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LIVE: 8 Things To Do When Packing For Vacation

Friday, February 02, 2018

 

Kristin MacRae

Preparing and packing for your vacation shouldn’t be an overwhelming task.

“Vacations are for decompressing, relaxing and are supposed to be stress-free,” says organization and efficiency expert Kristin MacRae of Organizing in RI.

MacRae has eight things to do when preparing for your next trip:

1. Plan and prepare.  

Start making a list of things you want to pack, including outfits, shoes, reading material and toiletries. 

2. Simplify the packing process. 

Don’t overpack. MacRae says coordinate your outfits ahead of time so you can mix and match pieces to wear again. 

3. Fill every inch of your suitcase. 

Maximize the space in your suitcase by putting items into your shoes, rolling up small items and placing them in the crevices.

4. Fold items as small as you can. 

MacRae says the smaller you fold the clothes, the more you’ll be able to fit in the suitcase. 

5. Bring only a few pairs of shoes

While it may be difficult to decide, make the tough choice and only bring one pair of dress shoes, one pair, one pair of beach shoes  (if you are going to the beach) and a pair of sneakers.  

6. Pack trial size toiletries. 

7. Use a checklist. 

Don’t assume that you’ll remember everything. Use a checklist and cross off as you prepare to pack. 

8. Don’t pack a half hour before you have to leave. 

 

Related Slideshow: 10 Areas You Find Most Challenging to Get Organized

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Paper in any form

This was the most challenging space! 91% of people surveyed stated paper was their biggest headache. Just because we are in this digital age, people think paper is going to disappear. As long as we have mail, and paper at work, kid’s school papers, etc., paper is going to be around for a very long time. We need to develop systems to organize and maintain our paper clutter.

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Closets

 To stay on top of an organized closet, you should be emptying your closet twice a year. Switch your closets in the spring and fall. This will force you to take inventory of the contents of the closet. You’ll never know what’s hiding in the back corners of your closet unless you take everything out.

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Kitchen

When was the last time you emptied your entire food closet down to bare shelves? I asked this question at my last presentation and not one person could remember. Some said the last time their food pantry was empty was when they first moved in and others stated it had been years. Have garbage bags on hand. In every kitchen I organize, we throw out at least three garbage bags of expired food.

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Basement

This is the black hole of the house. If an item doesn’t have a home, it usually gets thrown in the basement on a shelf. You’ll walk into the basement one day and wonder how did it get so bad? The first thing you need to do in the basement is declutter, then categorize items and then decide how you want to function going forward. Measure your space and choose shelving units that will fit what you need to hold. Block off 3 hours and don’t leave the basement during that time. Staying in the room will keep you focused.

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Garage

The garage is an area similar to the basement. The garage tends to be a drop spot for outdoor items and usually there isn’t any organization.  Most tend to regret not organizing the garage when they find they can’t park their cars in the garage in the winter months when it’s snowing. Put this project on your to-do list this fall.

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Office at work

Most will say they don’t have time to tackle this area, but think about the time you are wasting by not being organized. The office can be challenging for some because you have paper, closet space, desk space and bookshelves. Most get overwhelmed and stressed just thinking about tackling this space. They think it’s easier to function this way than to actually tackle the project.

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Kid’s rooms

If your kids are over the age of 6, incorporate them in this process. If you don’t have the skill set to help them get organized, call in a professional to work one-on-one with them. If your kids are craving structure, it’s time for them to get organized.

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Attic

Another one of those black holes like the basement. You rarely venture into the attic and you continue to toss items in there that don’t have a home. The garage, basement and attic are really challenging areas because you don’t spend much time in them. Think about how you want to function in these spaces. Streamline and maximize this space. This room should have a purpose.

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Linen closets

When items are just thrown into this closet without being contained, chaos will ensue. Empty the entire closet, categorize, itemize and then measure the space. Purchase containers to match the space and what you have to hold. It’s all about maximizing space in this closet and being able to put your hand on something without moving five other items out of the way.

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Photos

This is a tough project even for people who are organized. Memorabilia items and photos are a challenge because as you go through them, you tend to reminisce. Save this for the last project on your list of areas to organize. Once you begin, just focus on tossing and keeping and then reminisce when the decluttering process is completed.

 
 

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