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Why am I always overencumbered in Skyrim?

You’re playing along  in Skyrim, minding your own business, when you pick up a spoon and suddenly you get a message that you’re carrying too much weight and can’t fast-travel until you drop items.
So, you probably drop some axes and armor, and eat all the cheese in your inventory to make weight, and then run back to town to drop off all those books and sell all the weapons and armor.  30 minutes later, it happens again.  Why does it seem you can’t drop enough gear?

Enter your inventory, scroll down to MISC.  Look in there.  Are you carrying some Dragon Bone and Dragon Scale?  Every time you kill a dragon you get a bunch of this stuff…and you probably did a “take all” and didn’t think about it again.  Well it’s HEAVY.  See:
Every dragon drops multiple pieces.  You’re probably carrying around like 100lbs of dead dragon that you forgot about because it’s buried in the MISC group.   So go dump that at home, or sell it, so you can travel light again.
If I’m stuck in the field, I usually down whatever potions I can, because they’re like a half-pound each.  Then put any heavy weapons or armor in my sidekick’s inventory until we get back to town.  Also, cheese wheels and some large meat items can be 2lb each…so they can add up.

Other tips from
  • Walking forward and using a melee power attack (charge) while encumbered helps the player gain additional ground, making for easier travel while encumbered. Also using the Whirlwind Sprint Shout in combination with power attacks will work even faster.
  • Normally, fast-traveling is disabled while encumbered. However, on a horse, this does not apply, making for easier trips back to sell carried goods, especially in towns which allow horses inside the walls.
  • Another option is to dump all heavy equipment into a corpse and reanimate it using a spell, staff or power, such as the resurrection power gained by The Ritual Stone. The player can then fast travel to any destination and the corpse follows. If the time it took is enough for the spell to run its course, the corpse will 'die' again upon reaching the destination, and the player can loot its body for all the equipment they gave it initially.
  • Followers and Spouses can be used as pack mules.
  • Using the Beast Form power allows the player to disregard encumbrance and move quickly, as well as adding the benefits of a large stamina pool and high sprint speed.

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