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Pain-free packing!

- Author: Crystal - No Comments

luggageA packing list will help you avoid two very common mistakes:

1. Packing the morning of or night before a trip, and/or

2. Being a “What If” packer!

Here are my 1-2-3 easy packing tips:

  1. Choose one of these sample packing lists: Business or Vacation
  2. Adapt it to your own needs! Be realistic, and remember that lighter luggage is always better.
  3. Save it! Better yet, copy it to a free online list manager, such as Backpack. (Backpack is where I keep all my lists for easy access via the Web.) With Backpack, you can refer to your packing list – and make edits and refinements – whenever you need to!

What’s a “What If” packer?

A “What If” packer is the person who asks themselves too many “What if” questions while they are packing, and who ends up throwing into their suitcase a zillion things they never end up using on their trip.

You know how it goes: What if I get invited out to a fancy dinner? I’ll need those green pants to go with my top. Oh, and those matching purple shoes and belt too! What if the hotel has a tennis court? I’ll need my tennis racket, balls, outfit, shoes, etc.. What if it rains? I’ll need my raincoat, boots and umbrella too! What if I get really bored? I should pack a stack of books, magazines, Sudoku…

To avoid being a “What if” packer, remember the following:

  • Packing lighter is always better. Period. For your sanity, for the sanity of others, and for the health of your back.
  • Take a tip from those clever Europeans and pack black or other neutral clothing pieces you can mix up and use across multiple events and outings. Colorful jewelry or scarves are great for accenting and dressing up/down neutral outfits.
  • Use a packing list that you prepared in advance, and do not deviate from it unless you have a very valid reason to do so.
  • When you arrive at your destination, you can nearly always borrow or purchase whatever that you forgot to bring. And that usually ends up being way more fun anyway!
  • Avoiding the “what ifs” comes with practice and experience. Be realistic and honest with yourself when you think of what you want to and will accomplish during your trip!

So when should I begin packing?

  • At least three days (ideally, one week) prior to your trip, take a solid 5-10 minutes to look at your packing list. Preferably, print it out. Ask yourself: Are there items on this list I need to purchase, borrow, or wash/dry clean before I can pack? Are there errands I need to complete to prepare? If yes, highlight these items/errands on the list, and get them done at least two days before your trip.
  • Two days before your trip, lay your luggage out and open. Begin putting items into the luggage, checking them off the list. Don’t worry about how they are arranged in the luggage just yet. This two-day head start will allow you to troubleshoot and obtain any missing items in time for your trip!
  • The night before your trip, go through the list one more time, ensuring that all last-minute items are packed. Now is the time to arrange the items in the luggage and zip her up!

Happy packing, and Bon Voyage!

Have ideas to share? Post a comment, or write to Crystal (crystal@sparkleize.com).

Categories: Closets, Travel

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