Five Packing Hacks

This last weekend the kids and I headed up to Breckenridge, CO for the Snow Sculpture Championships (more on that in another post). My kids were with their dad the two nights prior to going up to the mountains. I had informed them on Tuesday night that I would pick them up from school and we would head directly up the mountain (They get out of school at 3 p.m. and I needed to be at an event at 5:30 p.m. – it takes about an hour and a half in good traffic to get from our house to Breckenridge).

My daughter said I could pack for her (a rare chance for me to still pick out her clothes for her) – my son said all he needed me to pack was what was on his bed. He usually totes clothing back and forth between my house and my ex’s, so I figured he would have what he needed. Upon arrival to the condo, he asked for the stuff I packed for him (the tablet and two sweatshirts). I proudly gave them to him. Then he said, “Where’s my underwear, deodorant and toothbrush?” UGH. Good thing there was a WalMart nearby.

I usually don’t have to think much about what I pack – at least when it comes to the essentials. I had a friend in college who was a flight attendant. She told me some of the tips/tricks that they use.

1. Pack a few things that always stay in the suitcase (a separate set from what you use at home everyday) these include: toothbrush and toothpaste; hairbrush/comb; deodorant; razor; make-up (I usually am very basic with base, eyeliner, mascara and chapstick).

2. I usually pack a few sample items that stay in the suitcase as well. A packet of advil, small sample size of pepto, band-aids, febreeze (or other fabric spray in travel size), emergen-C, a couple safety pins (which I just pin to one of the inside zipper pulls), and a small “multi tap” so I can plug in multiple things at once (this was especially helpful when I only had one converter in Germany). If you have an extra charger/cord for your phone. I’d leave that in the suitcase always too.

3. Pack around your shoes. Shoes can take up a lot of space. If you can wear one pair and pack the other – and work anything around just those two you will save a lot of space/time.

4. Think Mix-and-Match. Most of the time people will not notice if you wear black pants every other day and a different shirt. Multiple outfits with fewer actual items.

5. Additional bag. I like to throw a pull string bag at the bottom of my suitcase. That way if I am going out and about – and I need a bit more space than my purse (Like maybe I want to pack sunscreen and a water- bottle) I have it handy and it doesn’t take up too much space.

You could always do what my dad does – with his laminated packing list that he can check off his necessary items every trip. I hope these tips help you. Although maybe if you are packing for your kids (and they are teens) you may be thrown off course like I was.


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