Packing invention works.

If you’re like me, packing for a trip can be stressful. But after a number of trips where I packed way more than I could comfortably carry, I decided that I needed an intervention. And thanks to tips from friends, family and colleagues, I’ve gotten packing down to a science from which I never stray. The results? A happier packing experience, yes. But more importantly, a happier trip experience.

Here are my essential rules:

Less is Way Better than More.
This is rule number one to pack by. So many clothes these days are made from lightweight, washable and wrinkle-free fabrics that it’s just not necessary to pack so much. For a one-week trip, just two pairs of pants and a skirt is all I take now. For each additional week, add one more pair of pants. Make one a pair of jeans. They’re comfortable, can be dressed up or down and can be worn several times.