I’m writing today from Seattle, Washington where the sun is shining but the rain continues to come down! I am so excited to be here as this is my first trip to Seattle.
As I was preparing for my trip yesterday, I realized that I have never shared with you my master packing secrets. My husband gave up several years ago on trying to help me pack; I have this process down to a science and he simply cannot keep up. I’m sure it will shock all of my regular readers that I use . . . a list.
In addition to my list, which you’ll be able to download in a few seconds, here are my top success secrets for perfect packing.
- Work from a list. I created this list several years ago after getting tired of arriving at my destination without such necessities as, for example, a hair dryer, shoes to go with my most important outfit, and even underwear! It’s in Microsoft Excel format and please change it to meet your needs. I add to it as I see fit and will make temporary changes to it for special trips. It is very comprehensive – which is exactly what you need.
- Check the weather forecast for your destination prior to planning your wardrobe. This will help eliminate trying to take too much “just in case.” On this trip, the woman seated next to me on the plane had packed all shorts. Seattle this week is expecting highs in the upper 60’s to low 70’s. When the flight attendant mentioned being able to enjoy the cooler weather, the woman started to panic. I, on the other hand, came prepared with spring outfits that include jackets. I used our local forecast website but you can always use weather.com.
- Use organizers. My husband and I both have organizers for our toiletries. It may seem like they add extra bulk to your suitcase, but they really do help the packing process. You get used to using them and then you notice if something is missing. It also helps when you’re settling in at the hotel because everything is located in one bag instead of all over your suitcase. And if that bottle of shampoo decides to start leaking mid-flight, the organizer offers protection for your clothing as well. I tried to find the one I use online, but it’s no longer available. There are plenty of others to choose from, however, so happy shopping.
- Use tissue paper. You know how when you buy clothing items at nice stores they almost always nowadays wrap them in tissue paper? Hang on to it to use when you travel. I also buy extra at Christmas time (when it’s on sale) for this purpose. Putting a layer of tissue in between your clothing greatly reduces wrinkling. The tissue prevents the fibers of the clothing from rubbing together, which is what causes the wrinkling in the first place. Try it – it works!
- “Hang” as much as possible. We have one suitcase that allows items to be hung inside for easy folding and removal. Be sure to use hangers that are fairly flexible. The reason I like this option is that once we arrive at the hotel, all I have to do is take the items straight from the suitcase to the closet. I’ve even folded things neatly in suitcases that did not have this option and it worked just fine. As long as you pack enough items around them so that they stay put, using tissue paper if necessary.
- Think square. For items that do not lend themselves to hanging, lay all of the items out, one on top of the other with tissue paper in between, then fold everything into a square. Here are a couple of examples: Pants – put them all together, with the tissue paper in between each pair, then fold in half or into thirds, depending upon the size of your suitcase. Long-sleeved tops, blouses, and shirts – lay them out with the longest sleeves on the bottom, put tissue paper in between. Fold the sleeves in first, then fold in half horizontally. This size “block” always works with my suitcases, but you might need to work with it until it’s just right for you.
- Treat yourself. This might seem like a lot of work at first, but once you get your system down, it will work wonderfully for you. I’ve learned that I pack a whole lot less and get a lot more of what I want in that suitcase. I even pack little extras like my favorite English Breakfast tea and sugar so that I have the comforts of home!
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This post was written by Debra Moorhead, Motivation, Education, Inspiration on June 29, 2007