Thursday, October 23, 2008

Family Packing List

Are you traveling any time soon? I'm going to spill my secret about organized packing for a family. As an avid list-maker, I have a family packing list that I use each and every time we go on vacation. I created it years ago before we had kids. It's an Excel spreadsheet. I have one column and one color for each member of the family. Hubby is blue, I'm red, and the kids are blue, green and purple.

I have sub-sections on the list.
1- The first section is travel essentials. This includes items like pillows, blankets, sleeping bags, car seats, camping chairs, airline tickets, suitcases, strollers, etc. I modify or delete these items on my list prior to printing the packing list, but I always have everything on my master list and I never save the changes.
2- The second section is clothing. Next to socks, underwear, and shoes I have a #______ to fill in the quantity needed. Then I have spaces for outfit #1, outfit #2, outfit #3....etc. This is especially helpful to list the outfits prior to packing them if you're OCD like me and make your family coordinate on the off-chance that you will capture a great picture to scrapbook one day. (That's an entirely separate post!) I also include hats, belts, swimming suits, pajamas in this section.
3- The next section is entertainment. I list the kids gaming systems, books, toys, DVDs, etc. here. I also list my books, magazines, etc.
4- Next I list toiletries. Toothbrushes, paste, makeup, vitamins, shaving supplies, combs, hair styling aids, etc.
5- The last section is for snacks. I list a couple of different snacks along with water bottles or sippy cups for the kids so I have some food on hand for hungry travelers.
6- At the top right of my packing list, I have a list of pre-travel preparations. I include things like stopping the mail, stopping the newspaper, asking a neighbor to take our garbage cans in or out, getting money from the ATM, setting lights to a timer, watering plants, gas in the car, prepaying bills, and asking the neighbors to watch the house or gather any special UPS or FedEx shipments that might arrive while we're gone.

Amazingly, this entire list fits on one page. I include checkboxes next to each item so we can color them in as we check off our list. I will say that being an organized packer makes it so we rarely forget anything. It's easier to enjoy your vacation with peace of mind. Happy packing!


Jennica said...

We are SO much a like this way... I have one similar to this too... I have a separate one for motor home trip and flying trip. I also have one for when Mom & Dad our out of town with important phone numbers: school, neighbors, friends, grandparents etc. We are sick with lists like this just so you know... LOL!

jill said...

Wow that is totally impressive!!

Lisa said...

Did you ever know that you are my hero.... that is amazing!