When it comes to holiday clothes and packing, it's no longer about how many pairs of shoes I can get away with taking, it's how many can I get away with! So many of my gorgeous pairs of sandles, heal's and wedges are redundant on our family holidays because I simply do not have enough room for myself anymore. This year packing has become a military organisational lesson in buying, washing, sorting and folding. In December when I booked our flights, taking two suitcases for five people seemed relatively easy, in reality the addition of our new little person is making me come out in hot sweats!

I used to travel alot with work pre kids and had a laissez-faire attitude to packing the night before a thirteen hour flight to Japan or China - what could I seriously need that I could'nt find in my wardrobe already? Now there is no such thing as 'how to pack light' with three boys to think about, but I am finding the need for some tried and tested packing rules as an essential part of the process. No more last minute panic's, you will be cool, calm and collected and thoroughorly at ease on the run up to the holiday.

I just hope there is a washing machine...!

1. Lay everything out on your bed a few days before and try it all on. If it doesn't fit anymore, leave it out. If it doesn't go with an outfit, or you can't mix and match it leave it out. If you just don't like it - leave it out! Aim to cut the pile you started with in half.

2. Consider where you are going and what you will be doing. Are you camping and need extra layers? Are you swimming, hiking, playing tennis? Only take the essentials for your activities but make sure you are covered. Count how many evenings there are you might go out and take only enough outfits to cover those nights.

3. Look at everything and choose items based on the fact they will work with lots of other items. Thinking of a colour palette makes this even simpler. What you are doing here is ensuring everything works really hard and you don’t end up lugging loads of things that just don’t go with anything else and you will end up never wearing.

4. Pack shoes at the bottom of your suitcase and surround them with your underwear. Remember to pack into the corners of your bag - lots of space can be wasted by not filling a bag correctly.

5. Slip in some scarves. They add very little to your load and you can use them for many different things on holiday, such as a beach cover-up. They will also brighten up a plain top at night or cover up any sunburn on your chest or shoulders.

6. Dresses are very hard-working and also scream "holiday glamour" - a good choice for slimming down that suitcase. In the day, wear with flats, beach with flip flops and sunglasses, then use the same piece by night with heels and lipstick.

7. It's easy to be more natural on holiday so you don't need as much make-up as you think. Try adding your essential pieces into your wash-bag or taking a smaller make-up bag with you. Remember if you are carrying on it needs to be in a see-through bag.

All there is left to remember is the suncream!

Happy holidays!

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