Here’s how to use a spreadsheet to help you simplify packing

Every time my family travels, I always seem to forget something (usually something of mine!). Well, one blogger shared her foolproof packing tip: Use a spreadsheet! And you thought only accountants could have fun with these things.

Nicole Dieker of Billfold recently explained how she uses spreadsheets to create an “outfit grid” to help her pack. After numerous commenters wanted to know what the heck an outfit grid was, Dieker decided to break it down for everyone.

Prepare yourself for a planning masterpiece!

suitcases photo
Getty Images | Tim Boyle

Using A Spreadsheet As A Master Plan

Dieker’s “outfit grid” really acts more as a full trip planner rather than a packing list. First, she creates columns with headers. This includes the date, her daily destination, the anticipated weather and her plans for the day.

Spreadsheet Outfit Grids

Next, she plans each outfit for they day based on the above information. Yes, Dieker enters everything she plans to put on her body for each day (including jewelry).

Spreadsheet outfit grids

When I first looked at this, I admit I thought, “Wow, that seems like overkill.” However, after reading Dieker’s explanation, it made more sense. By putting all her outfits in grid form, she can get a complete look at what goes in the suitcase. Then, she asks herself if she really needs two pairs of shoes or if she’s packing too much jewelry. Also, she can color-coordinate with a single glance.

Not only does Dieker’s system keep her organized and looking good, it also saves some money! For the trip she wrote about, she saved $50 by avoiding checked bag fees because she figured out she only needed a carry-on. I can also see how this could save money by helping you avoid forgetting critical items. Having to run out to the store or buy something at the hotel can get expensive if you forgot something important at home.

The Popularity Of Planners

Think planning like this is an isolated obsession? Not so!

Planning at this level has become all the rage in recent years. Millienials have made paper planners a multi-million dollar industry. Whether it’s for bullet journals, personal diaries or another creative idea, planners allow people to stay organized and express themselves at the same time. Digital tools such as spreadsheets, word processing software and even online journals can help tech-savvy people keep on top of their busy lives.

So, open up a new spreadsheet and get planning that next trip!