3 Steps to Packing Successfully
With the summer upon us, many people, including me, are going to be packing for a vacation. Figuring out what to take and what size suitcase is needed can sometimes be a daunting task, especially if you are traveling around and won’t be in one place for more than a couple of nights.
If you don’t want your suitcase to be too heavy, you may leave some things out that are important. You may want to have a lot of choices, so you may take too much. Just right means you’ve pretty much worn everything you brought with you and that your suitcase was neither too heavy nor too light. It has taken me a long time to figure out how to pack and even if I am not always successful, I have learned the trick to packing pretty much what I need. It’s even more important now if you are flying and whether or not you want to pay to check your baggage
As with all my organizing projects, I use my own system. If you have to pack for others, you can certainly follow the same system for them as you do for yourself.
1. Begin to Assess the Situation
Figure out the type of attire you are going to need, depending on what you are going to be doing. Is this for business, where you’ll need casual business attire? Are you going hiking or biking, in which case, you will need hiking or biking clothes? Are you roaming around a city, where you’ll need comfortable clothes and shoes? Will you be spending most of your time on a beach where you will need bathing suits and flip-flops? Will you be able do laundry, meaning your clothes will need to dry quickly and wrinkle-free?
2. Build an Action Plan
Develop a packing list, so you don’t leave anything out that is essential. When something goes into your suitcase or carry-on bag, you can happily check it off.
3. Breakdown the Tasks
Lay out what you think you are going to need and then half it. This is so you don’t bring too much. Put outfits together and figure out if you can mix and match anything. One thing that I have found that has really helped me is to use Eagle Creek Packers (http://www.eaglecreek.com/packing_solutions/). If you don’t want to invest in them, you can always use clear, plastic bags. I sort my clothes by category – underwear, shirts, pants, etc. – and put each category in a packer. I know some people who pack their outfits together. Either way is really helpful if you are not staying in one place for the whole time. You may not have time to unpack, so these packers can act as drawers. How many times has this happened to you? What you need is at the bottom of your suitcase, and by the time you pull that out, everything on top has become a jumbled mess.
When I pack my toiletries, I don’t bring full-size bottles of anything. I stock up on sample-size toiletries from the drugstore, Target, Walmart, etc. You may want to also contact the places where you are staying to find out if they have hair dryers. If they do and you use one, this is one item you can leave at home. If they don’t, ask yourself if you can survive without one. Don’t forget your prescriptions, if you have any. Pack them in your carry-on bag; if your suitcase is checked and is lost, then at least you’ll have your prescriptions.
What kind of packer are you – over, under, or just-right? What are some of the things you are going to do to make yourself a just-right packer?
Now, the only thing you have to do is to HAVE A GOOD TIME!
P.S. Even my cat, Takoda, wants to get in the act of packing. If you know cats, it’s not that they want to go with you. They are just curious and need to check everything out. ☺
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