Four ways to make packing less stressful

I have officially finished my last day of work in Colorado Springs and now begins the frenzy of getting everything ready to move out of the country by Thursday. Amidst training my replacements, getting shots and physicals, and getting paperwork together, I remembered that I still had to do the most important and tedious task: pack. Ugh.

You’d think that after moving as many times as I have and shuffling between two houses while I was growing up that packing would be more a routine than a chore. And it is a routine, but it’s one that I don’t necessarily look forward to. And I’ve found that packing to move to a foreign country is a bit more laborious than packing for vacation. So in order to make it a bit more enjoyable, I have been doing the following:

1. Purging

The Goodwill pile on my trunk is turning into a small mountain and I love it. Perhaps it’s weird for a girl to enjoy getting rid of clothes, but it feels liberating. I go through my clothes every couple months and I still manage to find things to get rid of. I can’t understand why I hold on to some things for so long. The other day I got rid of a pair of red Tims that I hadn’t worn since my freshman year of college. That was six years ago. Why do I still have those? Well, I don’t anymore, but I lugged them around for six years without ever wearing them. But the best part is that now I get to fill their spot with a new pair of shoes.

2. Pretending that my suitcase is a Tetris screen

I hate Geometry, but I love Tetris. And packing efficiently is always comparable to a good game of Tetris. If you’re skilled, you can fit 15 items into a spot that most people could only fit 10. You could interlock your items so that they lie perfectly flat at the top of your suitcase–not need to use that expansion zipper. What’s that you say? Two pairs of boots, two pairs of heels, six piles of clothes, a pile of books, four framed photos, and a teddy bear?  Step aside and press play, because I’ve got this.

3. Suffocating my clothes

I don’t know the official name for the bags that you put your clothes in and suck all the air out of, but I love them. Perhaps they’re called dehydration bags? I usually like to use the PC term of sucky bags. And right now, I have about four sucky bags in each of my suitcases to save space.

The magic of sucky bags

The suitcase in this picture really does have four, yes four, bags of winter clothes packed into the right side and it’s only halfway packed. I have yet to “dehydrate” the other side to match. The only disadvantage of these magical bags is that I can fit way more into my suitcases than I normally could, which might lead to certain weight issues at the airport. Therefore I’m weighing my suitcase with every additional bag. 40.9 lbs and counting…

4. Duct taping my suitcases.

I’m not a huge fan of the color pink, but a few years ago I bought hot pink luggage because I was tired of not being able to tell my black bags apart from the billions of other black bags at the airport. Around the third time of using said pink luggage, I got halfway home from the airport when I was called because I’d mistakingly pickled up someone else’s same hot pink luggage. I threw out the luggage and decided to come up with a new plan. Do you know how many patterns duct tape comes in now?

In case you are having a hard time believing the awesomeness of the above picture, let me reassure you–yes, that is mustache duct tape. I decorated my suitcases with mustache duct tape because while someone out there may have hot pink luggage, I’d like to see someone top mustache luggage…unless they had luggage with an actual mustache. That would top it. 

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