Thursday, January 05, 2006

Packing Anxiety

Is there such a thing as packing anxiety? I think I may have a severe case of it. I'm already anxious about packing for my cruise next Wednesday. I think it could be a branch off of my OCD. I like to have everything just so. I've never been on a cruise before, and I'm not so worried about that, it'll be fine, I'm worried about packing!

I usually always forget something that seems so vital to my
survival at the time: sunglasses, sunscreen, a third pair of white sandals... the list goes on and on. I also seem to pack everything that I think I should wear, but realize upon arrival that I never wear the things I packed. Which leaves me longing for my other clothes that are neatly tucked away in a far away closet.

I'm determined not to do that this time. I have a game plan this time. I won't bring a suitcase of shoes (as I did for Colorado), I will only bring my 5 most commonly worn shoes. I will only bring clothes that I know fit, I will leave my "someday I'll fit into these again" clothes at home (as I did in Italy). I won't forget my unders (as I did in Colorado), and I will bring enough to last me the entire trip. I will have all of my toiletries especially my toothbrush (which I failed to remember in Texas). I will bring sunscreen (forgotten in Costa Rica), so I won't have burned eyelids...again.

If I can abide by these few rules, I think I'll be ok. I also run into the difficulty of
suitcase size. I usually pick one that fits everything perfectly. I neatly fold, there's never any wrinkles, and it's a perfect amount of space. However, on the return trip when everything needs to be washed anyway, I usually don't fold as neatly and I have to jam the suitcase closed. Is there a way to compensate for this dilemma? Too big and I risk my clothes doing more tumbling than Kerri Strug. Too small and I won't be able to buy anything there or fit all of my junk less folded.

I realize this is a sad sad thing to be posting about, but it's a grave concern. Does anyone have this sort of angst while they prepare for a trip? Do I need to join a support group? Who has time?! I need 3 whole days to pack. But if I pack too early, the creases set. Yikes! I'm at it again!

I need help.


shyestviolet said...

I think it's time to use the packing list, girlie. I especially enjoy the Universal Packing List (, which I found online before Ireland (2001) and have used ever since. Hasn't failed me yet.

I'd say bring the normal-sized suitcase, along w/ all your old old socks & underwear, and then throw away the socks & underwear as you go, leaving more space in your suitcase :) Tried & true method from Toby Stalter! And a great excuse to get rid of all your old underwear and holey socks and buy new ones when you get back.

Rachel Irene said...

I don't think I have that many holey socks or underwear... and I don't think that I would like to wear them if I did. Might be a bit too breezy. Thanks for the site! I'll check it out. I usually do make an extensive list, but somehow the importants (whether written or not) get forgotten.

info said...

I don't know if mine is the same thing, but its anxiety linked to packing my case. I have a wave of fear, as the case starts to fill and I have things put aside I know will not fit in. I have another wave of fear when I remember something else that I can't leave behind. After a few of these waves, I have a really sick feeling and then start to panic that I'll get to the airport and they'll say my bags are too heavy. Then I'll have to take things out and dispose of them in the airport.

Anonymous said...

I am leaving for an 8-day cruise tomorrow. Haven't packed a thing. I am too busy panicking...And I have 3 daughters, so being a good mother, I panic for them as well. Isn't this ridiculous? I have never taken a trip and not panicked about packing husband packs about 20 minutes before we leave every time. And every time, though I love him, I think he looks like he packed 20 minutes before we left. Neurotic! In order to get out of packing today, I went to target an obsessed about which Glade Plug-Ins I should get-I want the house to smell great when I return....So this, too, is a big decision. Well, Linen-Fresh scent is the one for me! That ate up about 40 minutes. It's just the way we're wired...I have a friend who does the same thing, so it's a hoot to call her-she is my support group. Tara