Kevin-welcome to the Meyers team! I do the vast majority of my flying solo. These are great 2 person plus a lot of luggage and full fuel airplanes. My useful load is about 900#. With fuel fuel, that leaves 420# for pilot and pax plus luggage. I weigh 170 and my wife 130 so we have 120# left to be legal. Alternatively, put 60 gallons of fuel and get another 120# of pax. 60 is basically 3 hours of flight time and an hour reserve. So at that level both my daughters can go and we are still legal.
Since most of my flying is just me, I carry a 50# bag of sand in the luggage compartment to get the CG more to the rear. It works great. I have never felt like I was running out of elevator authority, even without the bag of sand. I do NOT trim in the pattern. I have in the past but have found it is not necessary.
This is what I do; I am sure others can share their experience. I had my 200 weighed on the scales a few years ago but he did not drain the oil.