Saturday, June 10, 2017

Painless Packing

The past couple of weeks are some of my favorite and most challenging. The last days of school, activities coming to an end and gearing up for our annual summer trip to Italy. It is quite honestly one exciting event after another and then we leave for most of the summer.

But first we have to get through it all.

While I am no longer in school, I feel as if I'm right there by my girls' sides as they prepare for their end of year exams, projects and field trips. Their activities coming to a close usually means end of season parties, gifts to purchase and places to be. Rehearsals and recitals for both piano and ballet, end of school year birthday parties for friends and card making and gift shopping for fantastic staff and teachers at our school.

All the while I'm planning for our 7 week displacement in Italy. Oh, displacement you ask? Why yes. While it does take place during summer vacation and we tend to have an enormous amount of fun, I'm not on a resort, no one is waiting on me and groceries still need to be purchased and kids to scoot around as we venture around the southern half of my most favorite place, Italy.

I'm a lists person and prepping for our trip is definitely list-worthy. First are the lists of what I need to take, then the lists of what I need to purchase for the trip and finally, my favorite part of getting all said items on both lists and creating a dumping ground until it's time to pack. I've made my lists, purchased my purchases and dumped our stuff. Now I need to pack. In one suitcase and a couple of carry-on. Although to be perfectly honest, I think I'm upgrading to 2 suitcases this year and only 1 carry-on. I think that will allow me to not be so stressed about fitting what I need for myself and 3 children for 7 weeks. My husband arrives later in our trip and thankfully he packs for himself in a cozy little carry-on. More on how to travel for 2.5 weeks in a carry-on for another blog post!

There is a method behind this madness insomuch as it keeps me sane. Lists allow me to write out what I need, reference my list to add anything I've missed or delete something that isn't necessary. We have a washing machine at our disposal while in Italy and hang out all our clothes so I try to keep everyone at the 6-7 item max for clothing - tees, bottoms, tanks (for the girls) and extra tees and bottoms for the toddler. Bathing suits, hoodies for the plane and undergarments. Shoes to include flip flops for the beach, sandals for the evening, sneakers for the plane and cooler nights and a breathable sneaker for the kids for comfortable walking and park time. We have stores and a weekly market in our town but I always go with the mindset that I'd rather have it already and not need to go out to buy it. We do buy the occasional dress for the girls, play clothes for my little man and I'll tend to buy a pair of shoes (or two) on the trip as well.

As I begin the actually packing part, I go through and leave out anything that was too much. Maybe I just grabbed too many of one thing or not enough of the other. I sit out usually 1-2 afternoons or evenings to be by myself (ok, maybe a glass of prosecco joins me) and I get to work. 50 lbs is the max weight limit for the suitcase and I've always gotten it within a pound or two which makes me happy.

Cheers to another successful packing adventure!

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