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My Best Packing Tips

As Published In Airstream Live Riveted
My Best Packing Tips

Love to travel, but hate to pack? You aren’t the only one! Packing is one of the most vital aspects to preparing for any trip — it can either make everything go smoothly or create chaos. (We prefer the first.) But it’s also the most onerous. To help give tips on how to pack, we’ve consulted full-time Airstreamer and organizer Ramona Creel for her views on what to take and what to leave behind!

How do you keep from forgetting something vital?

I use packing lists. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve forgotten to take something vital with me on an adventure, just because my brain decided to start vacation a few days early. It can be very frustrating in the moment, but I’ve also realized that everyone is mentally overloaded these days. So instead of relying on your memory for when it’s time to pack and do a million other things to get ready for your trip — create a reminder.

Taking a few minutes to write out packing lists for each type of trip you plan on taking, like going to the beach, camping, playing in the snow or traveling for work. This process will save yourself a lot of time, stress and money later on. My best method for keeping these lists organized is by keeping them on my computer (for easy editing and printing). I have ready-made ones I’m happy to share if you contact me. But you can also hand-write your own and store a copy with your luggage and travel supplies.

The same goes for travel days in the Airstream — I have a “packing up” list we follow to the letter. This bad boy has saved my butt numerous times, when I accidentally forgot to close a ceiling vent, or latch the front door step, or retract the stabilizers. Feel free to reach out to me for this list, along with the other lists I’ve created.

What three items do you need with you on the road?

No trip is complete without my laptop, my favorite pillow — and my sweetie. (Sappy-romantic? Yes. But true — a trip isn’t a trip without the right companion!) Doesn’t matter what else I leave behind.

How do you keep from packing too much stuff?

I live by the motto, “you’re not done packing until you’ve made a second (and possibly even a third) pass over your stuff.” It doesn’t matter whether you’re loading up a suitcase for a plane flight or filling your RV for a year-long road trek — you’re going to pack more than you need at the start. I challenge you to walk away for a moment, think about what you’ll actually be DOING on your trip, then come back and re-evaluate the piles — you’ll discover that a great deal of what you “thought” you needed is now no longer necessary.

Ask yourself if you have a realistic concrete plan for using each item, or if you’re bringing it “just in case” (the three most clutter-causing words in the English language). Mixing-and-matching your wardrobe (along with planning to do some laundry) means you don’t need a separate outfit for every day of the week. Attempt to slim down your accessories to the bare minimum — be they earrings or kitchen attachments, power plugs or sports paraphernalia. If you’ve got duplicates, see if you can’t get away with bringing just one, rather than three. (I’m always guilty of this when it comes to reading material and different styles of black shirts.) Generally speaking, you can count on reducing the size of your load by at least 10-25% upon review, if not more — a little perspective truly is an amazing thing!

Packing never seemed so easy! If you need Ramona’s help creating your own packing lists, contact her!

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Copyright 2001 RamonaCreel.com

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Ramona Creel is an award-winning 15-year veteran organizer and member of the National Association Of Professional Organizers. As well as having birthed “The A-To-Z Of Getting Organized,” Ramona is also the author of “The Professional Organizer’s Bible: A Slightly Irreverent And Completely Unorthodox Guide For Turning Clutter Into A Career”—and the creator of more than 200 “quick-start” business tools and templates for use by productivity professionals. She writes seven different blogs, has worked with hundreds of clients, and has delivered scores of presentations on getting organized. Ramona resides on the roads of America as a full-time RVer—living and working in a 29-foot Airstream. Learn more at and RamonaCreel.com.

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