As I briefly stated, I like to pack slowly and deliberately or I will forget something. I'll have to do a post on traveling mishaps; ours are terrible and king of funny. So normally, I would not have unpacked from the trip i just got back from a week ago Saturday but I need to pack because we're leaving in about a month. [Internally screaming] So Saturday, I put my big girl panties on after exerting myself much too hard two days before (long story) and I lugged my very large, very heavy two-piece matching raspberry pink luggage from the table in the family room into my room into my staging area also known as my loft. I rifled through the remnants of clothes left in the bag; some lingerie, some leg warmers, a few pairs of knee high cable socks, my make-up, my toiletries, ah! I haven't unpacked or washed my white clothes, yet. I look through my pink glitter backpack and I pull out my medication bottles, headphones, a ruler, two notebooks and some odd and ends. Out comes all of the contents. Now I begin to pile the clothes to prepare them for washing. I set my toiletries on my measuring table on my loft because those will definitely not be needed until this next trip but will be needed for this next trip. Since the trips are basically equally as long, I know I need to have these full-sized items we barely made a dent in but better safe than sorry; a week-long trip is not the time to only bring travel sized toiletries. I reach into the closet and I pull out all of my cruise wear. I like to see my outfits ahead of time in case I need to repair something, replace something, or buy something new I'll have plenty of time. I noticed that a couple of my articles of clothing are missing. "Oh crap! Did I not unpack a garment bag after our last cruise? Did i leave clothes in the closet on my last cruise?" At this point I'm in full panic mode. I reached down on the floor of my closet under my maxi dresses. "Maybe I folded them and put them under here for some reason." They are't there. I checked on the shelf, under my hanging shirts; maybe I folded them and put them there. Nope. I was so confused and frustrated at this point, I started feeling dizzy and light headed so I couldn't think. I grabbed my phone and started listing what was missing; I could only think of two items but I wrote them both down. I then looked at the high shelf that spans wraps around the inside of the closet on the off-chance I folded the clothes and put them in a box on the shelf. Nope.
Sunday my husband grabbed the garment bags from the attic for me; there were no clothes in it. I remembered three more items that were missing. Now I was very annoyed and concerned. But this is why I start packing early. I sat down and I started searching for deals on at all of my favorite stores online. I gave up and decided I had to do the unthinkable; I had to go to the mall. My younger daughter and I ventured out on this dreary morning over 45 minutes to the mall. We went in the exit closest to the stores we wanted to shop. I am actually dreading this because looking through clearance racks takes forever and my arms and legs get very sore. I need to buy a walker with a seat. Our favorite store is completely empty. Not no people empty, I mean empty. No fixtures, no sign, no one there empty; closed. We felt sorry for ourselves and exchanged frustration that no one bothered to tell us our life was changing. Alas, we went to a store owned by the same company but known for higher prices. I found one romper and one dress on sale before I was out of energy. This is why I start packing early. We left the mall feel successful despite the utter betrayal of our favorite store.
when I got home, I said to myself that I was pretty sure I remembered folding the lost clothes and putting them somewhere because I wouldn't be wearing them until my next cruise. I went back into my closet. I look up high on the shelf above all of my hanging clothes. I ran my arm underneath my shirts, bent down and ran my arm underneath my maxi dresses, then I remembered. I had one last place to look. I looked in the boxes on the two shelves underneath my dress shirts and blazers. These boxes are where I keep duplicate items because when I find an exceptional deal on clearance I buy more than one to replace one when it gets worn out. I have spare ballet slipper style shoes, house slippers, white tee shirts and even a slip from an expensive lingerie store; just to name a few items. I fumbled around in the boxes and pulled out piece after piece of the clothes I thought I'd lost; not duplicates, I promise. This is why I pack early. Had this happened the day before or a couple of days before I probably wouldn't have found them.
This is just step one of the gathering phase. I'll do an entry soon about how I put outfits together and actually pack my suitcases.