A practical tip for packing for trips.


And no, the odd… it’s not alliteration, but some kind of interesting word pattern, in the title of this post wasn’t obvious to me until I typed it. :-)

I had to finish packing for Autreat today, with the help of someone else.

(This is also why I might not be able to get all the comments through moderation for awhile, so don’t panic if your comment doesn’t get through.)

After dealing with a few minor catastrophes (including a power outage during a thunderstorm, and discovering that someone tried to recharge non-rechargeable batteries in my charger, and the batteries leaked all over everything) we got down to trying to pack.

It’s really hard for me to pack, but I stuck it out for a few hours before I had to go and lie down.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t through telling the person I was with, which items I wanted in my messenger bag that I’d be carrying with me rather than sticking in the back of the car, and which items I just wanted packed the normal way.

My short-term memory can be utter crap sometimes. So by the time I got situated in bed, I’d forgotten most of the items and elements of them were jumbled up in my head. Everything was taking place in the other room and the other person, who was pretty strained herself, would’ve at that point probably found it impossible to either write a list of the items, carry them all into my room, or run back and forth talking to me about them.

Then I remembered I have a digital camera.

So I set it to maximum resolution, and handed it to her.

I basically said “Here, please go and take a photograph of the mess. Then bring it back, go on packing, and I’ll work out which things to put where and call you once I’ve made a list.”

She did that.

I got the photo, zoomed in, it reminded me of the locations of the items I wanted to put in my bag, and I made a list on that basis.

Both of us were very happy with this solution to the problem, it made things way less complicated than trying to either bring the stuff to me or bring me to the stuff at that point in time.

And I thought that technique might be useful to anyone who ever ends up in that situation themselves. Plus I want to remember it later myself. So I’m posting it.

About Mel Baggs

Hufflepuff. Came from the redwoods, which tell me who I am and where I belong in the world. I relate to objects as if they are alive, but as things with identities and properties all of their own, not as something human-like. Culturally I'm from a California Okie background. Crochet or otherwise create constantly, write poetry and paint when I can. Proud member of the developmental disability self-advocacy movement. I care a lot more about being a human being than I care about what categories I fit into.

10 responses »

  1. Great idea! We used digital photos of the boys’ lunch boxes so they can remember and if my dad helps out, he won’t have to try to figure it out on his own.

  2. That’s good. That seems like an example of technology being actually useful, rather than just convenient. At work, we use a photo of our first-aid kits to help see if they need to be restocked.

  3. Cool! We should do this for getting food. I can never remember everything in the kitchen, and have a hard time remembering what my options to eat are, and it can get frustrating especially in mornings when neither my parents nor I are in the best frame of mind.

    I hope you have a good time at Autreat. I couldn’t make it this year, but I’m hoping next year, as long as I get sufficient scholarship funds for my next year in college.

  4. If only I could take a picture of the thing I wanted to talk about but now can’t remember what it was. Darn those tangents with minds of their own.

  5. Sorry to post something unrelated here, but I wanted you and your viewers to see this: http://wordle.net/gallery/wrdl/30883/%22Excuses_to_be_a_jerk%22_by_Amanda_Baggs
    This is a visual representation of your wonderful essay. Wordle takes the words used in the essay, makes each one larger based on how many times it was used, and arranges them in an attractively random way. I personally really liked how the single largest word was “People”, which I think in a way sums up the whole essay.

  6. That is an absolutely fabulous idea. I think I’m going to try it, with myself, but also with my kids when they have to pack their bags from the stuff in their rooms.

  7. I hate packing………I always scramble at the last minute because I end up putting it off.

    No one here likes packing……Ivan mysteriously goes AWOL whenever we have to pack.

    Melody: I hope you do come to Autreat next year. I will definitely be there (God willing….) it was amazing.

    BTW, I’ll be helping out with transportation logistics for getting there, since I know it’s a pain in the arse for people who don’t drive themselves or have friends or are in locations that actually have flights to at least Buffalo……

    And hopefully I will be driving there next year.

    The sooner we can start working on travel logistics and planning, the better. Please spread the word about that, Amanda.

    Thanks. We tend to go into procrastination/overload mode at some point so the earlier we get started the better

  8. Whenever I pack for a trip (provided I know it’s going to happen somewhat in advance) I tend to start packing a few weeks ahead of time, hehe. If they’re items I need on a daily basis, then I tend to remove them, use them, and then put them back when I’m finished.

  9. On the poesy: There are two five-syllabic feet in it, each of which seeming to be an iamb followed by an anapest.

    In International Code: di dah di di dah, di dah di di dah. (I dunno what that spells in letters, if anything.)

    Wikipedia was not helpful, not even with links, for finding the name of that metrical foot.

    Wait, I looked it up. The meter is AU, AU; in International Code. Funnily enough, you can buy a key called an “Iambic Key” to do your CW transmissions with, according to Wikipedia.

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