Helpful holiday packing tips for forgetful people

Colour photograph of a Sony Alpha dSLR and a pair of black sunglasses in a blue bag against a blue background

While I was packing for the Samhain break I went on with my husband to Peebles in the Scottish Borders, I realised my method of packing, specifically how I make and use lists, might be helpful to other people. If you’re living with an illness that has brain fog as a symptom (like me) or if you’re just wildly forgetful (also like me), sometimes packing can be a bit of a nightmare. I am totally that person who remembers the phone and forgets the charger.

I love Google Keep for shopping lists, but I find it fiddly and awkward for more detailed lists because I’m amazing at accidentally deleting and moving things, especially if I’m stressed out or have a lot going on at once. I much prefer to use pen and paper for packing lists (just one of the things a bullet journal is perfect for), so I’m going to explain exactly how I do it.

Grab some highlighters

Colour coding is the backbone of my packing list method, so if you’re giving it a try, get your hands on some highlighter pens as well as paper and a regular pen.

Start early

I usually make a packing list two days before I have to pack because I always forget a few things at first. Those things will either pop into my head later or I’ll be reminded of them when I use them over the course of a day, so if my list already exists, I can easily add those things to it.

Write everyday things down in the order you use them through the day

I know some people prefer to make packing lists based on type of thing – make-up, clothes, toiletries, electronics, medication etc but I find it much easier to begin by listing things in the order in which I use them because it feels familiar. In my head, I go through my morning routine and then my evening routine, making a note of everything I use that I also want to bring with me.

Then add other items

Once I’ve written my list of things I use regularly through the day, I add other things that I want to bring. I find it so much easier to consider these extras separately from essentials like toothpaste and underwear.

And colour-code!

Because it’s often easier to pack based on type of thing, but your list is likely to not be grouped this way, pick a colour for each type of thing and highlight the items on your list. I tend to go with five different colours – clothes, toiletries, make-up, electronics and everything else. When it comes to packing, I can easily find types-of-thing on my list.

Lay it all out

This is definitely a matter of preference, but I much prefer getting everything I want to pack in one place (usually on the bed) and then start packing it. For me, it’s an added layer of checking so I can be sure I’ve actually put everything in my bag instead of setting it down nearby and forgetting about it (yes, I have done this before).

I hope these tips have been helpful. I’m all for making things easier and if colour coding can be part of that, all the better!

3 Replies to “Helpful holiday packing tips for forgetful people”

  1. I start earlier than two days in advance simply because it takes longer than that to wash and dry an item of clothing you might need.

    I have categories of items. Toiletries, medication, clothing, jewellery, books and DVDs, electronics (phone, tablet/laptop, mp3 player, camera plus chargers, cables, memory cards etc), food and drink, projects (art or craft stuff), dream diary, location specific stuff (wellies or swimwear), pet plus their bits and pieces etc. Then I add specific items under those. I have a master list that lives in my address book. Don’t ask why, I don’t remember my reasoning but that’s where it lives. It probably needs updating. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’d probably start earlier if I had more clothes. I’d love to say I have a capsule wardrobe because I’m a super-organised minimalist but the truth is I despise shopping and everything I own goes with everything else because most of it’s black 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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