I like to organize. I like to compartmentalize. Call me what you will. Whatever. It makes me feel calm and comfortable. I'm going on a trip. A three week trip. With my two year old son. Staying at seven different places. SEVEN. This makes me anxious. Don't get me wrong. I'm glad to be visiting everyone. I'm choosing to visit everyone. I love everyone I'm visiting. And, in actuality, it really will be nice being in charge of nothing but the clothes in our suitcases and my son. But living out of a suitcase and uprooting Jackson every few days isn't fun. So, I'm doing what I can to make it as organized as possible.
Here is typically what happens when I pack for a trip:
1) About a month out, I'll start thinking about things I might want to take. I'll take extra precaution not to spill spaghetti sauce on those items that I really want to bring.
2) About a week out I'll start organizing the clothes and doing laundry. This week before traveling is typically not my prettiest week, as I am saving all of my "good clothes" for the trip.
3) If Jackson is traveling with me, I'll start to organize his clothes a couple days out, making sure everything is clean and fits. This trip, when organizing his clothes, I realized that he has no pants that fit. (Poor guy is so thin that in order for his pants to fit him in the waist, they are high waters on him......thank God for adjustable waistbands!) It's still warm here, and he has been in shorts up until now, but he will need pants for the trip, so I hit up the clearance section of Babies-R-Us and stocked up on some winter pants.
4) The day before the trip is when my plan starts to crumble. All of the organizing that I have gone through goes out the window when I actually start to pack. Now that all of my laundry is actually clean I find random shirts that I really like and throw them in the suitcase as well. Never mind the fact that it doesn't actually go with anything else I'm bringing. It's my third favorite cardigan, so I'm sure I'll find some use for it....right?
Well, that's not going to happen this time! In comes the closet app on my phone!
Why didn't I think of this? It is an app to organize your clothes. You take pictures, put them in categories, and can even make outfits and assign those outfits to a calendar day! This is extra great for the kind of packer I am. If it's not included in one of my outfits and assigned to a calendar day, it doesn't go in the suitcase. I even did one for Jackson!
I won't assign his little outfits to the calendar. (Probably. Maybe. Well, if I don't get too bored on the plane) But what I have done in the past and am doing this time (and have already done, actually) is take all of his premade outfits and put them each in an individual ziplock baggie, socks included...those are the hardest to track down when you travel. That way, each morning, we just grab a little bag. This is especially helpful when visiting grandmas. "Here Gramma, these are his clothes for the day. I'm gonna go get in the shower" And besides, I'll squeeze the air out of the bags and save room in his suitcase! Now, you'd think that we should be all set, as far as packing goes. And we pretty much are, when it comes to clothes, but I still have to fit Jackson's pillow, his blanket, and his stuffed bear that's bigger than him (all three of those things he can't sleep without.....trust me, we've tried!), my pillow (my only requirement for me while traveling) 30 future funker shirts, a tivo system that I bought for my mom, some Melaleuca products and some Smart Mom jewelry for my mother in law, and a plethora of baby hats I'm returning to a friend. Two words: SPACE BAGS........ Sigh.....