Packing lists

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Once upon a time, packing was a nightmare! How would I remember all our stuff? What if I forgot something important? Then Red Chief came along and we moved away, and we started traveling more frequently. I started feeling very stressed every time we had to travel, because I just knew we would forget something important.

Then I had a lightbulb. Why not just write down everything that we might possibly want to take, store it on the computer, and print it out every time we have to go somewhere? The next time we took a trip, I was so much more relaxed. Using the list, I was able to check things off as I packed them, and I knew we had what we needed. 

I have to admit that my list is several pages long. There are pages for clothes and personal items, baby things, and camping things. I might not pack everything every time, but I keep it all on the list.

The list system has solved most of my problems, even though I still dislike packing. The only hitch we've had since is the time I left Red Chief's bag of clothes behind in his bedroom. Oops.

How do you pack?


  1. I make a list starting the week ahead. We don't travel a whole lot. When we visit our mom, she has a room for each of my kids. So, I really don't have to take much there.

    But I love the idea of writing the basics and storing. Great idea.

  2. I have considered making a standard list like you did for all our camping trips, but never did. Mostly because the trailer stayed packed.

    Now I start a list a week or two in advance, and add to it as things come to me.

    Plus we always have an overnight toiletry bag that just needs toothbrushes and meds thrown in that we can grab as needed. It made my hospital stay in Kirkland this June easy to prep for, especially since we were told on Thursday evening to be prepared to spend the night if needed the next morning. We didn't get home til 6 p.m. and we had to leave at 4 AM, so we just grabbed clothes and our toiletry bag. Luckily we were able to return home for the weekend, but we didn't have to repack.

  3. What a good idea! I love when we can all share those lightbulb moments!!!! hehehee!

    I used to be responsible for packing everything but now I have started "sharing" the responsibility. I tell the kids how long we are staying and they pack what they think they need. If they are short we let experience teach them. Besides, we usually have a washer handy so it isn't a big deal! ;) HUGE HELP!!!

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting on my blog!


  4. I have a standard list that I recycle each time. It also includes tasks like "turn down the furnace" and "empty kitchen trash".

  5. I HATE packing too! It is such a pain and very stressful!

    I too make a list, only I handwrite mine about 2-3 days before and when I think of something to add to it, I add it. Your system sounds a lot more time-savvy.

  6. oh, and I keep my suitcase partially packed with a hair dryer, toiletries, a few first aid supplies, earplugs, a travel clock, and probably a few other items I'm not remembering. When I traveled all the time for work, I kept an umbrella and small flashlight in there too. In the winter, I kept gloves and an ice scraper in my suitcase. It was rare to find a rental car company that put an ice scraper in their cars.

    These days, starting 7-10 days before I leave I start amassing a pile of things that need to go with me -- gifts, books, clothes, etc. that I won't need in the meantime.

  7. My oldest ALWAYS writes a list for every trip. When I used to travel regularly on business, I had a list I just kept in my suitcase to remind me of stuff.

    Hope you liked the tofu recipe. A few others we really like include: