It’s A 21″ Miracle.

Tonight I decided to face my fears head-on.


I hauled out my completely basic, totally non-descript 21″ wheeling carry-on suitcase which I’m fairly sure my dad bought on super clearance at least 6 years ago and did a dry run of packing for Italy.

Yes, I realize we aren’t leaving for a month, but as I’ve mentioned before I’m very Type A when it comes to planning. If the idea of successfully packing for 2 weeks away in a carry-on isn’t going to work I’d prefer to find that out now and not the night before we leave.

Emboldened by a few glasses of wine and with one more in hand (it’s almost Friday!), I grabbed nearly everything that has made its way onto my mental packing list so far and started in. I won’t necessarily end up bringing all of these items (or only these items – there’s a chambray shirt floating around in a pile of dirty laundry somewhere that I have in mind), but knew it would be a good place to start.

After I got my first layer in I was feeling positive about my packing skills of rolling everything as small as possible and stuffing it into the smallest nook or cranny available.

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I pushed on, nervous about adding my bulkier items next.

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Without completely packing the suitcase full (I wasn’t feeling ambitious enough to pull toiletries and such together just yet), I’m confident that I’ll manage to achieve my goal of packing “lightly” (at least in terms of size of luggage). In fact, I’m actually quite pleased with the amount of items I was able to pack without stuffing it to the brim. Here’s what the full contents looks like unpacked:

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  • 2 pairs of skinny jeans
  • 1 dress
  • 1 long cardigan
  • 1 light jacket
  • 1 heavy cable knit sweater
  • 2 light knit sweaters
  • 3 t-shirts for layering
  • 2 t-shirts for sleeping in
  • 1 pair of pajama bottoms
  • 1 scarf
  • 1 pair of flip flops
  • 1 pair of Birkenstock sandals
  • 1 pair of flats
  • 1 pair of loafers
  • Scarf
  • Curling iron

This of course doesn’t include other essentials such as socks, underwear, bras, toiletries, makeup, electronic chargers and the like. I’m not as worried about those though since they can easily find their way into small pockets of space.

For my plane outfit I plan to wear my Frye motorcycle boots, another pair of skinny jeans, a t-shirt, the heaviest sweater/cardigan, and a scarf to maximize the amount of clothing I’ll have to work with and saving as much luggage space as possible.

The final packing list is likely to change based on weather forecasts as our departure nears (fewer sweaters would be preferred, although for the time being this eases my concerns in terms of the volume of items possible), but current predictions are showing cooler than average temps ranging from a low of 50 degrees to a high of 70 – perfect layering weather.

— Maureen


2 thoughts on “It’s A 21″ Miracle.

  1. I get the way-ahead-of-time packing. The moment I learn about a future trip, I start thinking of what to pack… It’s so hard to do it smartly, that I usually end up hating what I took with me 🙂

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