suitcase packing shoe bag carry on

Vacation Packing

As I mentioned in my previous post, our annual forced vacation is upon us and that means packing. Lots of packing. Fortunately, my years of traveling for work have honed my packing process into a finely tuned machine. It’s nothing complicated, really. It’s just a grid separated by day, but without it, I’d be hopelessly lost and it’s my first Quick Tip.

I start out with my packing template, which is not super pretty, but it gets the job done. One column shows the date, what we’re doing that day and, if I’ve really got time on my hands, the weather. The second column is where I detail my clothes and jewelry selections and the third column is for Miss O’s clothes. I’m sure her jewelry selections are not far off, but I refrain from encouraging her just yet.

Packing Template

I find this all helps me if I get sidetracked while trying to get everything together for myself and for Miss O. Hubs is left to his own devices. It would be easy enough to add a fourth column for him or if we had another little Miss or Mister, so I feel like I’ve got the flexibility to keep my options open, but seriously, I can only do so much.

I do my list on my laptop, right in the template, usually while half watching one of our many shows on Netflix or Hulu. At this point, I can visualize my closet and see my choices, but in the beginning I actually sat on the bed with my closet door open. I’d rummage through everything, build an outfit and type it into the appropriate box. Now I can basically do it in my head, but I still loves me a good printed list. I wish I could say I do this a week or two in advance, but lately it gets thrown together the night before I plan on packing and sometimes it happens as I am packing. I think it works well in either situation, but you be the judge.

I think it’s important to note I am not confining my choices to those particular days per se. I am assigning an outfit to a day on my template, for the sake of creating an outfit, making sure I have all the pieces to that outfit and then making sure I have enough of those outfits for the duration of my trip. There is not one thing on Earth stopping me from wearing what I have listed for Tuesday on Sunday instead. Go ahead, mix it up! Live a little. Isn’t that what vacation is for?

Honestly, the best thing this method has done for me is force me to streamline how much I pack. Choosing what I would pack for each day was a challenge at first and I used to throw in all sorts of extra “what if” things, like shoes and hats. I love hats!! Once you get used to it, you’ll never miss the excess. It also really helps define what you wear everyday, which is incredibly useful if you’re thinking of purging your closet soon.

I do try to print it out, especially for trips that are about a week long or longer. It helps me remember what I envisioned and makes getting ready in the morning go so much more quickly. It also helps with Miss O, since I don’t have to go rummaging around to create her outfit on the fly. I just look at the list when I get out of the shower that morning and grab and go. If you have a mini-me that says no to everything, I wish I could say the list will help, but all I can say is at least you have options and a girl can dream, ya know?

So go ahead and help yourself. Try the DKYO Packing Template – Word Version or the DKYO Packing Template – PDF Version.  See if it works for you. If it does, great! If it doesn’t; maybe you’re more like my Hubs and can wing it once you get there. I have never fared well without a little advanced preparation. It doesn’t take too long to do and it saves a whole lot of aggravation when you get where you’re going and know you don’t have to use every app in your arsenal to find the nearest Target.

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