guest post -> alex {i eat asphalt}

by Holly on August 21, 2011

in guest posts

I don’t know about you, but I am the WORST packer ever. For travel. For work. For the weekend. For the gym. For the anything and everything. That’s why when my friend Alex, who I first met back in D.C. in March, offered to guest post about how she packs her entire life into a work appropriate bag, I responded with a resounding, “YES PLEASE!” This post gives me hope that someday, I too can be as organized as Alex is.

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Hello my fellow Everythingtarians! My name is Alex, and I write the blog I Eat Asphalt. When Holly sent out her request for guest posters, I jokingly left a comment saying that I would volunteer myself to write about how to fall off of a bike or how to pack your entire life into a work appropriate bag. Little did I know that Holly would actually take me up on my crazy idea. So today I’m going to give you some tips on how to take everything you need for your Everythingtarian lives to work/school/wherever.

When I moved to DC last August I had to figure out a way to bring everything I needed with me to work, school and the gym. I didn’t have time to run home in between work and class and all those Metro rides get expensive. But I needed to carry a lot of stuff… like clothes, lunch, water bottles, books, notebooks, sunglasses, shoes, pens, etc. So here are my tips to pack everything but the kitchen sink for a day.

First you’ll want to start off with a really big bag. I carry the large Longchamp Le Pliage, and if you live in any metro area on the East Coast you likely have one too. Next thing is to invest in is a good insulated lunch box. Mine was a Christmas gift but it has helped keep me more organized. Good containers for food are equally important. Place whatever clothes you’ll need for the gym into a plastic bag or something to keep them dry. Add those two bags to the bottom of your large bag.

Next start adding in heavier items like insulated mugs and water bottles. I find that putting them on the opposite side of my lunch box balances out the weight. I always carry an empty water bottle that I fill at work but bring my own hot tea in the morning. Then add paper items like folder and books to the back of the bag.

Layer in lighter but bulky items like a sweater and glasses. Put pens, business cards and chapstick in an accessible pocket, because you never know who you might meet along the way. Throw whatever else you might need (I always have deodorant and hand sanitizer) where there is space.

Top the bag with your wallet, keys and phone. Sling your sneakers over one of the straps and your set!

My bag contained: lunch, gym clothes, a sweater, one legal pad, one folder, a book, sunglasses, reading glasses, wallet, water bottle, coffee mug, deodorant, hand sanitizer, keys, tissues, two travel size hand lotions, mints, business cards, two pens, one pencil, one highlighter, keys, phone, ear buds and sneakers. Phew.

There you have it! Everything you could need for the day. I’ve also managed to get a pair of high heels in my bag but recently began keeping a pair in one of my desk drawers because it just makes things slightly easier.

Please note that I cannot be held responsible for you knocking into people with your bulbous bag or for the pain radiating down your arm because of the 20 pound bag. Just hold your head high and know that you managed to pack your entire life for the day.

Hope all of these tips were helpful!

What are some of YOUR best tips for packing? Sharing is caring!


Uncle Tommie timbertoes August 21, 2011 at 5:41 pm

When I travel and will exceed my carry on bag volume I skinny down by pacing only 2 sets of work out clothes. Then I wash them in the hotel sink using the shampoo bottles for soap. The soap is usually scented so they smell wunerful. Then while one set is drying the outer set is ready to go.

Loved yer post.

Hillary August 21, 2011 at 6:34 pm

Love this. In the spring, I had to pack breakfast, lunch, and dinner—plus my computer, papers to grade, grad school textbooks, and binders. I got really good at the whole compartmentalizing thing! Thanks for this, Alex!

Katie August 21, 2011 at 7:13 pm

Awesomeness. I am the worst packer, too. The worst. I am going to use these tips for my ever expanding diaper bag/purse combo.

Lindsay @ Lindsay's List August 21, 2011 at 8:07 pm

Wonderful tips. I always seem to carry things around in plastic grocery bags. Need to invest in some cute totes for sure!!

amanda August 22, 2011 at 6:31 am

those longchamp bags are stellar. i’d be lost without my large and in charge one. i dig your organization and strength! that much not be a light bag to be toting around through DC. i admire ya, girly!

amanda August 22, 2011 at 6:37 am

OH! and my best packing tip, which i just started doing because i was constantly overpacking, don’t pack a billion options. whether it be going away for the weekend, a week or whatever, i used to give myself 4 different outfit options for each day/night. it always left me with one too many bags and one too many decisions. i’ve gotten really good at packing just ONE outfit. it’s so much more desisive and it just feels LIGHTER on accounts. of course, i always take into consideration weather issues. but for the most part, it works smoothly.

Kristen - Anywhere There's An Airport August 22, 2011 at 7:41 am

Great Post! I like to think of myself as an expert packer as well! I travel constantly.

My one tip is to group small things together. I too use the excellent weightless bag that is Longchomp and use smaller bags inside so I can find things. Ex. A drawstring floral bag [that I received for free with some purchase from Anthropologie – score!] keeps a pen, chapstick, lipgloss, tissues etc.. That way when I am walking around the city and I am in dire need of lip moisture it doesn’t take a year to find it! :)

Holly August 22, 2011 at 11:22 am

i can SOOOOO learn some tips for you! judging by the look of it, so can a lot of us. thanks for a great, informative guest post alex!

kathleen August 22, 2011 at 6:31 pm

The longchamp bag is amazing. I have (literally) packed for a three day weekend trip using only that bag.

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