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:
THINGS TO DO IF THE ENTIRE FAMILY WILL BE GONE
--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.
--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.)
--Dress shoes. (Same idea as dress clothes.)
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.)
--Bandages and first aid cream.
--Feminine care products.
--Make up bag. (Keeping in mind the limitations of air travel.)
--Hair dryer. (Most hotels provide these nowadays.)
--Games. (At least a deck of cards.)
--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: https://www.ricksteves.com/travel-tips/packing-light/ricks-packing-list
What else is on your list?