How Not to Pack | Do Try This at Home: How Not to Pack

Saturday, March 24, 2007

How Not to Pack

As I understand it, certain people are capable of packing in 20 minutes regardless of trip length or destination. It’s always taken me days and weeks, or several hours at best and even then I arrive wondering how I managed to bring along a potato peeler, a lava lamp, but no socks. What follows is a fairly typical packing experience for me, except that I procrastinated on purpose until five hours before I had to walk out the door. It’s still no 20 minutes, but at least was self-limiting:
Take out suitcases. Briefly consider cleaning out my closet, but settle for shuffling around a few things so the suitcases can be more accessible next time.

Put clothing into suitcase. Notice that ¾ of my pants are similarly colored olive/grey cargo capris. Wonder if I actually need that many pair and consider whether or not I have time for a quick run to the Salvation Army.
Run out to the car to get my book to read on the flight. Clean out the car.
Remember I’m supposed to be packing. Pack a few more clothing items.
Put a couple of the olive/grey pants back in the dresser. Notice a pile of papers on top of the dresser. Make a half hearted attempt at doing some filing. Settle for removing the bills, promising myself I’ll pay them before boarding the plane, and stuff the rest of the papers into my desk.
Remember I’m supposed to be packing. Pack a few more clothing items.
Clean up the remains of a paper towel roll I found in my suitcase and which immediately met the fate of all fluffy, white objects that enter my home: cotton balls, Q-tips, tampons, paper towels and the like don’t stand a chance against my two cats, who thoroughly shred them, distributing the remains evenly from one end of the apartment to the other before leaving them for dead. For whatever reason, only toilet paper remains in their good graces long enough to be used for its intended purpose.
Notice while disposing of the paper towel remains that the kitchen could use some cleaning. Scrub counters. Clean out toaster oven.
Remember I’m supposed to be packing. The kids have been packing for themselves recently, but I’ve procrastinated long enough that they won’t be home in time to pack and I’ll have to do it for them this time.
Realize immediately upon entering Cassie’s closet that their packing independence has come at a price: her closet is a total disaster. Go through her things wondering how she has even kept some semblance of personal hygiene about her – I certainly can’t tell which clothes are clean or dirty. Box up and label camp clothing and hand me downs that are still several sizes too large. Make a Salvation Army bound pile.
Look around for Cassie’s second Croc. Make the dreadful error of looking under her bed. Throw away most of the garbage…I mean prized possessions…I find under there.
Pack a few items of her clothing.
Go into Jared’s closet and decide it’s just as bad as hers. Clean out his closet, adding to the labeled boxes and Salvation Army pile.
Remember I’m supposed to be packing. Gather bathroom kit.
Put away some books that are taking up space in a bag I need to bring with me. See Rise Up Singing and start looking through it for recommendations the music teacher at my school mentioned she could use.
Remember I’m supposed to be packing. Find hats and sunscreen.
Stop for breakfast. Clean out fridge. Wonder if I have time to run a friend’s share of veggies from the farm co-op to her apartment before leaving town.
Remember I’m supposed to be packing. Start packing airplane snacks. Look inside ice cream maker for hidden chocolate. Find recipe for from-scratch-ice-cream using cooked instead of raw egg. Remember that some scrapbook friends had been discussing good cooked egg ice cream recipes. Bring ice cream recipe to the computer to type in. Remember I promised myself not to turn on the computer until I was done packing...and that I’m supposed to be packing.
Pack a little more clothing and do my “purse purge” (failed purge 1, failed purge 2), remove all liquids, knives, tools, and “other implements of destruction” and clean out my purse. For what’s worth, this time I managed to remove every last prohibited item except for two books of matches and a nail.
Move suitcases to the door. Notice that I’m taking approximately the same quantity of stuff for 8 days away as I did for several recent overnights away and also a 17 day trip. Wonder if I’ll find anything I actually need inside any of the suitcases when I arrive. It’s a good thing I travel. Otherwise my house would be a complete wreck!


toners said...

You had me laughing out loud there! What a great entry :) I hope you scrap this one!

Anonymous said...

I hated when my mom cleaned my room...she threw out all the good stuff and left the trash!!!

Anyway, I'm still laughing!

FlipFlop Mom said...

I'm still laughing.. this is sooooooo meeeee!!! This is great!! Thanks for sharing that!!! I'm not alone!!

Anonymous said...

You pack just the way everything. LOL. So very true and funny.

Angie @ Flibbertigibberish said...

Ugh! Sounds waaaay too familiar! Hilarious!

Maureen said...

Your post made me laugh. As I hate packing and always seem to find something else to do

Anonymous said...

LOL!!! That was great!

Lara Neves said...

So hilarious! This is how I clean my house...very ADD like. And packing...basically the same way. Drives DH bonkers.

And I ALWAYS forget something important.

Colleen said...

Too funny! Think you'll find more people than you know do this!!

Noelia said...

Oh this is too funny! I think we can all relate to a certain degree (I never ever do this ;)
I agree with previous posters, you should totally scrap this one, your journaling is already done!

Great entry!

Anonymous said...

How about this instead, maybe it will help for the next time!

How TO Pack for a trip

very amusing! I am so not like that, it amazes me that anyone can function like you! I begin as soon as I know I did my last laundry before the trip, then I pull anything I want to pack, make outfits and fold them on top of my dresser. I then make a list of how many day and how many night things I need and begin filling in the items as they are grouped and folded. I even write down 7 pairs of underwear, 3 bras and if I need socks, I write down how many of each color. I do this through the week as I think about what I will need. I also force myself to pack only 3 pairs of shoes plus what I wear on the plane (the plane wearing clothing is also considered and put aside) and so each outfit must match a pair of shoes which have also been pulled and set aside at the base of the dresser. In the other column of my list I write down all toiletries, accessories and other essentials so that I don't forget anything. I even write down things like gum, sunglasses, suitcase keys, driver's license, plane tickets, etc. I then get a special "travel" purse which is not my everyday purse and begin putting in what I will need and of course crossing that off as I go. I also have various freebie makeup type bags which I begin filling with face creams, hand cream, hair scrunchies, extra watch, earrings and again, these items get crossed off my list as I go. I have a "master" carry on (which will now have to be checked through) filled with sample sizes of everything, mostly hotel shampoos and conditioners and small hand creams, a toothbrush, disposable razor, sample size shaving cream, sample size Q-tips pack, a mini sewing kit, a sample size deodorant, a small kit with nail clippers, file, etc. and that is permanently packed so all I do is grab it before a trip. If I use something up during a trip, I make sure to replace it once I get home so the bag is always ready to go next time. OK so I am sure you get the idea, maybe this will help you organize for next time?

Melissa said...

LOL! this sounds like me trying to focus on cleaning one thing in the house and then doing a million other things.

as for packing Im a little more organized-I am a list person so I write down everything i need for the trip and check it off as I place things in the suitcase. BUT even though I do this I always manage to forget something

EquineSpirit said...

ROFL!! That sounds like me packing for horse shows, cat shows, trips, etc. It could take me the better part of a day to "pack" due to all the miscellaneous stuff I do at the same time...LOL!

Danisha said...

This was great! I don't know what kind of packer I am. Sometimes I make a list, but no matter if I make a list or not, I am ALWAYS a last min. packer! I have two girls (9 & 10) they have been packing for themselves for a couple of years now.

We go and visit my mom and dad in TX every year. I just make sure they have underwear, shorts, socks, shoes, toothbrush, something to occupy them on the plane. Anything else we forget, we can get when we are there.

No muss, no fuss, no agrevation, no grief. However, I ALWAYS seem to forget something, but never my camara!

ALF said...

This definitely sounds similar. I guess we both need help from Martha Stewart.


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