Professional organizer Marie Ricks explains some steps to take before you ever start packing.
Prepare and post written trip lists:
1) Items to be packed by adults.
= tops, bottoms, belts, underwear, socks, shoes, hats, jackets, swimsuits
= toiletries, sunglasses, laundry bag, trash bags for use in vehicle, ziploc bags for vomiting
= driver’s license, cash, credit cards, contact information, directions, maps, camera, duct tape
= activities for family during travel
2) Items to be packed by children and teenagers.
= tops, bottoms, underwear, socks, shoes, jackets, hats, swimsuits
= toiletries, books, games, videos, ipods
3) Items to do before leaving home.
= turn off water to house, postpone mail, discontinue newspaper
= set up on/off for lighting in home, put shades in normal daytime position, turn down or turn off thermostat, open dishwasher
= arrange for mowing of lawn and watering of yard
= close fireplace flue, lock windows and doors, leave key with neighbor
Pack with simplicity:
1) Give older children individual suitcase or box for packing.
2) Put one day’s clothing for a child in a labeled two-gallon ziploc bag before packing.
= Top, bottom, underwear, socks
3) Pull out one ziploc each morning. Yesterday’s clothes go into this same bag for future laundry.
Pack for overnight stay in motel while traveling to destination:
1) One suitcase:
= Labeled ziploc bags with underwear, pajamas for each family member
= Labeled ziploc bag with next day’s clothes for each family member
= Pillows, toiletries, laundry bag
2) Rest of suitcases can stay packed.
For more information on staying organized, you can contact Marie through her website, www.houseoforder.com
“BEFORE YOU LEAVE” List
Take key to neighbor, leave your contact information and travel itinerary, and arrange for them to handle emergencies while you are gone.
Arrange for plants to be watered and pet care.
Make arrangements for newspaper and mail to be picked up.
Arrange for lawn care and watering.
Repair any broken windows or door locks.
Set thermostat to moderate temperature in home.
Close fireplace flue to prevent animals or birds entering.
Turn off water to home.
Close and lock windows and doors.
Put window shades in normal daytime position.
Lock any vehicles you are leaving in driveway.
Set electrical timer to turn some lights on and off during the evening hours.
Make sure last person out of the house locks door and takes walk around the house checking doors and windows.
TRIP NEEDS List
“HOTEL” SUITCASE List