Tomorrow morning I fly to Atlanta for the annual meeting of the National Association of Professional Organizers. (Woo hoo!) So it seemed like an appropriate time to repeat this post, written a couple of years ago, about using a checklist to make packing easier. I still use that checklist each time I travel and it’s worked out well for me.
This morning, I had a flight that departed at 5:50, which meant I needed to leave for the airport at 4:15. That meant I needed to get up at 3:15. In the morning. Actually, I probably should have either (a) arised earlier or (b) packed absolutely everything but morning essentials the night before.
I was rushed getting ready. And I was a bit groggy. As a result, I forgot to pack a few things. Nothing critical, but I’m still kicking myself. (I forgot my backup battery charger for my iPhone or iPad, my car charger for my phone—which I may not need if my rental car has a USB port—and toothpaste and mascara.)
The thing is, I’m not a haphazard packer. But I find it’s the stuff I pack on travel day that can problematic.
I had a little time at the gate, and as I sat there thinking about the things I’d forgotten to pack, I created a checklist of items to consult on future trips. I put an asterisk next to the ones I forgot this time, hoping to reinforce remembering them in the future.
Since I tend to take morning flights, I think I’ll take it a step further and create a list of things to pack the night before and things to pack in the morning. Obviously, the more I pack the night before, the better. My practice has been to pack electronics in the morning.
Another helpful thing I could do would be to have travel versions of most of my toiletries, which reside in my travel toiletries kit. Then I wouldn’t have to worry about packing those items. I already do that for a lot of things, like shampoo and conditioner, but I’d run out of travel-sized toothpaste.
I dislike being rushed or frazzled (I literally was repeating that Phil Dunphy maxim, Slow is smooth and smooth is fast, as I was getting ready this morning.) I think these checklists will make my next trip easier.