Thursday, May 15, 2014

Packing Advice (Lecturing Myself)

I want one of those shrink-vacuum-bag-thingies. A big one.

Yes, folks, I'm travelin' again. This time, I'll be heading out for Arizona (SO EXCITED!) with my trusty sidekick (Kara) in tow. It is against my nature to bother with larger-than-life suitcases/checking/dragging them through the airport, so I am, once again, stepping up to the challenge and packing for a whole my faithful, turquoise carry on.

Truth be told, I've never packed in anything bigger than a carry on - with all six of us Pyatskowits, the van trunk is stacked like a multi-colored jenga puzzle on family vacations. Normally, my zipper is straining it's stitches, and the expansion is completely, well, expanded. I have to sit on it to get it shut.

This time, I decided to see what Pinterest had to say about packing things neatly and efficiently in a carry on.

*rolls eyes.

There are some terrifical tips - ones that I've never quite understood. (Sorry, but I can't pack all dresses to save on space. Woops! I don't wear shorts...and, Oh dear: I don't think I can eliminate much more without wearing the same three outfits for all seven days.)

So: Here's my version of heft-cutting advice.

1. MAKE A CLOTHING SCHEDULE. It's pretty simple to do with Microsoft Excel - one box for every day of the week. (For me, there's usually church on a few of those days, so an extra "dressy" outfit is necessary, too. Just add a cell underneath the day's "every-day" box to accommodate your needs.

Why: This will save diminish the heap of clothes that you might otherwise take/it cuts confusion on sleep-bereft mornings when you sit (bewildered and half-asleep) in front of your open suitcase, trying to decide what to wear. Too, it'll make sure you have exactly enough clothing. 

2. Bring A Spray Bottle. Forget about packing things so they won't get wrinkled. You're trying to conserve space, here! Roll that denim skirt into the smallest ball you can manage. Every night, before you fall asleep, lay out tomorrow's outfit and spray/brush out all the wrinkles. This is one of the most awesome tricks I've ever stumbled upon. In the morning, all the wrinkles will be gone. Love it.

PS. It's good if you make sure to iron your hems before packing, though. Spray bottles are amazing, but their super-powers only reach "so far."

3. Put your messy stuff in a ziplock bag. Please, please please. You don't want "Fructise extra-strength hair gel" silently soaking into your white tee-shirt during the trip. (Handy Hint: When flying, stick this ziplock bag into your purse for easy access. On your trip through security, this method is a whole lot easier than grappling with an awkward suitcase that has 10,000 things in it.)

4. Be Sure To Mix And Match Your Outfits. I know, I's annoying. But try to wear pack a lot of neutrals that you can wear more than once. Then, schedule! your! solutions! (!!!) so you won't forget what-goes-with-what. ;) Plan all of your formal outfits with a black or brown "theme" in mind. (So you'll only have to pack one color of dress shoes.) Now: Be brave. It's okay to wear the same outfit twice. *wink

5. Make A Big List & Get Your Clothes Together BEFORE You Start Packing. Call it a pet peeve, but it makes me feel scatter-brained to be smashing stuff into my suitcase...then be forced to stop, run downstairs to find three more pairs of socks, come back upstairs, remember the hairspray is still in the bathroom:: Get the picture? These two steps make packing a lot less frazzling.

(Handy Hint: If you calmly collect things for the "official packing spree" a couple days before you actually start, everything should (at least) be on the same floor, when you're ready. ;)

6. Don't Stress. I know, all this scheduling and double-checking stuff is important. Still, don't get so wrapped up in your configurations that it becomes frustrating. Take a deep breath - it's okay if you have to re-wear the orange sweater because the blue one had a coffee stain. Most people won't remember.

7. Enjoy It! Turn on an audio drama, open the windows, make a cup of coffee, and dream about how much fun you're going to have on vacation. You can find happiness in strange corners, sometimes. ;)

Any tips you all could share?


Grace Brown said...

Wow lol, I really need to apply these lessons when I pack for camp! It's really bad, haha! I hope all is well in your life :) And have fun in Arizona with your trusty sidekick!

Anonymous said...

:) Hope your trip is going amazingly! I'll have to bookmark this post for future use.

Miss you!

Elisabeth@Treasuring the Moments said...

Serenity always rolls her clothes when she packs and I am really surprised at how it really does work well. It saves on space and it seems like the wrinkles aren't so bad.