Thursday, September 18, 2014

Thing #38: Create a universal packing list.

As a friend of mine recently said, we don’t make lists to remember things; we make lists so we don’t have to remember things.

I love lists. I make lists of household chores to do every Saturday—not that I accomplish everything. As I said in my first “Thing” post, I make menu plans and use that to create a shopping list. I have a list of things to do at work (both immediate tasks and long-range projects). I have a three-column list for camping prep and packing. That's my favorite list of all time.

Yeah, I love lists.

I like to use a packing list whenever I take a trip. (I started doing this after the trip where I forgot to pack certain daily garments that prompted me to do a sink full of hand washing every evening.) While specifics change depending on the destination, climate, and purpose of the trip, my list helps me remember to pack the important things that must go with me every time. Here’s my list:

--Stop the mail. (We have wonderful neighbors who collect our mail for us when we’re gone.)
--Houseplants. (In the summer, I move them all to our downstairs bathroom so they are less likely to dry up while we gone. If our trip is longer than a week, I impose on those same generous neighbors to help us out.)
--Yard care. (We’ve eliminated much of this, but if something needs tending, our neighbors help us with this, too. I told you they were wonderful.)
--We don’t have pets, but pet care would certainly fit here.
--Take out the trash.
--Close windows.
--Open the dishwasher. (This ensures that I’m not leaving dirty dishes in there while I’m gone. That’s not a good thing. Trust me on this.)
--Care for food in fridge as needed.

--List what is needed for this specific trip.
--Dress clothes. (One time, some of the clothes we needed for a wedding didn’t make the trip, so I added this note as a reminder to pack any special clothes needed.)
--Jammies. (Sleepwear.)
--Dress shoes. (Same idea as dress clothes.)
--Walking shoes.
--Other shoes.

TOILETRIES [this varies depending on if I’m flying or driving]
I keep many of these things packed in a small travel bag, then just add the extras.
--Prescriptions. (I always pack enough for a few extra days, just in case I get stranded in Wyoming.)
--Night guard. (An appliance to keep me from grinding my teeth together.)
--Hair gel.
--Nail file/clippers.
--Bandages and first aid cream.
--Feminine care products.
--Pain relievers.
--Cotton swabs.
--Make up bag. (Keeping in mind the limitations of air travel.)
--Hair dryer. (Most hotels provide these nowadays.)
--Curling iron.
--Hair pick.

--Reading material..
--Cords for
·        Phone
·        Computer
·        Nook
--Games. (At least a deck of cards.)
--Driving directions/maps.
--Flight itineraries.
--Water bottle. (Pack it empty for plane trips and fill it after you go through security.)

Here’s a more exhaustive list from world traveler Rick Steves:

What else is on your list?

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Things #32-37 Quick Tips

I better get on the ball of I’m going to complete 52 things this year! Here are half a dozen things that require very little commentary.

32.   Sit outside. Listen to the birds, breathe the fresh air. While you can, my friends. Winter is not far away.

33.   Add a ribbon to a bracelet to make a necklace. I have a charm bracelet from my teen years that sat unworn in my jewelry box for years. It was simply too cumbersome to wear on my wrist, especially when working on a computer, as I am known to do. When I saw this idea in a magazine, my charm bracelet was reborn. I've even added several new charms in recent years.

My charm bracelet became a charm necklace with the addition of a ribbon.

34.   Keep a box in your trunk to wrangle groceries and other roly-poly things.

35.   Put a terra-cotta dish in your brown sugar. You’ve probably seen the cute terra-cotta discs that keep your sugar soft. You can do the same thing with a 32-cent dish from the plant section of your local hardware store. Soak the dish in water for several hours, then put it in a sealed container with your brown sugar. Keeps it nice and soft.

36.   Use a slice of bread to soften cookies. If your cookies or brownies turned out a little crispier than you’d hoped, put them in a sealed container with a slice of bread. The bread hardens, the cookies soften. It’s like magic!  

37.   Keep a towel in the car to cover your clothes when you eat in the car. Because you don’t want to go back to work with ketchup on your shirt.

There! All caught up!