I hate packing. From hauling the suitcase up from the basement to sitting on it to close the zipper (and inevitably having to remove stuff), I despite every part of it. I know things are little different this time, since I'm packing EVERYTHING I OWN. But still I've done it enough time to know that I can't stand:
- Choosing a suitcase size. One would assume that factors like length of trip and weather at destination would determine what size suitcase to pack, but you know what they say about assuming. Suitcase size is actually determined by gender of traveler, how many activities (read: outfit changes) will be required, and how many shoes she has. And just when you think you can get away with nothing but your bathing suit and some flip-flops, someone mentions a boat cruise and a volcano and you've broken out the closet on wheels.
- Planning what to pack. This essentially requires that you plan out all of your outfits in advance--you can't just throw a bunch of random stuff together and hope some of it matches. When I think about what to pack, my inner dialogue usually goes something like this: "I want that red top, but I need pants to match, and those shoes would go really great, but then I need something else that matches the shoes because it's silly to bring shoes that only go with one outfit, so what about that brown top, and then which pants go with it...." Repeat seventeen times.
- The laundry. How many times have I put a load in the machine, continued packing, and forgotten all about the mound of clothes coming out of the dryer? Too many. Just when I think to myself, "This suitcase isn't spilling over! Score!," a ding comes from the basement and I want to throw everything out the window.
- Leaving out what you need until the day you go. This is how I manage to forget either my glasses, my pajamas, my hair dryer, or my toothbrush one out of every five times I travel. Did you know hotels charge $6 for toothbrushes? Word to the wise: leave a spare one in your toiletry bag.
- The mess is creates. There is nothing more annoying than tripping over an open suitcases in the middle of your bedroom floor. Or looking for something that you've already packed. Or wearing something you haven't worn since 2002 to run errands because all your "good" clothes are already packed.
- Forgetting something and trying to shove it in at the last minute. I am famous for forgetting to put my toiletry bag in my suitcase until the very end, until I've arranged everything perfectly and created minimal wrinklage. And then comes this gigantic bag the size of a milk carton looking to make its way into my luggage and I have to move everything around and leave a pair of shoes behind to make room. And of course those are the ONE pair of shoes that match that red top.....
- Unpacking. Be honest: how long do you usually leave your suitcase full of dirty laundry sitting in your hallway before you unpack it? Two days? Three? My stuff usually sits around so long that every article of clothing goes straight into the washing machine. Just be careful not to wash your souvenirs... broken seashells and satin nightgowns don't mix very well. Trust me.