Pack Like a Pro

Pack Like a Pro

Last week Darling #2 was prepping to pack. Just as she was about to begin her whirlwind transition of clothes from her closet to her carry-on her phone chimed. It was a pic from her dear friend H.B. The friend texted a photo of her packing preparations. It  featured clothes in organized piles with labels on top for each day and event.

I gasped.

She’s a DoAhead Woman in the making!

My daughter giggled at her nerdy mother but then gave me a sheepish look and said, “I think that’s a great idea Mom.” I stopped the excited pitter-patter of my heart and uttered with mustered non-nonchalance, “Sure, if you really want to.”

{Note: I have learned, when parenting teens, it is often most effective to act like you don’t care about something even if (and sometimes especially if) it is something you care about deeply.}

Thus began my daughters endeavor to pack with added forethought and planning. Now, in all fairness to my Missus. She’s always been a good packer. Our many family trips have taught her to think through what she needs. In recent years, she’s pretty much been on her own when it comes to getting ready for trips. But this time she took it to a new level and it was fun to watch.

The basics looked something like this:

  • She made her bed and picked up her room.  Sounds obvious doesn’t it?  But the day’s leading up to this moment were sheer chaos, busy work schedule and outside commitments.  (These teenagers lives sound a lot like ours don’t they?!) Items she’d been gathering for the trip were accumulating (in various piles) throughout the room. She decided she could “think better” if her room were picked up.
  • She packed away her clean clothes.  Although it would take a few minutes to put away the laundry she’d been cleaning prior to the trip, she thought through it and determined it would be easier to draw from her clothing repertoire if she knew right where the items were.
  • She had a checklist handy of what she needed.  This was easy since it was provided by camp officials. You and I might need to take a few minutes to map out our own checklist. Vacations are usually pretty easy to plan for…jeans and tennies!  But if Doc or I have business it behooves us to think through how many meetings, dinners, etc. we need to attend. The few minutes spent thinking through what needs to be packed reaps great dividends when its time to actually gather garments.
  • She packed one outfit at a time.  Finally, it was time to pack! Each outfit was folded in a pile. Socks and undergarments were included. A stick-em note was laid on top. Bam! One outfit done.
  • Outfits needed for later in the week were placed at the bottom of the suitcase. Seems like a ridiculously simple tip but once your in your hotel or guest room it’s a treat to find what you need at the top of your bag and not the bottom!
  • Smaller items were placed in shoes to maximize storage. Shoes are a great place to tuck  belts and socks. If you’ve put hair products in a baggie (so they don’t leak) shoes can be a great place to tuck these too.

Seeing my daughter implement a few organizational strategies for her trip made my heart flutter. But here’s the real truth. My joy didn’t stem from the thought that she may be a DoAhead Woman.  It didn’t have anything to do with thinking she was “a chip off the ol’ block”. No, it was wonderful for one reason-

She felt good about herself.

She had a peace that came from feeling prepared.  She. Was. Happy. My heart skips a beat at thought of a woman using a DoAhead tip,trick or recipe and consequently feeling just like my daughter.

Getting ready for a trip can be CRAZY business. Let’s face it, it works to throw things in a bag. We’ve ALL been there. BUT sometimes we reach a point where the peace that comes from a slice of organization is worth the price of time it took to do it! Cuz you know what girlfriend? You are worth it.

Let me know how your summer trips go!  I’ll bet you’ve got your own DoAhead that the Missus and I never even thought of!

Your DoAhead Friend,

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