Packing light...sort of.

Well, since I'm a crazy person, I've already packed my bags for NYFW even though I don't leave until Tuesday night (well, technically Wednesday since I leave after midnight). Since a bunch of you expressed interest in me doing a sort of tutorial on how I pack efficiently and in a carry-on only, here is my how-to guide for travelling (sort-of) light.

I always start by packing the things that are rigid and take up the most room. In this case: shoes. I only was going to bring two pairs of heels, but in the process of creating outfits I realized I'd need a third (plus a couple pairs of flats), so I put those in first. It's important when you're trying to make the most of a carry-on's small size to fill every nook and cranny, including the insides of the shoes. I shove my socks or tights inside my shoes.

After you've done that, you can start placing your soft stuff around the shoes. Always roll your garments as tight as possible to ensure that you aren't taking up excess space. And don't forget about the outside pockets of your luggage. I use those to pack my flats and stuff like that.

Don't forget about stuff like your hairdryer/straightener/curling iron. I put these in about halfway through, so that they are padded with clothing and kind of nestle in among the softer items. This is when I pack my non-liquid beauty products too. Liquid stuff has to be under 3 oz and in zip lock bags. I keep those in an outside pocket or in my computer bag so they're easy to reach when I go through security. Nothing is worse than packing that way deep in your bag and having to mine it out in the middle of the security line.

I only take one purse that's versatile and easy to flatten. Since you're allowed one carry on and a personal item (purse/computer bag/etc), I take my carry on and my computer bag, which means my purse is packed for the duration of my travels. I keep my ID and travel documents in an easy-to-reach pouch inside my computer bag so that I don't have to go digging around for them when I go through security.

When I travel, I like everything to be organized and planned out, so I have a little folder with my itineraries, conformation emails, tickets, and maps that I keep with me pretty much all the time. I have my daily schedule planned out so I know where I'm going to be, and I've printed out subway (or driving- depending on where I go) maps to and from every location I have to be at when I'm there.

Since my computer bag is easiest to access, it gets my computer (obviously), my camera bag, iPod & phone, any magazines/books, and my travel folder. My computer bag is pretty large so it can also take some overflow clothing if I end up needing a little bit more space.

When I go through security (which is really a well choreographed dance, if you do it right), I prepare all my things before I get to the x-ray machine. So while I'm in line, I get out my ID and boarding pass, my computer (since that has to be out of your bag), and I make sure I know where my zip lock of liquids is. Sometimes I'll even take my shoes off before I get there so it's all one quick motion. And once I'm through security, I grab all my stuff and walk away from the area so I can re-pack everything away from the craziness of the security checkpoint. I may look silly walking with my computer, liquid ziplock, ID and boarding pass all loose and unpacked, but it's nice to find a quiet spot to repack rather than try to deal with the bottleneck of people there at the checkpoint.

I also pack anything I'll need on the plane in my computer bag. Since my big carry on goes in the overhead compartment, I don't want to have to access it during the flight. My iPod and headphones, camera, computer, and any reading materials or snacks go in my computer bag, which I stow under the seat in front of me.

Oh, and I always check in online and print my plane ticket at home so I don't have to do that at the airport. I just go straight to security.

Well, that's all I can think of right now, but if you have any questions, just ask and I'll post any answers I have.

* The size of carry on that I use is pretty much the standard. If you have a bag and you're not sure if it is the right size, just go to your airline's website and they usually have a place where they give the dimensions allowed for carry-on baggage

* As far as what I pack, for this trip I was pretty specific with what I brought with me so I didn't pack excess clothes that I won't wear. That means I planned out exactly what outfits I'd be wearing. But as far as packing light in general: make sure to pack things that are easily remixable: dresses that you can wear with skirts to make into tops, a cardigan that goes with everything, shoes that go with everything, a nice pair of jeans, a couple tops and skirts. If you have things that work well together you'll be able to create outfits much more easily by just remixing the contents of your carry on.

* My computer bag was a gift to me from my mom, and she got it from, which is actually one of my favorite online shops (though I don't think I've ever bought anything from there, just lusted after their amazing pin up inspired clothing...). The brand is Trophy Queen.