Wednesday, June 17, 2009

WFMW: Keeping a Running Packing List

As I mentioned yesterday, we're getting ready to leave for vacation in less than two weeks. Packing for a long trip with two little ones tends to overwhelm me. They just need so much gear, and it's easy to forget something vitally necessary for their happiness and/or my sanity! Forgotten items also can tend to lead to spending extra money, as when we went on a day trip this Saturday and I was forced to buy an extra pack of pacifiers after having forgotten them.

After a recent trip, however, I came up with a method to my packing more organized. I saved the packing lists I had made from that trip, typed them up, and saved them in a computer file. That file is now my running packing list for every trip. Now when I start packing, I don't have to sit around and figure out what toiletries I use every morning or what I need to feed the baby. Everything is already laid out, and I just have to customize it for the particular trip.

On my list, I have included every single item we might need to bring on an overnight trip, from diapers to shampoo to my coupon box (of course!). I also included items that we might bring on some trips, but not others, such as hats and mittens for the winter and bathing suits for the summer. When I print out the list for each trip, I just black out the items that we don't need for this particular trip.

I also include some blank lines under "casual clothes" and "dressy clothes" to list the particular outfits I'm bringing for each person. That also helps when we're leaving, especially from someone else's house, to not forget a pair of socks or a shirt. As our needs change (for instance, when we no longer need slings or pacifiers), I can just update the file for the next trip.

Keeping a running packing list Works for Me!


  1. I keep a list like that too! It's been superhelpful because I used to always forget something little and stupid. I also save time by keeping a toiletry bag already packed with a small version of my toothpaste, facewash, lotion, shampoo, etc. so I only have to add a few tiny things and I'm good to go!

  2. I started a list like that when my son was a newborn- so many new things to remember! We had several months without travel and I couldn't believe how much the list had changed! I also have a list for camping trips; as we're driving home we write down what we wish we would have had, and I add it to the computer document when we get home.

  3. I started doing this on my Palm Centro (Phone/Palm Pilot). That way I'm not misplacing a piece of paper. But it does really help, especially when they're younger and need so much gear!


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