Suitcases Are Never Big Enough | Giftie Etcetera: Suitcases Are Never Big Enough

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Suitcases Are Never Big Enough

I am currently packing for my 20 year class reunion.  I attended a residential high school, Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts, so I am really close to my classmates.  For two years, they were my roommates, suitemates, and extended family.  Some people call us "Gifties," hence the name of my blog.  I plan to maximize my time away, spending as much time with friends and as little time in my hotel room as possible.  Also, I'm riding with a friend, so I'm trying not to over pack.  And, of course, I want to look HOT all weekend, even though it's going to be humid and 99 degrees outside.

Here are my tips for packing for a trip efficiently.

Long before any trip, make sure you have appropriate suitcases.  Luggage doesn't have to be expensive, but it should be the right size.  If it's hard to carry at all, get something with wheels.

Also, have a Master Packing List in your planner.  To make a master list, either google for a template or just use the last jotted list.  I keep a couple of jotted lists, typed them into a planner page, and printed several copies for my planner.

Two days before the trip, or whenever I plan a trip, I grab and master list, cross out stuff I don't need (tent for a noncamping trip, for example), and add anything special to the list.  I make this Trip Specific List and put it in the front of my planner.  I did two list this time - one for me and one for the kids, since they are spending the weekend with the grandparents and aunts.  Note that my list is divided into things that go in my handbag/tote/on my person, things that go in the car, things that go in my suitcase, and any extras (like a swim tote or briefcase).

Plan to complete washing any clothes that must be packed 2 days before the trip.  If not, you will be stuck without the clothes that you plan to wear.  Much like my weekly dinner menu, I generally sketch out what clothes I plan to wear in advance on my packing list.

One day before the trip, pack your suitcase.

I like to use a suitcase with a mesh part for shoes and other hard items.  Note below that I pack socks inside of shoes and nest the shoes against each other, in opposite directions, for maximum use of space.

I roll items that I want to keep somewhat unwrinkled, like my khaki shirts.

I also keep a separate tote bag for special supplies, like my umbrella, camera, and an empty dirty clothes mesh bag.  I fold my workout clothes flat.  They WILL wrinkle, but they don't take up a bunch of space that way.

 Since I am going to a class reunion, I'm bringing my cheat sheets yearbooks.

For jewelry, I simply throw it in a dressy bag that I was packing for the trip anyway.  That way, I don't take up extra space in the suitcase.

Finally, I go to bed with the suitcase open, planner open to my packing list, for two reasons.  First, I won't forget to check my planner in the morning.  Second, the planner holds a space in the suitcase for my toiletries bag in the morning.

I always keep my bathing suit tote case packed.  After all, anytime I swim, I'll need swimsuit, sunscreen, cheap sunglasses, cover-up, and a towel.  I'm packing this tote separately because I might not swim and, if I don't, it can stay in the car.

While packing, I create a list of things to take care of the day of the trip.  (I use a post-it on the packing list.)  For example, I pack my toothbrush the morning that I leave and I don't hide a key until I am actually leaving town.  Don't forget to turn down the air/heat.

Also, set up your clothing and jewelry for the next day, along with daily toiletries that also have to be packed, in a designated area.  I just leave my dresses on hangers and hang them in the car.

Either pack the car the night before, or put everything in one spot for easy packing the next day.

The day of the trip, just get dressed, check your post-it for last minute stuff, toss everything in the car, and go!


No comments: