Monday, August 13, 2012

Day 249

Packing ins't my forte. In fact, I suck at packing. Here's a typical situation--for a weekend trip: I'll spend hours the night before, trying to locate where favorite pieces of clothing are. Then I'll start washing them. And drying. And folding. Then I'll agonize over what I'm bringing and not bringing. When I finally get everything packed - except my contacts and makeup and toothbrush stuff, which I'll pack in the morning - it's 1:30 a.m. At this point, my contacts and makeup and toothbrush and stuff are pretty much as they are all of the rest of the days, all around the bathroom. Jon's toiletries, on the other hand, are lined up neatly on the side of the sink, so that he can just work his way down the line - rinse, brush, zip - go.

Curiously, becoming a better perfect packer is something I'm constantly striving toward. So I seek out those "what to pack" magazine stories like this recent one in More magazine. Features like these offer great advice: tips like pack stuff that's all in the same color palette.. bring only three pairs of shoes (do running shoes count?)... plan to wear your tank top three times (clearly the writer of such advice doesn't sweat like I do). I plan to follow it--and then I say "F&*k it! I'm driving this time... I've got room for shoes."

Now I pack for 3 Jules and Kai. You'd think I'd delegate this task to Jon but no.
I am not only a bad packer. I am also a control freak. 

No more... I want to be a minimalist packer. But I want to know JUST what to bring. I want a simple list - one that outlines everything I need to bring. Exactly what I need to bring. Like the kind of list you get before you go to camp. A list that's as simply instructive as Joan Didion's packing list--which I discovered on a blog (when Joan Didion posted it on Facebook). It's awesome.

I'm heading to PA for a week (next week)... I'll be hanging out with family, playing with kids, taking long walks in parks and in Pittsburgh, swimming, going to a baseball game. So help me out: what exactly should I pack? 


  1. I think for me I pack the best when I start a week in advance by just making a list. Then I keep it next to my computer at work and edit it throughout the week and as I check the weather for my destination everyday. I try to be as specific as possible in the list so I have a chance to ask, "Why am I bringing this?" And the key is 2 days before actually pack it. Don't pack more than the list but feel free to edit down while packing.

    As for kids quite awhile ago we helped Sophia make a packing list of how many socks, underwear, shirts, etc. for a trip and then she's in charge of putting that together herself. I count everything as it goes in the bag but it effectively prevents any, "But where's my X shirt?!" panics when we get there.

    Sorry so long but all in all I think the best packing list is one that you've taken the time to make based on your preferences, experience traveling, etc. It's just taking the time to do it that's crucial.

    1. This is such great advice. And I love the idea of letting Jules get involved with the packing.

  2. Hey Nicci - I'll share a google doc with you that I made for our trips. It doesn't say what exactly to pack, but at least it's a list. I go for one nice outfit, then enough clothes for 3 days if I'm staying somewhere with a washer/dryer. For the kids I bring about 9 outfits since their clothes are tiny and easy to wash/fold and if you're staying with family maybe someone else will do the laundry for you ;).

    1. THANK YOU for sending that - you are so organized, it boggles my mind. :-) Lucky for me, you're extremely generous about sharing your strategies. xo