Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Packing it In

I've spent a lot of time traveling this summer, and have really come to appreciate the organizing habits I've developed when it comes to packing. Though I'm not as good at traveling light as my daughter, who managed to get everything she needed for a weekend in New York into one backpack (thanks partially to supplemental space from her parents), I've definitely streamlined the packing process.

But now, we're getting ready to pack my daughter up and take her to school, and, from what I'm reading, this process comes with a whole new set of rules. While it can be hard to know what to pack and what to leave behind for a week long vacation, that's nothing compared to sending your first (and, in our case, only) child off to school with "the basic necessities." (Luckily, she's more low maintenance than her mother).

Then, there's the process of getting it all into the car. I still remember how stuffed my dad's car was when my parents took me to school. What I don't remember is how we got it all in there.

From what I've been reading, and from what I've learned, flexibility is key. I keep hearing about trash bags and laundry baskets and, while some of that makes sense (smooshy stuff compresses more easily than rigid crates or suitcases), my I need to see it style is cringing at the uniformity and wondering how on earth we'll distinguish one garbage bag from another upon arrival, making unpacking much more complicated than it needs to be.

So, while we'll use garbage bags to cover the hanging clothes, that's about as far as I plan to take that particular container. So far, here's the rest of the plan.

Pack inside the stuff that's going to stay. We're not buying a lot ahead of time, but my daughter does have a few things in mind (including the aforementioned laundry basket, which she already got as a graduation gift from a clever friend). Those will need to do double duty--packing containers now, storage later.

Keep similar items together. This is one of those at-home rules that applies to travel, too. Why make extra work if we don't have to?

Label liberally. It's going to be a very emotional day. No need to add to the drama with multiple mystery packages.

Keep it flexible. As I said before, smooshy stuff compresses more easily. Duffel bags and totes are easier to distinguish from one another than a whole cache of white garbage bags.

Now I'm going to hand off to you. If you've been down this road, what suggestions can you offer?


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