I just got back from a wonderful bike vacation throughout the northwestern part of Michigan (pedal bike, not motorcycle). When I was packing for the trip, I was trying to figure out if I was an under-packer, an over-packer, or a just-right packer.
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 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 have to pay to check your baggage.
As with all my organizing projects, I follow my own system. If you have to pack for others, you can certainly follow the same system for them as you do for yourself.
Begin to assess the situation
Figure out the type of attire you are going to need. It depends on what you are going to be doing. Is this for business, where you’ll need casual business attire, or are you going hiking, in which case you will need hiking clothes?
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.
Breakdown the tasks
Sort and Purge – Lay out what you think you are going to need and then halve it. This is because you usually want to bring too much. Or, put outfits together and figure out if you can mix and match anything.
Containerize and Assign a Home – One thing I have found really helpful 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. This way of packing 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 you pack your toiletries, don’t bring full-size bottles of anything. Stock up on sample-size toiletries from the drugstore, Target, Walmart, etc. You may also want to 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 prescriptons.
HAVE A GOOD TIME! This is all you have to do now.
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.
If you, or anyone you know, need any organizing help, please contact me.
Referrals are the best compliments.