Organize your Packing Process

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summer packing

Do you have any vacations set for this summer?  Maybe you’ll be packing up and traveling across the country, or maybe you’ll just be heading to the shore for a long weekend or two.  No matter how long the get-away, packing is an inevitable task that must get done before you go, otherwise, what else would you have to wear?!

Here’s a schedule to follow to make the packing process relatively stress free, without any moments of panic!

About a month or two before you go…

Arrange for pet care.  Pet sitters and/or trusted neighbors can get booked up during the summertime, especially around holidays.  It’s good to plan ahead to know that your furry friends will be well taken care of.

Arrange for transportation.  Check into long term parking for your car or arrange for a ride to the airport.

About 2 weeks before you go…

Create a master list.   Create a computer document that covers what you might need for a trip.   Compile a list of everything, from back-up contact lenses down to a sweater for those chilly evenings.  Add things as they come to mind.  Your trip needs will change periodically, so create a full master list, and then modify it in a new document to tailor it to your upcoming trip.  Prep lists for everyone in the family that will be going away.

Make arrangements for mail/newspapers.  Consider stopping your mail if you will be away for a while, or arrange for a neighbor to pick it up daily.

About 1 week before you go…

Get your suitcases out.  Make sure they are still in working condition, i.e. zipping all the way and still capable of rolling!

Get your medications in order.  For those in the family who rely on medication; make sure you get the prescriptions filled and ready to go at this point, if you don’t have enough to last you through your trip.

Get any necessary toiletries.  While you are at your local pharmacy, pick up any miniature toiletries you may need.  Remember that most hotels provide you with shampoo/conditioner and bar soap already.  If you are carrying your suitcase on the plane and therefore need to keep all your 3 ounce items in a quart size bag, you might want to save room for other essential liquids (like makeup foundation!) and buy the toiletries at a pharmacy near your destination.

Print your trip list(s).   Tape it/them to the wall near each suitcase and keep a pen handy to cross things out as they go in.

Start to pack.  Those items that are on your list that aren’t daily essentials can be packed away now.  Also, clothes that you don’t plan to wear until then, can go in.  Slip in a plastic shopping bag for bringing your dirty laundry back home too.

A few days before you go…

Do laundry.  Don’t worry about doing it all, just focus on the items that will be going with you on vacation.  That way you can do fewer loads.  Trust me; the rest of it won’t be going anywhere while you’re away!

The night before you go…

Print out papers.  If you are flying, you might be able to print out your boarding passes at this point.  Stick them into your carryon bag right after!  Also, print out any hotel reservation and car rental information.  If for some reason, you can’t get cell service and run into a problem, it’s always good to have a paper backup with confirmation numbers.

Finish packing.  Put any essentials and important items into your carry-on bag that you might need in case your suitcase gets lost.

The day of…

Check on last minute details.  Check your local airport and the airline that you will be travelling, to find out if there are any delays.  Or if you are driving, check the traffic report.

During vacation…

Have fun!  All the planning is done!  Oh, and if you want to pick up a souvenir for me, feel free!

Source:  Kathy Luskus, Professional Organizer, Orderly Manor Organizing
610-324-2445 | PO Box 201 Newtown Square, PA 19073

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