January 25, 2013

Packing: to plan or not to plan?

If you wait until the last minute, it only takes a minute.

That’s my philosophy for many things in life.  I’m a perpetual procrastinator.  I pulled more than the average number of all-nighters in college. But I graduated, so it worked, right?

I often use this philosophy for packing, too.  In fact, I’m using it today.  I have to catch a flight to Alabama in a few hours, and I haven’t packed jack.  Granted, most of my packing involves paperwork to take care of my mom’s affairs rather than clothing (I keep some clothes down there), but I still need to take a few articles.  Mainly because of the temperature difference - it’s about 60F in Alabama right now.  It’s a balmy 20F in DC at the moment, and it isn’t even snowing.  There’s just no excuse for that.  Hear me, snow gods? 

If I’m going on a longer trip to someplace far, far away, then I’m normally a little more proactive in my packing approach. It can be hard to find some every day items in a foreign country.  I highly doubt I could find socks to fit my mammoth feet in, say, Vietnam.  But for a quick trip to Alabama?  Here’s what I do:

A few days ahead of time: 
  1. Make pile of paperwork, mail, music, etc., that needs to go with me on the kitchen counter.  
  2. Make mental note of other random items that I will later forget about.

Day of flight:
  1. Open closet.  Stare into closet for 20 minutes.
  2. Pull out 3 outfits plus running shorts and shoes.  
  3. Remember that I don’t need anything nice since I’ll be in sweats 80% of the time.  
  4. Put 2 outfits back in the closet.
  5. Contemplate remaining outfit for another 10 minutes.
  6. Decide that it doesn’t matter, I’m probably not going to wear said outfit anyway.
  7. Stuff everything in the suitcase. 
  8. Go to airport, remember all the things I forgot. Decide I didn’t really need them anyway.

I could easily eliminate steps 1-6 the day of if I were a dude.  In that case, I would just sleepily stuff an extra t-shirt and pair of jeans into a backpack and consider it done.  Not that I can’t do that as a girl, but I’m too vain to go that route.  So I still wait until the last minute.  But, ok - I'll admit it, it takes me a hair longer than a minute.  

And with that, I’m going to stop writing and go stare into my closet.  Happy Friday!


  1. I packed for a 9 month deployment to Bosnia in an hour. Does that count? I did travel, but I was neither traveler nor tourist (unless you count patrols as traveling).

    1. WOAH. Sir, you have just won the packing games!