How to Pack Like a Professional

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Ready? I’m going to give you a list so that you can always pack like a professional – mom, that is.

  1. Prepare, mentally, weeks in advance for said trip. If it’s with other family members/friends, emails/texts/phone calls are exchanged so many times that you can’t keep track. You begin to forget who is bringing what. Tell yourself to either pack IT ALL, plan on spending money when you get there to buy what you forgot you were supposed to bring, pray someone else asks for the list again OR suck it up and be the person to ask.
  2. Drink a cup of coffee.
  3. About a week before said trip, you begin a packing list, a “to do before we leave” list, and a “to do the day of” list.
  4. Drink some coffee.
  5. A few days before the trip, you revise all the lists and add “BREATHE” to all of them.
  6. This is where it gets tricky – are you leaving early morning? Later in the day? If you’re leaving early morning, then you HAVE to have everything done the day before. That means all errands, all packing, all laundry, all cleaning, all haircuts (because, suddenly, everyone needs a haircut), all EVERYTHING. For some reason, your pastor calls (you’ve never gotten a phone call from him before), the women’s ministry calls (your church has one?) and your OB/GYN will call (they wanted to remind you that you have an appointment 11.5 months from now). Mainly, if someone can call, pretend it’s urgent JUST to add something to your list, they will.
  7. DAY OF: DRINK AT LEAST 2 CUPS OF COFFEE.
  8. You look at your to-do list and revise it. Let’s add “weeding” and “mowing” to that list. I mean, you will be gone 2 days – wouldn’t want the neighbors complaining about the weeds and grass.
  9. While you’re at it, might as while clean the windows inside and out..
  10. Oh, and wash the walls…nope, scratch that. Saw a spider. Killed it and don’t want to risk finding more. We’ll just erase that off the to-do list (HINT: always, ALWAYS write your to-do list in pencil. You can “delete” anything and no one will know that you didn’t actually not complete something!!!).
  11. Drink another cup of coffee.
  12. You begin to go down your packing list and think you’re doing pretty well – you’re getting things packed. You have everything packed for your child(ren), and yourself. You get the dog food packed (or cat food..but I think most people leave the cats at home…). You review the list and do a mental check, running from the top of your head to the bottom of your feet, making sure you grabbed something for all parts of your body (shampoo, toothpaste, bras, underwear, socks, shoes, shirts, pants/shorts, etc).
  13. You pack snacks for the road. If you’ll be on the road during any mealtime, you pack for that meal as well, just to save money (if you’re me).
  14. Husband comes home. Literally packs everything of his in about 5 minutes. He looks at you and a fight (not an argument, it’s a fight) ensues because he “just can’t understand why you aren’t packed and ready?” You contemplate throwing the suitcase at him, but the child(ren) are watching and you’re REALLY trying to get a card this year, from your family, about being a Proverbs 31 woman..you remember the line about “she is clothed with dignity and strength”…well, throwing a full suitcase would prove the strength part, but not dignity. You count to 10 (or 100) and pray silently for your husband’s attitude to change.
  15. Husband starts taking everything out to car (more like “storms everything out to the car”, but you pretend not to notice – sometimes we have to sit back and let God change someone, right? Right – this must be one of those times when God is working on him).
  16. You inventory the kitchen – is everything clean? Is the food in the refrigerator going to last until you get back? If not, you (reluctantly, if you’re me) throw it out, after trying to force-feed it to your husband and child(ren).
  17. Once the kitchen receives the “vacation” approval, you move through the rest of the house – are all electronics off? TV, VCR (just kidding, I meant DVD), sound, computer, printer, etc? You shut lights off.
  18. You insist everyone goes to the bathroom one last time.
  19. You do one final walk-through of the house.
  20. You leave the house, lock the door and get in the car. (You and husband are still a little miffed with each other but this long car ride will PRAYERFULLY make him see how wonderful you are and how much you do for this family.)
  21. Two hours into the ride, you realize you left something super important back at the house. You do one of the following; dissolve into a fit of hysterical laughter, start crying, or get mad that you were “rushed” out the door and THAT’S why you forgot said item(s).
  22. Eventually, you reach your destination. If it’s late, that adds to all the previous tensions. You’re wondering why you ever even agreed to this “vacation”.  How long until you leave for home? Is flying home, ALONE, an option? Maybe…hmm..
  23. The next morning you wake up. Ahh…this is why you agreed to it. Much better. You shower, brush your teeth, smooch your child(ren) and husband and get ready to vacation!!

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