Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Having a clutter-free vacation

I got back to the library yesterday, fresh from my vacation, and spent the day de-cluttering my email inbox. Between getting ready to go and then getting back into the swing of things, you end up needing another vacation!

I used some of the information that I have read and shared with you in this blog about packing and unpacking for vacation and it was very successful. I started with the suitcase out much earlier than I would have in the past, and was able to toss things into it as I remembered I would need them. I had some business to attend to while in San Diego for a group for which I volunteer. We had our bi-annual convention last week and I needed to make sure that I brought along some critical items for the event. I had put them aside earlier in the summer but having the luggage allowed me to bring them all together sooner so that I wasn’t running around like crazy at the last minute.

The one thing that I did not get accomplished is to make a master list of all of the things that I need to pack for every vacation. This is the list that the experts suggest you leave in the suitcase for the next time you pack. Perhaps I can get a minute to compile that list while my memory is still fresh. I had read somewhere to pack clothing items in a similar color scheme so that you can mix and match different garments to make a variety of outfits. Of course, I always knew this, but this time I made a concerted effort to do this. When I looked at the airline scales on my return trip, even with paperwork that I picked up at the convention and souvenirs (and two pairs of shoes) that I purchased, my suitcase only weighed 32 pounds. These days, that is a critical thing to keep in mind since I have seen where airlines charge as much as $150 for bags over 50 pounds and will not accept (at any cost) bags over 72 pounds! You might as well throw away your oversized bags that are capable of holding an excess of 72 pounds unless you want to use them for moving or for storage. I am still not at the point of where I can bring clothes that I can throw away along the way, but there were times during the week that I could see the benefit of it!

As to unpacking, I followed the advice that the dirty clothes go straight into the laundry and the clean clothes, if there are any, go back in the drawer or closet. Technically, if you did a good job packing, there should be no clean clothes. If you have unworn clothes at the end of a trip, you have over-packed! I put all of the other things away and got the bag emptied in less time than I was away, although I noticed that my husband has not had the opportunity to empty his bag yet…he has a few more days.

I hope you are all working hard at whittling your piles of stuff. Our next club meeting is October 1st at 7:00 p.m. in the Quiet Study. Write to me about your successes and I could use some suggestions about the areas of concern you have and what you would like to read about or discuss at the meetings. My email is

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