Yes, half way through my holiday – I have had one week off, and I have one week to go. And yes… we’ve been away. Now, we do go away fairly regularly (at least every couple of months) however, it’s normally only for two (or at the most, three) nights. Somehow or other though, we do seem to need THAT MUCH STUFF (we didn’t take a letterbox OR a funky decorative light bulb this trip – however, I can see why such things could possibly come in handy). There’s only four of us, not twenty; yet to go away for two nights we needed…
- Swimming gear (including towels)
- Bedding (x4)
- More towels
- Chargers (at least a million)
- Amusements (two small boys need amusing every now and then – even if it’s just so they stay still for five minutes and don’t be trashin’ the joint!)
- Ipods (ok, I didn’t really need that – but I wanted my tunes in the car on the way)
- Mobile phones (only two)
- Water bottles
- Something random but necessary that I forget to pack
Ridiculous, I know.
Not only do I get to pack all of the above; I get to unpack it when we reach our destination as well. Then pack it up when it’s time to go THEN unpack it all when we get home. So you’d think that because I have to pack/unpack/pack/unpack so regularly a) I would have learned to travel light and b) I would have learned to erm. DELEGATE.
Nah… Not yet – not on the packing light, anyway. Small boys tend toward sticky and gravitate toward large bodies of water (sometimes with the intention of swimming to Tasmania, sometimes because they’re looking for quicksand. Not having ever been a small boy, I am not sure why. And despite having been in charge of a couple for a good few years now, I am still not sure why.) This means that one needs to pack a “pair and a spare” PER DAY. Plus one for luck. Tragically, there have been trips where every item I have packed for said smallest boy has been used. And while the Bloke is more than happy to pack and unpack his own stuff, the Little Gentlemens struggle with getting dressed in the morning without detailed and repeated instructions. This means that if I don’t want to start with the packing three weeks before we’re going away… I do it myself.
Most of the time we go away, we tend to stay in cabins and the like (we had an entire HOUSE this weekend) which is all very civilised but they don’t provide stuff like bedding and towels, hence the pack the bedding time. The Little Gentlemen have sleeping bags, but I still take a sheet to cover the mattress (ok, that’s possibly just me being a weirdo, but I don’t like the idea of them just sleeping on the bare mattress). And I know that the towns we stay in have shops – but you know how it is… you arrive in a strange place, you have to find where you’re staying, unpack the car, find the shops, go to the shops, find the stuff… So I pack two days worth of breakfast and snacks and just buy milk and bread when we get there. Assuming the bakery has bread. (And what sort of bakery does NOT have bread because it hasn’t been delivered yet…)
Anyway, there is one thing I HAVE learned amongst all these trips away…
UNPACK AS SOON AS YOU GET HOME.
Otherwise, the unpacking stays half done for three weeks, and you find yourself looking for that little bag with the zips and why doesn’t that child have any clothes? And what on earth happened to the other phone charger, don’t we have two? And has anyone seen those bloody DS chargers? (As an aside… those bloody DS chargers were awol for about two MONTHS!!! And as soon as I bought two new ones, they showed up. Of course.)
So, I have unpacked. Not as soon as we got home, but within an hour or so (I waited until after coffee was consumed). The washing is sorted and one load is washed (and dried, believe it or not – not folded, though. That would be insane.) The second load is washing, and the other million or so loads are sorted and waiting to go tomorrow. And IF I am clever, and think with my brains, I will be popping on another load before I toddle off to bed.
There will be no plaintive searching for the lost chargers as they’re all back where they belong. The small child did indeed go through all but one pair of jocks that were packed for him. Food is either back in the cupboard, fridge or binned. In fact, the only “disaster” that befell my packing skills was accidentally leaving behind the $17 magazine that I’d searched for through maybe five newsagents before I finally found it (and before you tell me I’m mad for spending $17 on a magazine… it was the Jamie Oliver annual, and there were enough recipes that I thought sounded tasty that it appears that I will perhaps be spending another $17 and hours trekking about looking for a new one!)
So, I shall rest upon my unpacking laurels, and plot fiendishly as to how on earth I can reduce the amount of crap we need to take away with us next time we head off on tour again. Which will be in about six weeks.