Fridays are tip days at SimpleProductivity blog.
A Twitter follower asked me for tips on packing productivity. After I shot back a smart-a$$ remark about how I’d never been able to pack productivity, I thought about it and gave a real answer. And then I thought, ‘that’s something I should blog about!’
So here it is, the Simple Productivity Guide to Packing.
Know Your Essentials
The first step for me was to figure out exactly what things I had to make sure I have. These are the things that it would be almost impossible for me to replace should I leave them at home. Here’s my list:
- Glasses (I wear contacts)
I take those essentials and put them in my backpack. Now I can relax, because if I forget anything, I will be able to buy it at my destination.
Next Up: Nice-To-Haves
Once I have the essentials, I can work on what I consider nice-to-haves. I would survive if I forgot these things, and these are clothing, toiletries and gadgets. (Please understand I would never travel without some of them, but just knowing that I have the really important stuff packed makes this go a lot quicker — I am not freaking out trying to remember everything.)
There are many schools of thought on how to pack clothing. My thought is that my clothing has to be easy-care, work with multiple outfits, and be comfortable. I try to layer clothes whenever possible, and make do with one pair of shoes.
I don’t believe in packing two pairs of socks and washing them at night in the sink, nor in spending time ironing or packing to avoid creasing.
There are tons of sites out there that tell you how to select your clothing, fold it and pack it. The only thing I can add: if I am going to be out of town for a week, I see if I can do laundry mid-week at my destination.
Personally, I use packing cubes, and a packing folder to make clothing neat. If we share a suitcase, we roll clothing to save space, and fill in bits of space (like in shoes) with smaller items. Always, always, always, I pack everything that could spill in zipper bags, and throw in some plastic shopping bags.
For toiletries, I have things I am picky about, and things that don’t matter so much. For the things that don’t matter so much, I will use whatever the lodging provides. For the picky stuff, I bring it along. The key is knowing what the difference is.
My toiletry kit remains packed between trips. The small bottles get refilled when I return from a trip, and it is always ready to go. All I have to do is add my makeup, and I am set to go.
What do I bring? Body lotion (I’m sensitive to some perfumes), my toothbrush, sunscreen, and makeup. The rest I use what is provided.
For gadgets (and I am a gadget lover!) the main thing I worry about is charging. I bring my iGo charging kit with the various tips, and all of our devices are set.
I also do as much double-duty gadgeting as possible. Movies and books are loaded onto my iPod Touch, eliminating the need for a DVD player and my Kindle. If I absolutely have to bring a computer, I opt for my daughter’s netbook rather than my laptop because of size and bulk.
I try to make packing as stress-free as possible. I always forget something, so I take the approach to make sure the essentials are covered, and the rest isn’t a big deal.
Photo by photofarmer