Homelife

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Pack Mentality

I have adopted a pack mentality, which means I am doing the thinking for 5 people.  No, I'm doing the packing for 5 people.  It's actually been going on for weeks.  Everything I see, everything I touch, I think, Should I pack this?  Could I pack this?  You see we are going to California in our MIN.I.VAN, all six of us, for 2 1/2 weeks.  Our destination is our cousin's wedding.  I can't wait.  It will be a trip to remember.  It will be awesome and awe-inspiring.  Stories to tell for decades to come.

But right now I have to worry about whether to take a jug of liquid laundry detergent or little packs of dry detergent sorted into sandwich baggies.  Does this sound pathetic?  I know it is, but I also know that if I don't think this way we are going to be living like a bunch of packrat hippies in a VW bus but there won't be any drugs for us to take to obscure the mess in front of our eyes.   And so I've been planning.  Excessively. 

Here is a grid graph I drew of where I imagined everything going.  The circle in the upper left hand corner is the steering wheel and the list across the top are the things that are going in the roof carrier.
We have each room in one box, well almost.  The attic (winter clothes) are packed in a soft pack zipper case that will go on top of the car.  These will be pulled out for the 36 degree temperatures we encounter in Yellowstone, where there are campfire restrictions these days due to the drought.   The bedrooms (sleeping bags) are packed on the roof too. The dining room is packed in a big clear rubbermaid, with everything from rice to dishes to oatmeal to potholders to water jugs to ladles (my husband kindly reminded me last night that you need a means of getting the chili out of the pot and we are planning on eating a lot of campfire stews.  While you can whisk eggs with a fork, you can't exactly ladle chili with a spoon.)


 The cleaning closet is packed in a carryall with paper towels, wipes, carpet freshener, (I'm dreading vomit more than grizzly bears right now) and a small dust pan and brush.

 The bathroom box isn't packed yet, but I had planned on using the top two pockets (see below) hung across the back for things like bug spray, hand sanitizer, glow sticks, and other things we might need for picnicking or while hiking.  But we've now realized that's not going to work for the trip as there will be all kinds of other crap piled in front of them!  So I'm saving it for when we get home.
The other thing I made was a net that hangs across the ceiling between the "dry cleaner" hooks by each door.  The plan was to have a little 'airline' blanket within easy reach for each kid and this way they wouldn't get stepped on.  However, the net  hangs a little low and we're just not sure if it's going to last.  (Any ideas here are welcome!)
The kids each have a duffle bag with 5 outfits packed in gallon baggies.   My plan is that this will help me keep the dirty laundry straight and I can 'fold' these outfits right back into their baggies.  Wish me luck.  We loose socks here everyday, now they will be scattered all over the highways of the USA.   ( Here's Charlie looking exhausted while cleaning the car out!)

So I wanted to share my crafty mom thing just briefly.  I took an old shoe bag organizer, cut it into fours and sewed elastic around the edge.   We now have organizers for kindles, hats and sunglasses, pencils and the million brochures/souvenirs that I know at least one of my kids is going to collect. 

The elastic fit nicely around each seat and seems to hold the light supplies.  It can hang low or high and doesn't affect the person in the seat.  The length is a little shorter than the circumference of the chair seat.  I did have to quadruple sew the elastic together. 
They seem to be working nicely.  I'll let you know when we get back.  That is if I ever finish packing!

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