Woman packing a suitcase

Curb Any Overpacking Tendencies With This "54321" Packing Rule

By Hilary I. Lebow


To curb overpacking tendencies, try using the "54321" packing rule. This minimalist packing tip ensures you cover all the basics without compromising style.
The rule states that you need five tops, four bottoms, three dresses and pairs of shoes, two swimsuits, and one set of each type of accessory, like one hat and a pair of shades.
The key is to pick out items you can re-wear several times and match with multiple outfits. Neutral tones and simple, classic pieces are great for this.
For your five tops, consider a short- and long-sleeve shirt, a fun top, a blazer, and a coat. For your bottoms, consider a pair of jeans, slacks, a skirt, and a pair of shorts.
For your dresses, bring one that's casual, a little black dress, and a slip dress. For the shoes, pack a pair of flats, a pair of sneakers, and a pair of neutral high heels.
For your swimsuits, you can mix and match the tops and bottoms or go for a timeliness one-piece. For accessories, you'll want a hat, a watch, and a pair of sunglasses.