Great Packing Strategy

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1suitcasePacking for a trip can be a daunting task.  Especially if you try to do it all in one day.  By following my long term packing strategy, you can avoid the stress and focus on the great family memories you will make on your trip.  

Most people plan their trips in advance so usually you have a little time to get ready.  Here is my packing time line:

1 month before your trip:

  • Make  a list of what you need for your trip.  Traveling mom has a great packing list you can use.  
  • Get your suitcases out.  Make sure they are in good condition and you have enough room for everyone.  If you are planning on increasing your suitcases, now would be an excellent time.
  • As you are going about your daily routines, pull things out and pack them away.  For example, as I fold laundry if I see something that I know I want on our trip I will fold it and put it aside.  When I am putting laundry away, it goes straight into the suitcase.  At the 1 month point, I only pack away items I know are special occasion and not worn that often.  That way I know I have it packed and I also don’t have to worry about items I wear all the time being packed away.  When I hang up clothes, I will take down items for our vacation.  These go straight into the suitcases.
  • While I am cleaning house, I will pull out extra toiletries {deodorant, shampoo} and pack them away.  Make sure you are aware of the restrictions on liquids and gels if you are flying.   I always put anything that might spill in a zip top baggie.
  • Make sure you mark things off your list as you pack them away.

2 weeks before your trip:

  • As you are doing laundry, start pulling out everyday clothing items that you want on your trip.  As you are putting laundry away, put these items right into your suitcases.
  • While hanging clothes in the closets, pull out the shoes you want to take and pack them away.
  • Take your packing list with you to the grocery store.  While you are doing your shopping, grab items you will need for your trip.  Sunscreen, aloe, extra toiletries etc.
  • Make sure and mark these items off your list.

1 week before your trip:

  • Take a look at what is left on your list.  Note how many clothing items you still need per person.  Put the rest of these aside as you are folding laundry or pull them out of drawers as you put laundry away.  These items go directly into the suitcases.
  • As you are putting things into closets make sure you have all the foot wear you will need for your trip.  Pack these away.
  • While cleaning house, put all electronics and toiletries you can live without into the suitcases.
  • Mark these items off your list.

The night before your trip:

  • At this point you should have all non essentials packed away.  The night before you leave take everything you need to get ready in the morning and put them in one spot.  This includes chargers for electronics etc.  All items that need to go but cannot be packed until the last minute.  Put your suitcase in the same spot.  In the morning after you use these items, pack them away.

You should now have everything packed for your trip.  Doing your packing over time takes only a few extra minutes each day.  This saves you from the stress of last minute packing.  Now you can focus on the great family memories you are going to make on your trip.  This method has worked well for my family.  I would love to hear how it works for you.

Connie can also be found at her blog Measured by the heart, on Facebook and Twitter.  She loves getting to know new people and hopes you will stop by!


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