I’m leaving on a Jet plane – in the next two hours …

and I’m not packed! What would you do and how do you cope? Just to let you know, I am not leaving in the next few hours, but I wouldn’t stress if I were. Why and how? you ask?

It’s not my nature to stress over the easy things and I have packing down to a science. If I were – and I’m not – leaving in a few hours, this is what my day would be like.

First, I’d grab a pair of jeans. Then one of my favorite go to ensembles – a sleeveless white blouse and a cardigan (notice my photo to the left.) Next would come undies and I’ll leave what I grab to your imagination! And, off to the shower I go.

Getting out of the shower, I grab my shampoo and conditioner and toss them in my “Bathroom Bag” (first in a large zip lock of course) and then grab which ever bath gel I’ve decided I like for the day (most likely the fullest bottle – I keep four or five refillable bottles in the shower of different gels) and toss that in with the shampoo/conditioner and zip it up.

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Depending on how I’m traveling I have a back bag or a tote bag for toiletries.

I then pull another zip lock out of the Bath Bag and after spritzing my hair with detangler, toss that in the bag (I reuse the zip locks and store them where used). Same goes with the deodorant and my perfume. (This bag is still sitting on the counter.) I dry my hair and toss my comb and brush into the bag and it’s ziplocked. The dryer goes into the big bag. I apply makeup and that container goes into the bag. After brushing my teeth, the toothpaste and toothbrush goes into another zip lock and into the large bag. Little things like Q-tips and a bar of soap stay in their containers in the Bath Bag so I don’t have to bother packing those every time. There have been years when Hubby and I have traveled a lot so there are many items that I have two of. The second stays packed.

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Let’s pretend that I’ll be gone for three days and I don’t need dressy clothes. I grab my all time favorites and eliminate the hard decision-making about what to wear. I fold four (I always grab an extra) white sleeveless blouses (I know – I like what I like) and four different color cardigans and slip two sets each into two gallon zip lock bags, toss in a couple of fresh dryer sheets and ziplock squeezing out excess air. (I normally grab a couple of LLBean soft t-shirts and pack for those days when you want to change in the evening due to the weather.) I then grab a couple of pairs of jeans and follow the same procedure. I use a rolling duffel bag from LL Bean and using zip locks keeps my clothes situated, fresh smelling and clean. (I have two sizes and the length of the trip determines which size I use. With the large, I can eliminate the bath bag.) I don’t like a jumbled mess and if you are flying – the zip locks keep the hands of the agents searching the luggage off your clothes (yes, I think of everything!) and I’m sure they appreciate it as well. (Dirty clothes get put back in a ziplock with a dryer sheet.)

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Where all the zip locks and back bags are stored – under the bed.

A note here: If I am only using my rolling duffel and not bringing my Bath Bag, I just toss the zip locks (just a phrase because let’s face it, I never just toss anything) into the duffel and don’t worry. Everything is protected.

That’s it folks. I’m packed for a three-day trip and the whole thing took me about an hour and fifteen minutes (and an hour of that was showering and dressing.) And, may I add here, I didn’t stress a bit.

(All of these photos are from another – and much longer – trip.)

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Hefty makes 2-gal, Gain original works the best.
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Some of the things packed.
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Gathering from the closet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I always put the jeans and heavier items on the wheel side.
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Rolling duffel – best thing ever!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When my children were little and traveling with me, I packed a day’s clothes in each ziplock to make it easy for them (shorts, shirt, socks, undies.) Pajamas with a change of underwear would be packed into another ziplock. They were able to grab a bag and know that everything was there for them to get dressed. And with the dryer sheets, clothes smell straight from the dryer.

If there was a need to pack dress clothes, they would be carefully slipped into a white garbage bag that I make a little hole in the top to accommodate the hangers. I would then wrap them around my pillow and place in the top of the duffel. We also like to pack our pillow – what can I say except I like my own pillow. I have never had to iron (and I only buy cotton) clothes. I do the same with Hubby’s dress clothes.

The idea of the duffel came around when Hubby retired about seven years ago and we began taking lengthy trips. I didn’t want to be hauling three and four bags into a hotel each night while on the road. I purchased a LLBean X-Large rolling duffel for each us with that in mind. When you use one bag, you don’t stress over leaving something behind and it is so easy to roll the bags. We traveled (drove cross-country) to Washington and then on to an Alaskan cruise/tour and were on the road for three weeks. Everything we needed fit in these bags, including a pillow and our Lands’ End squalls. It worked wonderfully – one bag each! To answer your unasked question – yes, there were other bags. After all – I’m me. I had a backpack jammed with entertainment things and books, etc. as well as our plans for each excursion and my purse. But, I promise you – that was it. And, Hubby had his own backpack so he could cram his jacket into his own backpack and not mine.

