As I write this article, I am getting ready to trek off to the mountains for a week with my family to participate in a “camp”. We stay in dormitories and eat in the cafeteria, but we have to bring items that are not standard for other trips. Here is how I have simplified preparation for this yearly event:
General Packing Lists
I have general packing lists that will apply to any trip we take. For each family member, they list clothes, toiletries and other necessary items, such as electronics chargers or entertainment. By filling these out, I figure out how many outfits to take, along with dressier clothes and accessories.
Specialized Packing Lists
For each specialized destination we routinely visit, I have a separate list of items. For example, the camping list includes the tent, cookstove, water bottles and kitchen box. For our retreat, I have towels, sheets, trash bags, bathroom cleaners, markers, tape, coffee cups, a power strip and sunscreen on the list.
Each of the family members has a separate toiletry kit containing the basics: shampoo, soap, toothpaste and toothbrush, along with specialized products in small sizes. For me this means I have a contact case and solution in my kit. After returning from a trip, I fill up the bottles. When we are packing, we only need to add specialized items (glasses, medicines) and we are ready.
This is a recent addition to my packing strategy. By employing packing cubes
and a Pack-It Folder, I am able to organize my bag and save a lot of space. I put all my small items: underwear, socks, swimwear into cubes. The folder I use to pack all of my clothes in a way that saves space and keeps them neat. I also use a small packing cube to handle all of my electronic cords.
Before You Leave Checklist
I also have a list of things I need to do before we leave for an extended trip. This includes emptying the garbage, turning off the water to the washer, clearing out the disposal, locking the garage doors and setting the security system. This prevents us from asking “Did you empty the diaper genie?” four days into the trip, and realizing what we would have to face when we got home.
Photo by malias