Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Suitcase Strategies

Today was a crazy, run around kinda day...at least I made it home before it started pouring rain!!! I'm slowly checking things off my to-do list before our move to Germany in June. We had our third language class today.

I thought I would share an article I read in my Budget Travel magazine. I thought it was pretty neat. I think if I get stressed at all over this moving overseas, it will be the packing part. Because we will not be getting any of our stuff for about a month after arriving and I have to pack enough for 6 people...four little people and two big people. Ay-yi-yi!

So here are some suitcase strategies:

Did you know there are three types???

1. The List Maker:
a) Make a detailed trip schedule, including outings, and types of clothing you'll need for each and stick to it!
b) Don't bring any item of clothing that won't be worn at least twice and in different combinations! (which is soooo me, because I layer clothes and make new outfits out of the same junk all the time)
c) Plan your wardrobe so that darks, lights, and colors are worn in sequence. That way, they'll be ready to be washed at the same time.
d) Pack at least one full day in advance....you'll leave room for items to settle, creating a little extra space for worthy additions.

2. The Communal Thinker:

a) Have each family member cart their outfits and extras into the living room and sort it all into categories.
b) Load one bag with the family's shoes, and one bag with everyone's outerwear and extras-umbrellas, phone chargers, and toiletries.
c) Then make on combined suitcase of everyday clothing for the whole family for each week, include four or five outfits per person, plus all the pj's on top. You'll only need to open one suitcase a day, reducing hotel-room clutter(and the likelyhood of leaving items behind).
d) Stash dirty laundry in a plastic bag, and after several days you'll have a suitcase full ready to wheel to the laundromat.

3. The Compartmentalizer:

a) Using 2-gallon Ziploc bags, a permanent marker, and stickers, label each bag according to the day of the trip or by event ("day at the museum" or "dinner at the nice restaurant") (this gal must not have four kids, Cuz I seriously would have 50 bags and they would go like this "day at the park" day at the pool" "breakfast" "lunch" "dinner" "chocolate pie" "Mud puddle at flea market")
b) Toss in a few extra bags for wet or dirty clothes" (maybe if I only had a thong or some dress socks! I'm thinking not even a dirty pair of jeans would fit in a ziploc!"
c)Sort outfits by day and slide them into the corresponding bags, folding as follows: dress shirts and pants folded into thirds; shorts short skirts, and underwear folded in half; T-shirts and long skirts folded in half, then rolled.
d)Squeeze excess air from the bags before sealing, and layer inside the suitcase in chronological order.

Honestly, I try to avoid plastic, so this is not me...but I've heard great things about the vacuum seal bags which are reuseable from what I hear.

I hope to avoid this catastrophe!

Okay so obviously I'm not the Compartmentalizer here.....I would love to hear what kind of packer you are and any good ideas or tips you have. Being an avid hiker I pack A LOT...BUT I pack ultra light because I have to carry it ALL up and DOWN the mountain....this is different, because we may be living out of a suitcase for a month before we get into a house. Looking forward to hearing from you! :)


LeAnn said...

dh is a clothing rolling pro, I am sure your dh knows that trick too. It saves a ton of space. But yikes, I wouldn't pack all shoes or toiletries in one bag, I would be afraid it would be the one bag lost in transit. Ya know?
I do usually pack a day at a time, for us that works great. You could use stuff sacks instead of ziplocs for some things. ultra light hiking concepts will still work great just applied differently. Often less is more, if well thought out. My hardest issue with the less is more concept usually end up being that combo of kids/mud puddles. :O

HOPE said...

I might be a PRO since I have moved a good distance atleast 6 times...and remember with 5 kids!

#1 as LeAnn said..DO NOT pack all in one bag..it WILL get lost and then you are without it ALL.

#2 Backpacks for kids with one set of clothes and their fun stuff. Just in case a suitcase is lost or a delay..change of clothes! (toothbrush too ect)

#3 One suitcase is toys.

#4 roll it all..and stuff in socks for breakables/or special items and pack in center of suitcase with clothing for protection.

#5 I just read to use one HUGE bag for carry on with Laptop etc. INSIDE..counts as ONE bag! Smart!!

#6 take with you in your carry on..toiletries..there is always a delay. Wipies to freshen up.

#7 You might also try packing something for EACH of you in ALL your suitcases..just in case any one or two get lost or delayed.Then you have something for EVERYONE...

I also read to layer your clothes on you..that's if you don't do the body scanner..LOL. This way you can take off any warmer and put in the overhead or use as a PILLOW!

Hope this helps...

I liked the middle pic..and the towering suitcases..nightmare!

Love and hugs
The Happy Packer

J.H said...

wow, Germany in June! how exciting!
Well, I've been moving 12 times in 7 years of my life in singapore and at least 6 times during my life in UK. So probably I could pack in my sleep. Haha...

Ayesha said...

Hey Natural Momma! I forget where I saw it--either your blog or fb--but you said you were drinking creme' brulee'----do you have a recipe? The ones I saw on internet where for a custard or either alcholic....Thanks a Bunch!

Aubrey said...

Ayesha~ I had a mix of herbs my mom gave me when she came up. If you don't have a tea house near you...mountainroseherbs.com is an awesome site that sells really great teas.

LeAnn~I agree...I don't know that I want toothpaste all over my favorite pair of boots;)

Hope~ Backpacks for each...good idea...we may have to stay overnight at the airport.:)

Jess~June will be here before we know it!! :)