Have questions? Need clarification? Please leave a comment.

As always thanks for stopping by My Life. One Story at a Time.

How do you pack for a trip? Have any tips to trade?

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Putting heavier items on wheel end keeps them from sliding down while rolling. Always tighten straps.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Let’s Roll!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For a different style of packing, visit my friend Kristy at Giftie Ecetera at http://giftieetcetera.blogspot.com/2014/04/planning-packing.html

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40 Bags/40 Days Declutter Charity Challenge

For the last few years, I have participated in a challenge that I first saw introduced by the lovely Sarah over at Clover Lane. It’s called the “40 Bags in 40 Days challenge” and the idea is to rid your home of unneeded and unwanted “stuff” by filling a bag every day during the 40 days of Lent. By the end, you will have donated/sold/tossed 40 BAGS of clutter.

I have to admit that the first year I did this challenge, I was a bit overwhelmed. Sarah suggests writing down 40 different areas of your home that you want to focus on during the challenge, and that was definitely helpful for me. I broke things down into very small categories and even dedicated one day to just cleaning out file drawers {not even my whole desk}. Following that daily plan of one small area at a time made things much more manageable. Also, instead of trying to fill an entire big garbage bag each day, I would focus on grocery size bags for the small projects. In the end, I had collected 21 black garbage bags/boxes and 19 grocery bags of STUFF we didn’t need. Some went into the recycling bin, some went to our garage sale, and some went to charities.

As much as I enjoy the decluttering process of this challenge, I think the part that I love most is finding new charities to contribute to. Having “too much stuff” is a blessing we take for granted sometimes. There are people that would do anything to have shoes without holes, dress clothes appropriate enough for a job interview, pots and pans to make meals at home, toys for their children to play with, glasses to see with, etc. And if we have extras of these things lying around, unused, why not give them to people who need them?! Use this challenge and every day of Lent {regardless of your religion} to give back to your community. To give to people in need. To do something good with all those blessings you take for granted.

This year, I plan to use my 40 Bags/40 Days list a little differently. Instead of listing 40 areas of my home, I am going to list out my 40 “bags” and where they went. I want to be able to look back and see how much I was able to recycle, how much I was able to sell and most importantly…how much I was able to donate to people in need.

Although there are many places that will take most of your items {like AMVETSSalvation Army or Red Cross}, there also some other wonderful charities that are looking for specific items like shoes, dress clothes, eye glasses, plastic toys, etc. Here are links to some charities I have worked with in the past and some I hope to work with again this year:

For gently used shoes: Share Your Soles
For gently worn or new dress clothes: Dress for Success
For old {good condition} eyeglasses: Lions Recycle for Sight
For gently used plastic toys: Second Chance Toys
Used books: Reading Tree
Old cell phones: Cell Phones for Soldiers
Gently worn coats and jackets: Operation Warm

 

I am so excited to get started on this year’s challenge and hopefully get my whole family involved too. And of course, to help you all out with this challenge, here is a free planner printable to help you track your 40 bags/40 Day:

 

Use it to plan out the 40 areas of your home you want to tackle in the challenge, or use it like I am and track your “bags” and where they are going.

Start Spring off right with an organized home, and a full heart :-)

Download the Large {8.5 x 11} list HERE.
Download the Small {5.5 x 8.5} list HERE.
Download the XSmall {3.75 x 6.75} list HERE.

 

I am reposting this from my friend, Jen, at Polka Dot Posie. (http://www.thepolkadotposie.com/2014/03/40-bags40-days-declutter-charity.html ) Let’s all join in and make the next 40 days count!

Don’t forget to check Southern Charm Planners on Facebook! at https://www.facebook.com/groups/LouisianaPlannerGirls/

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Whoa! That is one huge mountain of laundry!

If company stopped by your house unexpectedly, is that what their reaction would be? Right before you slammed the laundry room door shut and treated them to a nasty look?

I don’t have that problem – the one with being able to slam the laundry room door shut that is. My laundry room is in the garage, right by the back door. For those friends who stop by and insist on coming in through the garage rather than my pretty front door, they get to walk right by it – whether the bins are empty or overflowing onto the floor. Fortunately, the bins aren’t normally overflowing.

How do I keep up with the laundry? Well, there is the fact that there are only two of us. But, then there’s the fact that Hubby can sometimes change clothes as often as a two-year old playing dress-up. What I am getting at is like everyone else, I have laundry. The difference may be in how I handle dirty clothes.

I only have two bins. One bin is for Hubby’s work jeans, shirts, underwear, towels, and dish towels. The other bin is for good clothes – the things you don’t want rolling around in the washer and dryer along with the towels and jeans. That’s it. When the bins are full, honey, it’s time to wash!

