Thursday, March 7, 2013

Oh, the Places You'll Go and the Packing You'll Do

Today is your day!

Your mountain is waiting.

So...get on your way!” 

How simply inspirational. Although published well after my Dr. Seuss days, I adore all things Seuss. This book absolutely would have been one of my favorites as a child. 

What the great Theodor Seuss Geisel forgot to warn us about was packing. I hate packing. In a very Seuss-like fashion I've found myself on the floor, surrounded by things I long to take that simply will not fit in my bag. And I can hear him whisper:

Your passport, your toothbrush, your tennies, your hat. .  .
Make your life simple, you don't need more than that.

And maybe I don't. But I so do. I'm not that girl who can pack 16 pieces and magically create 40 outfits for any weather or occasion. I hate that bitch.  

In the past, I blamed my over-packing tendencies on prolonged visits or changing seasons. I did need sandals and boots and sweaters and tanks to get through six months in Tokyo. There was no way I would be able to buy clothes and shoes in Japan. At least not womens clothes and shoes.

But our last four trips have been short, sweet, and one climate. And I'm still somewhat perplexed on how to get everything I need for six weeks or less into one bag weighing less than 50 pounds.  

Excuse me. I misspoke. I meant to say everything I want.  

I do, however, know a few secrets.
  • Dump vitamins/TUMS/other boxed OTC drugs into ziploc bags.  You'll be surprised the places you can cram them. In a shoe, for example.
  • I own heavy belts. I hate wearing belts to the airport just to take them off. Although at least one of my buckles could be considered a weapon, I put my belts in my carry-on. Less weight and after security you can put it on. Or strangle someone.
  • I always pack at least one pair of shoes I intend to leave behind. Frees up space for last minute purchases. Like the forty bracelets I just bought. 
  • Try not to bring anything white. If you're like me, you can only wear it once before it needs a wash. I prefer to pack things the color of dirt.
  • Keep ALL medications in your carry-on. Not only does it prevent them getting lost with your luggage, it's not good to expose medicines to huge temperature variations. Same with electronics and batteries.
  • Layering several thin shirts can be as warm as one big, bulky thick sweater. And more versatile. And you can pick and choose which one is next to your skin. 
  • When packing shoes, stuff them with socks or other items to help them retain their shape and conserve space.
  • Find that elusive handbag that goes with everything, crosses over your body for security purposes and fits the essentials. This trip it was a turquoise Fossil crossbody. I love Fossil bags.
  • Bring tampons.
  • After finally settling on what you are taking, remove at least five pieces of clothing, 1 pair of shoes and the bulkiest item. Keep in mind, whatever you remove will be the ONE thing you wish you had.  
  • Buy lighter, soft-sided, wheeled, duffel bag-like suitcases.  It's far easier to stuff them to capacity.
It takes me anywhere from 3 hours to 3 days to pack before a trip.  It's tedious and time consuming. FM watches with a combination of dismay, amazement, and mirth.

The good news is today I'm packing to go home. This usually takes about 20 minutes. 
After spending an hour contemplating which shoes are being left behind.

This post is dedicated to my dear friend Joycey Joyce Clark. As promised.  

1 comment:

Bill H. said...

I can feel Mikes vibes on this one!! Guy packing is much less stressful.