These are the dimensions of my Swiss Army suitcase. It's been jeeringly watching as I try to squeeze 6 months of my life into a small rectangle. It seems to be taunting me in a low whisper, "You're never gonna fit it all, never gonna fit it all..."
Well that certainly may be the case, but is it my fault that stacked-heel knee-high boots are so alla moda this year? And all those thick knit tights really don't shrink much! Throw in a few chunky sweaters and my essential Bullwinkle hat and it's full.
So how exactly does one downsize their life? Well, "function over fashion" seems to be key, although I don't know if that rule holds water when you're moving to one of the most fashionable countries in the world? In any case, here are the paramaters I've set for myself:
1. Coordinate outfits that are versatile for day and night and select colors that all blend.
2. Keep accessories to a minimum.
3. Toiletries and cosmetics can be purchased abroad so only shop for things that cannot be found in Italy and seal EVERYTHING in plastic. There's nothing worse than opening a bag after 10 hours to find your wool blazer covered in toothpaste.
4. Don't forget to pack teaching tools! Board games, magazines, newspaper clippings, post cards, dice, puzzles - they all come in handy when planning English lessons. The kids went crazy this summer for Scattegories and loved reading the mags I brought.
5. Pack a collapsible duffle bag for the return journey so I can bring back extra virgin olive oil in abundance.
Wish me luck!