I am a last-minute packer. I admit it. I procrastinate chatting online, playing with my kids, and anything else I can possibly find to keep myself busy so that I end up packing at the eleventh hour. I’m throwing notes up on the front door at midnight so we can grab random items as we run out the door to the airport in the morning. I have no lists I work off of; I just wing it. Yes, this is a fabulous way to go about packing I know.
Why in the world would you take packing tips from me? Well I can’t be the only one out there that has issues with packing. There is a method to my madness, although many might not be able to see it if they walked into my house the afternoon before a trip. A few key “ingredients” go into pulling off this type of packing, and somehow, magically, it always works.
Laundry: Ever since having kids I feel like I am constantly doing laundry. I’m sorting it, washing it or folding it. Before a trip I try to get as many loads done as possible the day before I really need to start packing. This way I just have to look through all of my piles, grab clothes for everyone, and throw them in the suitcase.
Toiletries: We have traveled so much in the past year that I pretty much have our toiletries bag packed at all times. I just grab it out of the closet and substitute any weather related items we may need (i.e. sunscreen, anti-itch cream, etc.). I’ve bought 2nd tooth brushes and kids toothpaste so I don’t have to worry about grabbing our every day ones before we leave the house. After a miscommunication that left my husband without deodorant in Japan, I now have both of ours permanently packed. I’ve got kids and adult nail clippers, shampoo and everything else we could possibly need. The only thing I may add in is a new bar of soap.
Kids Toys: I am still in charge of all of my kids clothing, but my toddler can pack his own toys. Dek has his very own backpack that he can load up to the brim as long as he can carry it. The night before we leave my husband or I take Dek into his room and tell him to pick 5 toys. Usually they are tiny cars, which work just fine, but if he goes for something larger (like his train set) we can talk about leaving it at home.
Electrical Cords: I have finally gotten wise to the fact that if we have all of our cords in one case maybe, just maybe, we won’t forget them cross the globe. I found a decent sized toiletries bag that fits all of the phone and Kindle chargers, laptop charger, and even a computer mouse. It has revolutionized the way we pack up as we leave on a trip, as well as when we have to gather everything to come home.
Notes to self: I will be putting sticky notes on our front door with things like “turn heat down,” and “don’t forget make-up bag” until I am in the grave. It is the only way I can be sure we don’t miss any last-minute items as we run out the door.
My system is not perfect, but somehow it does work for us. Magically I have forgotten a lot less than you would think. One day I will make a checklist for the whole family to work through before our travels. Maybe then I won’t be the only insane person packing us up; I may even get to sit down and eat dinner.
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Photo credit: Flickr/ljcybergal