Packing: Clear and Simple

Posted by Sue on Jul 6, 2010  

“Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go.   But no matter, the road is life.”    ~ Jack Kerouac

With a week to go before  take off for my long anticipated trip to Italy and Macedonia, I confided in Joanna, “I’d be looking forward to this trip if I could only figure out what to pack!” I was embarrassed.  It seems to me that a professional organizer shouldn’t be cowed by the simple task of packing for a vacation; but I didn’t have a clue where to start!

Packing quickly becomes convoluted with multiple layers of “What if’s?”  What if it pours the whole time? What if we have to get really dressed up? What if there are no laundry facilities? What if … what if … what if????

I asked Joanna how she keeps clear and simple about what to bring when she travels. And … out came THE LIST: Back and front of a 4 by 6 index card, hand written, clear and simple. Joanna’s delightful mother-in-law gave her  this list a long while back when Joanna was similarly flummoxed. And now, we offer this list to you, our dear readers. If it’s not on THE LIST, think twice abaout bringing it; though there may be some things on the list that you clearly don’t need. I’ll report back when I’m home and let you know if WHAT I packed supported HOW I want to travel.


ClothingPants - tops – dresses – skirts – sweats – sweater;  Undies: bras – slip – panties – pads – swimsuit;  Feet:  socks – shoes – hose – boots;  Jewelry:  scarves – earrings – rings – bracelets – necklaces – watch; PJ’s: robe – slippers

Medications: Vitamins – first aid items – Tylenol – band-aids

Teeth: Paste – brush – floss

Hair:  Comb – brush – clips – rollers – dryer – shampoo – shower cap – hairspray

Cosmetics:  Lotions – makeup – sunscreen – deodorant – insect repellant – nail clippers – file – scissors – razor

Outerwear:  Coat – jacket  – gloves – hat – scarf – sunshade – rain jacket – umbrella

Purse or tote or backpack


Car:  Snacks – water – gum – paper towels – tissue – GPS – tapes/CD’s for listening – blanket – pillow

Books:  Magazines – datebook – notebook/journal – pens – pencils – needlework – photos to share

Camera:  Film/batteries – binocs – video camera

List of names:  Addresses – phone #’s – phonecard – money – moneybelt – passport – credit cards – copies of important papers in case they get lost

Laundry:  Bag, small portable clothesline

Flashlight:  travel clock – suitcase lock and key


Try out THE LIST to curb your packing frustrations or let us know if there’s another method that’s helped keep you clear and simple!

Ciao!  Sue (and Joanna)

P.S.  Joanna will be happy to help you while I’m away.  Just give her a call at:

802-258-4800    Cell phone  802-380-0301

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March 1st, 2014 | 10:36 pm
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