rabbit ears!!! Enjoy your trip!

    • Judy McLane
      September 9, 2017 / 4:52 pm

      wish we were including Finland, but this time around, we’re going to Denmark, Norway and Sweden. Next time! I’ll keep my eyes peeled for the shoes Rabbit Ears anyway. Thanks!

  4. Dona sabolick
    September 7, 2017 / 10:03 am

    Thank you for that Judy! What great advice. Loved the coco quotes as well.
    I will be packing soon for a trip to the east coast early October. I will surely take your advice and reread your blog before I pack.
    Have a great time. I will miss you !❤️

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *