Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I have another... issue!

After many years I have come to the conclusion that I am a horrible and I mean horrible packer...

It's embarrassing, humiliating, ridiculous and HEAVY!!

Generally I don't forget things- that's not the problem. In fact, I don't forget anything! Why? Because I bring EVERYTHING! So much so- that I often can't find half the things I brought, they are buried somewhere in the suitcase or stashed in some pocket!

I always knew I was not a good packer but when I was younger it was cute, then as I got older it was funny NOW... it's neither... ugh!

As Sam and I have traveled alone to Cincy twice (we are here again for 24 hours) and I am solely responsible for all the things I bring, I have come to the conclusion that IT'S TIME to learn how to pack!
In the past I could rely on my big strong hubby for manuel labor (sorry honey) but not anymore! He's home with the kids and I am traveling with my junior sidekick, Sammy!

The poor dear guy has begged me to pack lighter! Now I know why!

So friends- this is what I need from you!! We are going to China hopefully SOON! There's no time to read a book on 'The Art Of Packing"! (plus I'm a slow reader!)

Please, please give me packing advice! General advice and China specific advice is welcome!

Can't wait to read what you have to say!! I am desperate!

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!


Love for Lilly Yin said...

Go light on clothes....I know you don't want to, but you need to, all the pretty things can be worn later at home. You can have your laundry done. Really most things you can find and buy there if you need to. I never skimp on meds, I over pack those.
Layer your clothes, and bring only one (okay maybe two) pairs of shoes. Leave the jewelry at home. Pack only enough toys to occupy the kids on the plane in their backpack.

Nancy said...

AAA in SLP sometimes has a class that shows you how to pack better. I use those bags that you squish all the air out of, it really compacts clothing and doesn't wrinkle them too much. It might not result in a lighter suitcase, but you'd use fewer.

Acceptance with Joy said...

A world traveling friend posted on facebook today her mantra; He who would travel happily must travel light. You can chant that while you pack.

Debbie said...

So I don't forget anything I have packing list in a word document that I print out before every trip. It makes packing super fast - I just cross out as I pack each item.

Shoes - In summer, I bring one pair of white sandals and one pair of black. In the winter I bring two pairs of black shoes. These will go with everything!

Pants - In the winter one pair of jeans for every two days. In the summer, one pair of black or white shorts for each day.

Shirts - One shirt for each day. I roll the shirts up so they don't wrinkle. All shirts will go with jeans or white/black shorts.

Bras - One for every two or three days.

Underwear - One for each day.

Pajamas - one set for every three days. I take a shower at night so I'm always clean when I wear them.

Jewelry - two necklaces that go with everything.

Jackets - light white or black sweater in summer. Heavier depending on other seasons. Again, if you take white or black you only need one.

Hope this helps! You should be able to fit two weeks with of stuff in one large suitcase doing it this way.

Debbie said...

Oh, one more thing. IPAD!!!! I download apps for 2.99-4.99 for my two year old and she plays with them for hours. Great for the plane, down time, hotels, and hardly takes up any room.

"Are These Kids All Yours?" said...

Make a list- NECESSITIES and then MAYBES! This could help you weed out the not so necessaries when it is listed? Hope it helps :)

Dr. D @ Curls and Twirls said...

Perhaps you can think back to your previous trips and remember some of the things you've always packed and never needed. Eliminate those.

Also, beware of packing with too many "in cases" on your list. Yes, it's important to be prepared, but still you don't have to pack for every possible "what if."

Yvette said...

We are going all carry on only to China, that is 5 over and 7 back! Granted the 2 little boys SHOULD wear the same size so that helps.

We wear our big shoes and coats on the plane and each one can bring a pair of keen type sandals which will work for hot or cold with socks.

Each person got a rolling backpack with a zip off backpack on the front (kohls but they are expensive, or costco). There are only a few necesseties in life, undies and socks are one. The kids vote on swimsuits.

Everyone HAS to have a t-shirt and a sweatshirt, and for China a pair of long pants and shorts, jammies. From there we pack the rest. I never bring a blowdryer, and limited toiletries.

I have a great COO packing list I can send, but I am thinking this might already be stressing you out LOL!!

Good luck today to sweet Sammy

Angie said...

7 sets of clothes...that's it, girlfriend! Wear 'em twice, and make use of the inexpensive laundry services. 2 pair of shoes, max. One backpack each with necessary toys, snacks, etc. You can do it!!!!!

Sammie said...

Get out one suitcase, stay committed to "if it won't fit in here it does not go" and do not deviate. Calm your nerves by reminding yourself that you can buy most anything you will need in China. Remember they have great inexpensive laundry service. Hand washing out a pair of undies is easy and fast. For cloths only take the minimum (look at the lists people have sent you). Make an essentials list and stick to it.

Think of all the money you will save not having any overweight fees. Think of the stress reduction as you only have to keep track of one bag (make it carry on or small size) Think of how your back will feel so much better. Remind yourself, you have done this trip many times before and you know you never needed all that extra you packed. Find a buddy to pack with you and help you stick to your plan and support you as you make this change.

Number 6 and no more counting! said...

Jeans and t-shirts!


Rebekah said...

I would be no good to advise here. But Janet H needs to jump in! She went carry on only last year! Janet?????

From the Erben Gang..... said...


Susie said...

I tend to over pack, too. We adopted younger kids, so We had to worry about spit up and slobber! But, we always traveled in summer, so, it was easier! Same hot hot hot all over. I say you need 7 outfits. Wear 3, on day 4 get laundry done, it will be returned on day 5, which still leaves two outfits for spitup, & for us the fact that we were sweating like pigs since it was summer. 2 pairs of shoes, bathingsuit, jammies, and of course, undies and socks. Phew! We liked the space bags or giant ziplocks to keep clothes separated. I figured 1 laundry in province and then I could probably wait to GZO where it is so much cheaper, I came home with clean clothes! I wrote a blogpost about my love of Chinese laundry!

Janet and Kevin said...

Oh how I wish I could help you, but I am just as bad! You would think after so many trips to Ch*na I would be better???

I liked your comment about taking so much that you had a difficult time finding it! I can so relate!

Hugs to you and Sammy,
janet and gang

Annie said...

I am NO help! LOL! I usually pack and then hubby unpacks and repacks:) Good luck!!!

David and Janet Hurley said...

Sweet Rebekah was so concerned for you, she emailed me and said I need to chime in. I actually have been checking on you everyday--looking for TA.
My fam has gone to China 4x, 2x winter, 2x summer. We went all 4 times COO. Two of the times was with 3 kids, others with less. Once was with 3 kids, and a 4 day stop on Maui--still COO.
Wear 1 outfit, carry 3. Every top must match every pants, so if the right top is not dry, it does not mess up the plan, just wear another. We wash out undies, socks, t's, other light items daily. And send out heavier things, like jeans, sweatshirts, about 2x. We could live with 1 pair of shoes, but do 2, in case they get wet. Since crocs have been popular, I have just taken those for the kids, no need for 2nd pair. I will be wearing blue Clarks with black pants this time (because my black Clarks died after 10 years), so I won't look perfect, but will still match better than most people in CHina;)
We take 2 gowns, pj's--whatever. In winter, kids PJ's can be worn under clothes for an extra layer. Layer T's for warmth, then wear them by themselves if it is warm in GZ.
I am quite picky about our clothes at home, I iron everything, etc. But I just have to get over it in China, and even wear denim 2x.
Each person carries a backpack. For the kids it has art stuff/activities, and 1 change of clothes. For big people, it has 1 change, paperwork and electronics.

Chris said...

all I will add is-it's possible to make yourself pack lighter-I learned, the hard way, and after 4 adoption trips, I am determined to be traveling -and seriousle considering COO as I am going with 1 daughter and bringing 2more home :)

TanyaLea said...

LOL!! I thought you were writing about ME! You seriously could've been... and I'm not exaggerating in the slightest. I am actually relieved to know I'm not the only one. You and I better not ever travel together, that's all I have to say... who would carry our luggage!?! ;)

Sadly, we paid the price (literally) for my over-packing when we traveling in China. Like $100 between Beijing and Fuzhou and then a little less between Fuzhou and GZ, as I learned to pack a little smarter and we also got rid of some gifts for the orphanage. Like you, I rarely forget anything, because I pack EVERYTHING... no matter how 'well-intentioned' I am.

I hear LISTS are the key... oh, and then to STICK with them!! ;)

I think you better print this list for me when you have a moment, as I may be coming back to you for it whenever we go back again!

Thinking of you and your precious Sam traveling together to Cincy and back. What a hunny he is!

Love and Hugs,
~ Tanya

Sammy said...

Recently, we were going on a trip so I basically was thinking what would people be wearing. I took black boots and a black coat. Then all my outfits went with those two things. I'm so smart!! Kidding. : - ) In China I usually take the kids a pair of shoes that can be washed off like leather tennis shoes, but then take "extra" shoestrings. You know how dirty they get there!!! I probably should be embarrassed to say this, but when we pack for China I pack so far in advance I've had to change everything, because I had packed for the wrong season.

Wright Family said...

Okay, after giving it a few days thought here is my 'dissenting opinion'....At no other time in my/your life will more people view my/your pictures than during an adoption trip....people from all over the world stop by to view our gotcha days and personally I prefer to be seen in clean clothes....I like those adorable matching kid photos, too....since my husband doesn't feel this way, he can fit all his clothes in a carryon and I will pack enough to feel adequate to receive my '15 minutes of fame'....if only I could lose about 20 pounds....LOL

Faye Verquer said...

I pack like we are leaving for a year...even if its only a week! I discovered this past vacation as long as we had enough swim suits we were good! So next year the plan is....beach=3 swimsuits per person and 1 nice outfit per day we are gone! If we have laundry available thats it...if not then 1 outfit per day per person and 1 spare for the entire week!! Im tired of packing all the "junk" that goes with a big family! Who needs it all??!! We come home with most of it still packed and not touched! So go what you need if you run out! In China that could be hard, so pack enough for your time there and 1 spare! I cannot wait to read all about your journey there!!