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Friday, March 11, 2011

Organizing a trip: The packing and prepping

I showed you our wonderful annual trip to the snow.  Then, last week I showed you how to organize PAYING for the trip!  So, today....







I'll show you how I organize for my trip, but I have to be completely honest with you.  I HATE packing!  I really hate it.  It's my most un-favorite chore ever.  I do it, simply because I have to.  I also wait until the very last minute to pack.  Fortunately, packing for our snow trips is much easier than packing to go away with my husband to his conferences - where we literally wear THREE different outfits a day {it's daunting to pick everything out, I'm overwhelmed}. So, as I was saying...packing my personal stuff is a piece of cake because I don't dress up or wear anything fancy when we're heading to the snow.  I've also found a way to make getting all our gear packed {which includes bedding and towels} much easier by having it always ready.




And, for our trip we need snow clothes - something we only use once a year!  So, I buy snow clothes at thrift stores or on Ebay, used, for as cheap as I can and I buy them a size or two too big.  That way the first year, they are too big. The second year they fit just right. The third year they are just about too small!  The same thing with snow boots.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't! I just don't pay much for it so I don't feel so bad when they are already too small!






I have a big, huge box in my basement full of our snow gear. On the top of it, I print out all the contents listed by who each is for.  Then, at the bottom of the list, I put what items I will need for the next year.  That way, I can keep an eye out for something on the internet or thrift store that is cheap that we can take with us on our trip.  Fortunately, my hubby and I don't change sizes {much} and so we have used the same clothing and boots for the last decade!






Since our cottage has a washer and dryer, at the end of our time there, I wash everything before we go and stick it back into the box of snow gear and into the van, then into our basement.  I don't have to do anything with it until next year! {although I DO update the list of needs}






So, my advice about organizing for a trip:


1.  Make a list only if you really have to {I don't always make detailed lists, but just a list of things I think I'll forget}

2.  If you make a list that is similar every trip {or the same trip once a year}, either keep it handy or stored on your computer so you don't have to make the same list every trip and forget the same items {I use Cozi}





3.  If you leave in the afternoon/late morning, that's easiest since you can pack as you get ready and it helps not to forget.

4. If you leave in the morning, you'll have to pack everything and only leave out the necessary items ready to go as soon as you use them.




5.  Pack as few things as you can...if you take a fancy-schmancy trip like I do, plan your outfits so that you can wear just a couple pairs of pants with different tops.  Try keeping as few shoes as possible too - they are bulky in suitcases.  Jewelry is small and can change up an outfit a bunch {No, I didn't bring jewelry on our snow trip}.


6.  TEACH your kids to pack themselves.  Even if they can't read, you can tell them to put 5 pairs of panties, pick 2 pairs of long pants, etc....yes, they may not match or look perfect but if you're just going to the snow or something like that - who really cares? I can now give each of my kids a list of what to pack and they pack themselves, checking off their lists as they put it in.  It teaches them to be responsible {my kids are 11 and 7}. Remind them to carefully pull out the clothes from their drawers so they stay folded - mine put their stuff in large duffle bags.  They love it and enjoy that they get to do it on their own.  Don't forget to have them pack their toiletries too - and teach them that word, toiletries! 




7.  Relax and have fun.  Don't let mishaps ruin your vacation.  If you forget something, just make sure it goes on the list for the next vacation and go purchase it if it's necessary.  


8. Don't overspend.  If you plan ahead, you can certainly have enough money for activities or whatever you try to do. 


9.  Be flexible and enjoy the reason you are going - to spend time with one another!

10. Last, this is weird, but bring extra plastic bags - for laundry, for throwing up {driving a windy road?}, for wet stuff, for food you bring back, trash, or for who knows what!  Just bring several of different sizes - trash, grocery, zipper.  Trust me, it's weird but you wind up using them for something and are so proud of yourself for thinking to do it!

Do you have any great ways of packing?  Where is your next trip going to be?'

Linking to these parties:
Delightful Order
Organize and Decorate Everything



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Have a great way of organizing something?  Send me an email and I can feature you {your blog or pictures}!


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