Saturday, May 3, 2014

Packing 101

2 weeks before city transfer:

  • Start getting careful about grocery shopping.  Only buy things in quantities you are sure you will consume in 2 weeks.  Begin using up the food.
  • Think through the upcoming transfer.  Is it an easy one (pack up the car in one place, and drive to the next place within 1 day)?  Or a more-complicated one (multi-step trip; hotel or houseguest stays; crossing international borders; family members on separate itineraries; airplane travel)?  Most transfers fall into the "more-complicated" category.
7-10 days before city transfer:
  • Lay out the suitcases and make final decision - how many cases will go on luggage truck?  
  • Start packing the luggage truck cases first.  Cull through the whole apartment, finding items that you can live without for a couple of weeks.
  • If international transfer, packing list has to be completed by this time.  So the luggage-truck cases have to be done by about 10 days out.  Note: when they say things like "Used Clothing - # of items" - you can really just estimate.  No one is going to be counting your underwear.
  • Get the laundry under control.  You can't pack if there are piles of dirty laundry.  From this point forward, do not let the laundry build up, or you will never make it to the suitcases.  
  • Wash all of the dishes that will go in the luggage truck cases, and stop using them.  
  • Pull out anything you want to donate to Goodwill - outgrown clothes, toys no longer needed - and set them in bags in the Cirque kitchen. 
  • Seriously, use up the food.  
  • Whenever you see other tour members, mutually lament about how little packing you've gotten done.  
3 days before city transfer:
  • Phew.  Luggage truck cases are sent, and you're going to have a breather - pretend like you're not leaving imminently, and let the rest of the packing go for a day or two.
1 day before city transfer:
  • Face the music.  You are leaving tomorrow, anything you might have had planned for this day is out the window, and there are 5 people's papers, books, toys, clothes, and shoes strewn all over the apartment.  (get those library books returned now). You have miscalculated, to some degree, the groceries you needed, and today you'll be eating weird food combinations and figuring out what you can and cannot bring with you.  Expect a long day of stress and squabbling, and promise yourself that next time you will do this all earlier.  


  1. Hope the documents were all replaced so that you could make the move to Vancouver and get settled in there. What a fun city! Make sure to visit the Queen Elizabeth Garden - it should be in full bloom right about now and if I recall correctly there is no admission charge.

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