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Good clothes
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everyday items

Many people still think old school and would never dare to mix jeans with towels, etc. I say, “It’s a new age.” It took me a while to get to that point though, so I know what you’re going through. (Jeans once they are beyond fading, not new jeans.) Also, a bit of advice. I also love walking into a store and lusting after the beautiful colors of towels that are available. However, I do not buy them. Beautiful colored towels are simply that – beautiful – until they fade, then, not so much.

To me, beautiful towels are evil! They cannot be mixed with other clothes because they bleed. They cannot be bleached to look new again. They can only look older and older and older. I’m old enough without my towels looking my age too. Now, before I go any further, I will confess that I have succumbed to the beautifulness. I do have a few pretty hand towels – they are just for show! They create extra laundry – which I do not want.

I decided to write this post because I have a dear friend who recently posted on Facebook that she was behind in laundry and didn’t think anyone was listening. I wanted her to know that I was listening to her.

Above are my two bins. The larger is for those everyday items; jeans, towels, etc. When it is full, it’s time to wash. Washing usually starts after Hubby takes his shower and fills up the bin. It gets washed and put in the dryer. By bedtime the clothes are dry, but normally they stay in the dryer until the next day – there is nothing wrong with that.

The next photos depict how I handle the laundry once it’s dried. I pull out the jeans first and immediately fold them. I pick them up and shake them and then fold them in half; fold in half length-wise, and then in half again. It’s done – 4 seconds tops. I am so used to doing this, I just hold them against me and almost roll down. They are work jeans and this is good enough (took me a long time to allow it to be good enough, but I’m there.) Next, shirts. Same procedure. If you grab it at the collar and about half-way down the long sleeve and shake, it should fall into place. Lay on the dryer door and fold in thirds. Done. Lay on top of jeans. Pajama pants come next because they are long too.

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clothes in dryer
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in half length-wise
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in half again – finished
in half
in half
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sleeves folded over
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grab by collar & pinch sleeves
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pinching sleeve
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pinching collar
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finished
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fold down 1/3
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folded items on top
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small items in bottom of basket

After that, all that’s left are the underwear and towels. Those get tossed into the basket and the folded items are put on top. I then take the basket to my bedroom and use my bed for the rest of the folding. The folded items are set aside and I pull the other items from the basket and toss in the appropriate pile.

This may sound like extra work, but I have found it to be a more efficient way. Dish towels go in a pile. Bath towels (hand, rags that go in bathroom) go in a pile. Socks in a pile. Undies in a pile. Undershirts shaken and put aside. This takes about 5 seconds. Now, you are ready to fold. If you have little ones, you give the dish towels to one to fold, towels to another (except large towels unless they are older). More on how to incorporate the kiddies later.

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basket on bed
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items tossed into piles
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Hubby’s piled folded

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Hub’s socks, undies, etc.

I normally grab Hubby’s undershirts next. I fold and stack them. I then grab the undies, fold and stack. Then the socks. Since I am in the bedroom, I simply turn around and put his clothes on the shelves in his closet. What can I say? I designed my closet. He designed his closet. It’s not what I would have chosen, but he likes it so I work with it. The jeans and shirts are deposited on their shelves.

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jeans/shirts on shelves
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items on shelves

Next up are the dish towels. I grab and fold and stack. It only involves two stacks – dish towels and dish rags. When completed, one goes on top of the other. I then grab the towels and do the same. The laundry is done and folded at this point. I did the laundry this morning so I could take pictures and it still only took me about 15 minutes.

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kitchen towels

I grab and stack the dish towels on top of the bathroom towels and head out. I drop the bath towels off in the bathroom and the kitchen towels off on the island. I don’t take the time to put them in their exact spots. I wait until I come back to wash my hands and then I put the bath towels up. When I clean the kitchen after breakfast, I put the towels in their spots.  I just find this to be more efficient for me. It only takes a few extra seconds to put them in their places and certainly can be done after folding, especially if someone is going to come behind you and mess up all of your good work.

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bathroom
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kitchen towels

You have used up 10-15 minutes of your day and the laundry is done. I use this system because after trial and error, I found that you can fold much faster if you are folding one like item at a time. Before, I was folding and looking for the pile of undies or rags or towels. That took up a lot of time in itself. This has been my tried and true system for many, many years.

If you have children (this is what I did when my children were young) and you are teaching them to help with the laundry, then one can fold the kitchen towels and one can fold the bath towels. When I walked into the girl’s bedroom one day and opened a drawer to put away clothes and saw that one of them had completely turned everything over to get a shirt at the bottom of the stack, I quit folding their clothes. There wasn’t any point in spending the time to make things look perfect if it wasn’t suiting their way of finding their clothes. I picked my battles and learned to work out solutions that made us all happy during each phase of their lives growing up. It is what moms do.

