What a waste of time packing is. You spend hours of making lists and thinking through all the stuff that you will need, ending up with many useless space-takers, and some really essential things missing. At least that’s what happens to me every time I have to go somewhere and prepare my luggage. How about you?
I know this may not seem like such a big problem if you are going on a short weekend break. Even a longer holiday of like 4-7 days, for that matter. However, a couple of weeks ago I was faced with the nearly impossible task of having to pack for our family moving away to live in Reading, UK. I am talking here changing not only the town, but the country. And that’s our entire family of three.
Would you like to know how we managed? Read further down if you’re interested 😉
So, naturally, one has to start from somewhere. When our baby was born, we knew we would not sit in one place. We were determined to travel at least half as much as we used to before he was born. He was about 2-3 months old (sorry for not being too exact about this, but the first few months are a bit of a blur still ) and we decided to go on a weekend break to a place close by. This was our trial run to see what we’ll forget. We made a very comprehensive list of things we needed to take. No need to mention that the baby stuff comprised about 80% of our entire luggage. Space wise – it seemed like there was no luggage of our own, but only the little one’s. We managed pretty well this time with only one thing forgotten – diapers 😀 Don’t get me wrong – we had them on the list (we were not THAT sleep-deprived), just forgot to pick them up with the rest of the luggage.
Anyway, until September we managed to test this list a few more times and then we were ready for the ultimate challenge – going on a beach holiday, with a baby, in another country, for 11 days. We nailed it!
All the above I am saying just to let you know how prepared we thought we were for the big move. Na-haa. We were not. It is one thing to have to take only the necessities for a couple of weeks even, and a completely different thing to have to pack for the next at least few years. And not only that – we also had to almost empty our apartment and prepare it for its next resident, which proved to be a very difficult task.
I need to thank my husband here for being so organized, because two months before we moved he knew exactly what he was going to take with us. I only needed to ride along and take the equivalent of his stuff for myself i.e. clothes. What I did differently this time was I starting by going room by room. I cleared out and put away all the things I knew we were not going to need in the UK or at all, and believe it or not I was almost done in a couple of weeks. We left a great deal of stuff for my mother-in-law to use (she was the one who took over the apartment). She was kind enough to agree to use most of our things instead of bringing in her own. Thus, we did not have to put away too many things.
The list I mentioned earlier – the one we used for our vacations, was of immense help. It was a starting point, on which we built up the rest. So now I am a huge fan of lists, but not just one you’ve made a few days before going somewhere, rather, one that has been tested and retested a few times.
This list also has a few versions:
- a short break one
- a long vacation one
- one for staying with my family (this is one of the shortest ones, because then I do not have to bring our own towels, or bedsheets even – I am freaky like that), etc.
Regardless, it is still my most trusted helper. I know that this is not going to be the last trip we make and therefore I am sure to make further use of it. I am excited to explore new places around where we are now and am ready to pack.
How do you do your packing? Let me know if you have any lists and please please please share them with me. I still feel like I might be forgetting something J
P.s. I still hate packing soooo much, but at least I am more organized about it.