This chapter could not have been more timely as me and the family as we have several summer trips planned over the next few months. If you have been following this blog for sometime then you are familiar with this monthly organizational feature. Each month, I follow bring you a chapter of ” One year to an Organize life,” by Regina Leeds, and let you know the results from each chapter. To see prior post just click on the links here. So far we have been through the kitchen, garage, bathroom, bedroom and paper files. It has been an amazing journey of decluttering. This month addresses travel and packing. With summer travel in full effect it could not have come at a better time.
Earlier in the year me and the family went on a short three day cruise. Short…only three days…you would think I wouldn’t have to pack that much right??? Well, in my usual style, I totally over did it. I had 2 massive suitcases, a formal clothing bag, a toiletries bag and 3 backpacks full to the brim with toys, books and other items. For 3 days! What was I thinking. As you probably guessed we never ended up using half of what we brought but we had to lug it all around the terminal and unpack it all when we got home. What a waste of space, time and energy. A mistake I don’t intend to make again.
I want to start of by saying this chapter was chock full of good advice for travel and packing in general. One of the best pieces of advice and one I thought was genius was to bring a roll of duck tape with you. If you are travel long distances or if your luggage is showing wear. It would come in really handy should your baggage get damaged and develop a hole or rip. There were tons more but I thought this was a great one.
One of the interesting thing that the author does is to have you think not of your best trip, but of your worst. She has you identify why it was your worst travel experience and to use this to learn what not to do in the future. She even makes a list of things that her bad travel experience has taught her. I found this helpful in identifying what worked and what didn’t in my families vacations.
For example, growing up my family was never very organized when we traveled and never had a plan of what to do for the day. My parents tended to waste time puttering around a condo in Florida instead of going to new places and having new experiences.
This translated to my intense need to over schedule in my adult travels. I feel the need to not waste a moment of our vacation.
The author also suggests something that I have done from time to time with great results. A travel checklist. I have found when I did not create a checklist, I over packed items I didn’t use and left without items I actually need…like a toothbrush. It is worth the extra effort to write a short list as you gather your travel items together.
This will also help you identify items that are specific to the place you are traveling. Going to Disney? You will want to forgo the flip flops for a good pair of walking shoes. Also, keep in mind the season and climate of where you are traveling. You don’t want to have to stuff that oversized coat in your bag just in case it gets cold.
In the third section she discusses something not people never really think about when traveling, our return home. I tend to have people stay at my house while I’m away. So I take the extra step to clean up before I go. The author mentions what a hassle it would be to come home tired from a long trip, to a dirty house. Not a happy homecoming.
One last thing I would like to add in prepping to leave on your summer vacation. Keep in mind the security of you home. Set some lights on automatic timers. Have the neighbors get your mail and check on things. And for goodness stakes don’t post on social media that you will be away! You never know who might be looking over your friends shoulder reading your Facebook update or Instagram post. Please wait to post your vacation pictures when you are safely home. Wishing you safe and happy traveling this summer.