Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Adventures in packing simply

In three weeks Babygirl and I will be in New Zealand.

I am using my "pump money" and taking Hannah (with my mom) to see one of my dearest friends, from when I lived in London.

Right in the middle of teething.

I may be insane.

But I really want to go, and I can't see being without her for that long (she's been outside of me for a shorter time than she was inside me still) so she got a passport, and an infant bulkhead seat, and we're heading off to Auckland.

I've started my packing list, and am trying to keep things as simple as possible, taking inspiration from Project 333.  If you haven't seen it yet, it's a challenge to dress with 33 items or less for 3 months (and put the rest in storage in your attic).  And "items" includes shoes and accessories.  Every 3 months you get to pick a new 33 items (ie sweaters for winter).  

So here's a brief story of my own journey to simplicity:

Our bigger closet is in what is now the nursery.  Once Hannah was on the way, I had J build a new closet in the laundry room section of our bathroom.  We had switched over to a stackable washer/dryer, so we had all the space sitting next to that combo which had, at one point, been where the dryer had sat.  I designed a custom closet (one narrow row for shoes, one wider one with 7 shelves for folded shirts and jeans, and two hanging racks).  I got rid of a lot of stuff while moving clothes over to that closet last spring, and again once I got rid of my maternity clothes in the fall.

Then, a few weeks ago, our washer broke.  The repair man needed to get behind it in order to fix it, which necessitated taking the dryer off, which in turn led to the dismantling of the closet.  I wondered why I had a lot of the things I did.  Why do I need a Blink-182 tshirt?  I mean, yeah, I love them, and I like remembering their concert, but surely I don't need a shirt taking up space to remember that I saw them?  And back when Stephen Colbert started a SuperPac I bought a tshirt.  Why am I keeping that?  These are all taking up space in my house, which isn't large, as well as mental energy when I'm going through my closet wondering what to wear.

I've been keeping the thrift shop busy lately.  

I always think back to the time when I was 24 and my most prized possessions fit into three suitcases.  Somehow I've accumulated all this crap since then, and I'm all emotionally attached to it.  Why do I need to keep earrings I bought 15 years ago, which I don't wear, and would probably give me an ear infection even if I did?  Looking at my collection of earrings gives me angst.  So many beautiful dangling sparklies, and yet after thinking about it for five minutes every day I always wind up wearing the same pair for simplicity's sake.  Honestly, couldn't that five minutes be spent doing something more productive?

That's the point of Project 333, and while I haven't yet accepted the challenge of living with only 33 items or less, I am down to only 8 pairs of shoes and 5 pairs of earrings.  And most of my clothes are now sitting on top of the washer, folded in three piles (trousers, long sleeved shirts, short sleeved shirts) with about a foot's width of hanging things (dresses, etc) in Hannah's closet.  The rest is either at the thrift store (6 pairs of shoes went there yesterday) or in the attic.

I'm spending less time thinking about getting dressed, because I have fewer options.  When I go shopping, I don't get distracted by clothes and shoes, because I don't want to think about what would have to go in order to make room.  If I should come across something truly fabulous, I can figure that out later.  

And, the point of this post to start with, my packing list for Hannah is a breeze.  I'm taking laundry detergent (woolite comes in travel packs) so can wash things.  I'm packing for three days, and just planning on doing laundry every few days.  Plus an extra outfit in the carryon.  Diaper stuff (diapers, skin protectant, wipes and pads to lay on the floor).  Travel Mustela products (love).  Some tylenol (for the aforementioned teething).  A couple of toys (following advice on traveling with infants, I have purchased three new toys to distract her on the plane).  Books.  Blankets.  Formula.  Bottles.  Travel bottle dryer.  Done.

Well..."done" in theory.  We'll see how it actually works out as we get closer to the time.  Once I get it all sorted out, I'll take a picture with the final packing list.

1 comment:

Cynthia T said...

Once I worked with a woman who wore different outfits of black-and-white daily. I've been working on collecting such a wardrobe, but have kept everything else. When we moved into this house, the closet seemed enormous--it has shrunk to a madhouse of clothes!!