Whenever I’m packing for something, whether it’s something as simple as a bag for work – or a suitcase for a weeklong vacation, there is something to be said for that terror that fills your mind when you realize that you’ve forgotten something crucial – after you’ve left the house.
That has to be the only reason why lists were ever employed for packing things. Not to keep things categorized or organized – but to prevent that god-awful feeling that ensues when you realize you forgot your iPhone charger, or favorite bathroom product.
Sure, we’re not talking about replacing a tablet or computer – any of these things can be replaced with relative ease at any local Walmart or convenience store. But, there isn’t anything more frustrating than spending more time than you feel should be spent packing – only to realize that you forgot that one thing.
That being said, as I was packing for a getaway weekend with my girlfriend I realized some ground rules that exist about packing. Since spring break vacations are approaching, and spring in general, is approaching – which usually means more travel for leisure and work – it isn’t a terrible idea to refresh yourself with some of the packing basics.
- You might as well pack your charger first. Matter of fact, pack two chargers if you have them – and pack them in different compartments within your bag in case there is a failure within your bag. If you can help it – keep one charger on your person – rather than putting it in a bag at all. It’ll save you a lot of stress, and repeated checking before you leave the house.
- Your appearance on vacation is a reflection of how well you packed. You can always pick out the guy, or gal, who didn’t remember to pack the under shirt that is absolutely required to make the outfit they’re trying to make happen – work. Put some thought into how you’re presenting yourself more than an hour before departure.
- Pack your bathroom bag, as well as your airplane bag (if applicable) more than one day ahead of departure. It honestly doesn’t hurt to keep a small bag of crucial items – like soaps, deodorant, tooth brushes, etc. on hand anytime – just to make the process easier. The same goes for your crucial airplane items. You need your headphones, and pocket battery – so just remember to pack those things long before you leave.
- You don’t need a PhD in folding to keep your bag from falling into chaos. If need be, fold less, and keep things stacked from the bottom. If you’re still not confident, watch this link and then tackle your folding. Just keep as much of your clothing flat as you can to ensure that you don’t end up looking like you rolled out of bed in every article you wear.
- If you travel short distances for work, but still keep a bag – keep that bag ready at all times. Pack it once, and forget about it. Put it in a closet – and then just add crucial items from your dresser in when the time comes to leave.
- If you do forget something – try to be smart about where you buy it. Oh, you forgot headphones? Don’t buy them in the airport. I once paid $60 for a pair of headphones at Detroit Metro when the same pair was $14.99 at Walmart when I arrived home. You’ll live without music for a few hours.
- Unless it’s a charger, then be willing to pay in flesh if need be. When you’re at home, or work, and your phone dies – that feeling of helplessness pales in comparison to the absolute horror that will consume you when your phone dies in a public place. I mean, not because it could save your life or anything – but WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO WHILE YOU’RE WAITING FOR YOUR FLIGHT?!
- Footwear is the most-challenging thing to pack, and the most unforgiving item that will make its way into your bag. Whether they’re sneakers, sandals, or boots – there is no easy way to make them work in your bag. Try packing them first, or just try praying on it – and maybe have a moment with God about the dilemma. Just don’t pack too many.
- Prioritize what you’re packing because not all items, or space is created equal in your bag. A bag is like anyplace else in life. There are property values, items that have different values, and have different levels of importance. Packing your charger at the very bottom of your bag – probably not a good idea – but since it’s getting packed first – there’s a reasonable chance it could happen if you’re not careful. Keep that in mind.
- If you’re that frustrated about how long it’s taking you to pack – go out into the kitchen and get a timer. If you’ve planned your packing correctly, and you know what you’re going to need – there’s no reason it should take too long to complete. Remember, be proactive, and stay ahead of the game!