I got a basket for each child and put their clothes in it. They would fold while they watched tv. This is when perfection ceases to exist. Even two-year olds can fold their undies and put them away. It doesn’t matter what they look like; they will be proud of the accomplishment.

To not add steps to your laundry process, you would take their baskets and put them on the bed. As you are tossing and making piles, you simply toss their clothes into their baskets. There will still be some items you’ll want to fold yourself, because after all, we don’t want our kids looking like raggamuffins if they don’t have to!

An extra thing that I do for Hubby to aid him in getting dressed if I’m not around is I put his folded dress socks over the appropriate pair of slacks. He’s finally learned which colors go with brown belt and shoes or black belt/shoes. This saves on the disarray in the closet and it takes just a second to do this kind deed.

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match socks to pants
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in closet

As always, thank you for visiting and taking the time to read my posts. I love hearing from you and if you’d like to share your laundry tips, please leave a comment.

I am joining friends for the Thursday Blog Hop! Click the links below and see all of the great blogs that are participating. You can participate too!

Welcome to the Thursday Favorite Things Blog hop. The Thursday Favorite Things Blog hop is where you can link your favorite post of the week or write a post about your favorite things and share it with old and new followers. The hop is hosted and posted on 3 different blogs! Please follow all of the hostesses. That’s right, your link will appear on the blogs of Katherines CornerOver 50 Feeling 40 and Vintage Mama. Three times the opportunity to make new bloggy friends and to share your wonderful blog and discover others too.

popular Thursday Blog Hop

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What do you do with old underwear?

I’m having fun today.

Do you ever throw yours away? 

 

No matter how many holes there are?

Ladies' underwear advertisement, 1913

 

 

       I am here to confess – and my sisters and anyone else who knows me well, will be looking around thinking – where is my sister and what have you done with her because SHE doesn’t talk about these things – back to confessing – I actually threw a pair of underwear away today. The kicker is – they were clean, but none-the-less full of holes.

 

       Seriously, do you throw underwear away, or are you like me? I see that it needs to be trashed, but then who throws away dirty underwear? Yuck! I know, who is going to see it? So, I wash it, and then I think – I’ll just wear it one more time, it is clean after all and so the cycle continues. The underwear never makes it to the trash! 

 

       Today, I threw away a pair of clean underwear. Now, I am asking all of you to fess up – do you throw away underwear – and if you dare – clean or dirty? I am throwing down the gauntlet. Leave your confessions below and know that we’ll keep them in the strictest of confidence. 

 

Be sure to follow my blog. 

 

You never know what subject will come up next! 

 

Donna

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Don’t Store Gloves in Coat Pockets

Even though it’s the most convenient place to stash them, to keep your 

Oxblood Gloves

 

gloves in the best condition you should avoid sto

ring them in your coat pockets. Why? Because your hands perspire when you’re wearing gloves (yes, even when temps are below freezing), and they need to dry out once you’ve taken them off, which they can’t do wadded up in your coat pockets. Instead try putting them next to your keys on your entry table. That way they’ll dry out, and you won’t forget them when you rush out the door.


This is a reprint from Simply Stated (the link is below).


I thought I’d share this tidbit – because guess what!? I’m a confessed princess and that means there is a pair of matching gloves and a hat for each coat I have. And, guess where I’ve been shoving those little matching gloves? That’s right! In the pocket of the matching coat!


I guess this proves that you are never too old to learn a new trick!


Do you have any little tidbits you’d like to share? Please leave a comment.

Related articles

What do you do with old underwear?

Ladies' underwear advertisement, 1913
Ladies’ underwear advertisement, 1913 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I’m having fun today.

Do you ever throw yours away?

No matter how many holes there are?
       I am here to confess – and my sisters and anyone else who knows me well, will be looking around thinking – where is my sister and what have you done with her because SHE doesn’t talk about these things – back to confessing – I actually threw a pair of underwear away today. The kicker is – they were clean, but none-the-less full of holes.
       Seriously, do you throw underwear away, or are you like me? I see that it needs to be trashed, but then who throws away dirty underwear? Yuck! I know, who is going to see it? So, I wash it, and then I think – I’ll just wear it one more time, it is clean after all and so the cycle continues. The underwear never makes it to the trash!
       Today, I threw away a pair of clean underwear. Now, I am asking all of you to fess up – do you throw away underwear – and if you dare – clean or dirty? I am throwing down the gauntlet. Leave your confessions below and know that we’ll keep them in the strictest of confidence.
Be sure to follow my blog.
You never know what subject will come up next!
Donna