Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Not Traveling Incognito

There are times when our styles emerge vividly. For me, one of those times is packing for a trip.

Though I make lists before we travel (and I even bought a cute notepad to encourage myself to take the leap from stuff to paper), my I need to see it style emerges with a vengeance when I'm getting ready for a trip. For better or for worse, it's my primary packing mode.

For trips longer than a weekend, a laundry basket takes up residence in the bedroom about a week before we leave. This is my pre-packing zone. As clean clothes come up from the basement, the ones I want to pack go into the laundry basket. When it's time to pack, I lay things out on the bed in categories so I can see what I have and what I need more of. I add to and subtract from the piles as I put things in the suitcase. When everything is off the bed (one way or another), I'm packed.

Since our main bathroom is on the first floor, I used to repeat this process on the dining room table for all medicines and toiletries. But, since I created a travel bin in my last closet overhaul, I have everything but the medicine pre-packed in a toiletries case with extras in the bin. All I need to do is take stock of the case, replenish what's missing and put the case in my bag. When it's time to pack up and come home, I repeat the process (minus the replenishment). I find that I dread packing to come home much less than I dread packing to leave. There's a simple reason for that. When I pack to come home, I know when I'm finished. When there's nothing left to put in a bag and all I can see is clear space, my work is done. My I need to see it style revels in such simplicity.

ArtsyBee via Pixabay
Lately, I've noticed that I've begun to use this process when I pack my bag for class as well. Since I work from home (while my husband is at work and my daughter is at school) before leaving to teach, I move everything that has to go into my work bag onto the living room sofa as I finish with it. Moving things from the sofa into the bag is the visual version of checking things off a list and when I stash the bag in my car, I usually have a visual memory of putting something into the bag (or not), relieving both last-minute panic and repeated list-checking.

I've often thought that I should move to a list plan, but lately, I've realized that I wouldn't be doing that for myself. What I'm doing works for me, no matter how silly it looks or sounds to someone else, and my guess is that anyone with an I need to see it personal style would understand completely.

Packing for a trip can be stressful. Why not do it in a way that makes sense to you?

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