Wednesday, April 18, 2007

WFMW - packing lists

Is anyone else out there as anal as I am about packing lists?

I have to have EVERYTHING I'm bringing on a list. If I don't have it written down, it doesn't wind up coming. Before I started keeping very detailed lists, I'd do things like show up with no socks, or toothpaste but no toothbrush... All sorts of ridiculous errors.

I now keep my packing lists in an excel file, divided into columns for me, each of the kids, and communal (my husband manages his own packing). Each page in the spreadsheet is a different trip. So, if we're packing for a trip to a b&b in the north or to the States in the summertime, I can refer back to last year's list as a starting point and then revise from there. And with a laptop, I just carry the computer from room to room rather than printing a list and crossing things off with a pen. Much easier to revise that way.

As I pack, I format that item as strikethrough text. Once most of the items are packed (or more realistically piled in a heap on the dining room table waiting for someone to stuff them into a suitcase) I then highlight the remaining items in yellow so that I won't miss them out among the rest of the chaos.

Surprisingly, this is one of the only areas in my life where I'm this anal organized. It was born out of necessity -- and a dissatisfaction with arriving in out of the way places in the middle of the night to discover I don't have a toothbrush or my kid doesn't have socks!

Packing lists - they work for me. Check out Shannon's Rocks in My Dryer for more WFMW tips.


Anonymous said...

Robin, I only thought I was anal retentive about packing! After reading your list, I realize I don't have it bad at all. I do keep a computerized list, but nothing like this. But, my kids are grown, so I'm not dealing with the same issues. It sounds like an effective system for you. Thanks for sharing it!

Fairly Odd Mother said...

Yes yes yes! I have packing lists in Excel form too! Heck, my husband even created a food shopping check off list for my weekly supermarket runs.

I L-O-V-E lists. They make me feel so in control.

Anonymous said...

I'm equally as anal about packing lists. Awesome idea!

Anonymous said...

I need to do this -- one of the stresses of travel is trying to remember everything.

Kim said...

I use packing lists but mine are just handwritten in a notebook. One page for me and dh and one page for the kids.

GiBee said...

Oh, yes!!! You're not alone. I also use my packing lists like a "menu" of what we're going to wear each day so that I know I've packed all the accessories, parts and pieces.

Marcia Francois said...

Hmmm - looks like I'm normal, not OCD anymore LOL

I also have a packing list at - separate for me and my DH.

But separate sheet for each trip is a verrrry good idea!

Unknown said...

I discovered that no matter how anal I was, my packing lists were NEVER as good as the list that I got froom Filofax, so I use them. You can buy a packet of packing lists, pass one out to each person you're packing for, and have them check off what they need. If there are irrelevant items, cross them out first. Then, you always have exactly what is needed, nothing extra, and nothing missing.

Anonymous said...

Love the use of the strikethrough and highlighting. That is inspired.