Packing Ritual

Do you have a packing ritual? I was talking to my mom on the phone the other day and how we miss each other, how my kids miss their grandparents, and how I just want to get on a plane and go somewhere. Anywhere. We went to Yosemite during COVID and was so needed. Now with a new house, I don’t know if we’ll be traveling anytime soon.

I consider myself a fairly decent packer. There is no trick to it and I usually end up stuffing my clothes in my little carry-on, surprising myself when everything fits. It’s the little things, guys.

Now with kids involved, it’s a little more complicated. I’m packing for 2 little ones who need essentially more stuff than I do, but nothing a second suitcase won’t take care of. Southwest 2 free checked bags FTW.

Back when my husband and I were still dating, we decided to go to CA (specifically the Bay Area) for the holidays. Our conversation went something like this:

Me: “I don’t know what to bring to California for Christmas, the weather there is confusing.”

Him: “What do you mean?”

Me: “I have to bring 2 types of weather clothes with me everyday. It’ll be hot during the day and then drop to windy and cold at night. It’s like I need to bring flip-flops and boots within 24 hours. At least in Texas if it’s hot or cold it stays like that all day.”

Him: “Are you kidding? It was 78 and sunny yesterday when we went to work and dropped to 34 between the time we were at the office and going home. Now that’s confusing!”

He had a point. Being from Texas, I’m used to that kind of weather change. I remember days when it was 90 degrees on Christmas Eve and snowing in the middle of fall.

Now with this Frozen-themed scene that has basically shut down the state, I might need to reconsider. Anyways…

Back to the story. As I’m preparing to figure out what I’m going to bring to California for 10 days, I had to be strategic. “Layers, he said to bring lots of layers” I remember my husband telling me. I promptly looked at my weather app to see how it was going to be over there.

Yep. Stable. Mid-high 50’s during the day and 40’s at night. Of course.

So I started my packing ritual, hoping that everything fits. Here’s what I did:

Packing List

1. Make a Packing List– I write down my daily routine and make a list of everything I use including skin, body and hair products, clothes, shoes, etc.

2. Lay out the clothes I think I’ll wear- usually on my bed as I stand over the piles of clothes with an indecisive look on my face. I end up taking everything anyways. It happens a lot.

3. Start putting everything in the suitcase- in no particular order. I re-arrange a lot but 95% of the time I’m able to fit everything in. Don’t ask me how. Note that I’m usually successful at this method when I’m just packing for myself. Packing for myself and the kids is a whole other story. My sister does packing cubes. I’m not into that.

4. Cross my fingers, take a deep breath and try to close the suitcase- sometimes a girl just wants to bring more clothes, and thus a bigger suitcase is needed. I mean, we all need options. Now the items I pack are 99% about comfort and ease. Sweatpants, comfy sweaters, and maybe a dress or two that’s easy.

I know, super easy and kind of a no-brainer, right? I’m counting down the days on when it’s safe to travel and stay at hotels and do all the things we used to do. It’ll happen, eventually. For now, this is where we are at.

Want more? Check out my blog post on Zulily for more (probably better) tips on how to pack a suitcase.