Today I made my first attempt to pack. It was highly successful, I think. Here are some lessons I learned during my packing adventure:
1. Not all voltage converters are created equal and it's important to pay attention to what you want them to do. For example, often times people buy the wrong converter and end up frying their straighteners as well as their hair the first time they use them. At least, that's what Neal at Brookstone said. Also, while my straightener should work with the converter I bought, my blow dryer will not [good-bye bulky, hard-to-pack blow dryer!] and I'm not sure if my computer will. I'm also not sure if it's kosher/a good idea to plug a surge protecter power strip into the converter and thus use it for multiple electronics. More on that when I find out the answers.
2. Space saver bags truly save tremendous amounts of space. Today I packed a down comforter, bedding, two towels, a bath mat, a hand towel, two dresses, one skirt, twelve shirts, two sweatshirts/sweaters, and pajamas using space saver bags and it all fit in three bags, which all fit in the same, medium-sized suitcase. In addition to that happy reality, there is still room for a couple pairs of jeans and some toiletries in the suitcase and it doesn't even weigh 50lbs yet.
3. The urge to pack everything I own is enormous.
4. I need less stuff than I think I do.
5. I own a lot of stuff.
After learning all those lessons, I'm happy to say I think I will be able to pack everything I need and even a few [American] creature comforts quite easily without bringing the stereotypical myriad of luggage I hear Europeans deem annoyingly American.