Get Organised With Your Travel - All Things French

Clear the Clutter and Get Organised for Travel.

I'm leaving, on a jet plane!

Time to get organised

Packing to go away for a while takes some strategy.

I grew up constantly on the move. I was a fully-fledged expert packer before I could legally drink alcohol. What to let go of, what to store, what to take?

When I was 19, my Dad worked out that my family had moved suburb, city, state,, country, and continent, every nine months since the day I was born! I learned not to keep useless stuff, how to pack cartons, and deal with burly removalists.

I am somewhat of a minimalist…and proud of it! Recently, I was ruminating about how often removalists encounter clients who actually had *no junk drawer!

Even so, I know that I will want to pare down my possessions even more. Keep only the most treasured items in my quest for simplicity. Clean everything.

Speaking to a girlfriend recently, I described her gift to me (of a stunning framed picture of Indian henna hand,) as one of the few things I would grab if the building was on fire.

I imagine living in a home where everything I lived with equalled exactly the things that I most loved. My style. My taste. Efficiency and aesthetic. Form follows function. The capsule lifestyle = the minimalist story.

In reality, I started preparing for this many moons ago. Even as a child. Do I really, truly, love this thing? Is it practical and beautiful? Why give house-space, or clean anything, or worry about stuff, and pay to store things?

5 weeks to go

I make the decision that, every day, before I leave home, I will spend time getting making decisions about the ‘stuff’ in my life. Narrow down my possessions even more. Throw down the gauntlet. Yay!

Just how good at this can I get?

I love a challenge of creating more space and simplicity in my life. The things I love (which is most everything nowadays) I clean and polish.

Let’s start at the very beginning

Grab the must-haves:

  1. Every storage box I can lay my hands on (shoebox, basket, plastic container, cardboard box).
  2. Bubble wrap, newspaper, drop sheets – to wrap those beloved, grab-in-a-fire valuables.
  3. Labels, black texta and packaging tape…to label all those boxes! Top and sides.
  4. Plastic bags or bins for sorting items.
  5. My beloved best friends…Ziplock bags – in every size. Love them!
  6. My iPhone…to take photos of anything I need to remember – what’s gone where?
  7. Fire up a Word doc to record what goes into each box, numbered and backed up.

Think about this logically. Break it down into the different stages of organisation. First, get rid of the stuff you don’t love. I’ve worked as a Professional Organiser…I’ve seen householders pay removalists to pack, store and ship empty technology product boxes, broken and outdated items, and absolute junk, simply because they haven’t managed to cull their stuff before the movers come in.

Have five bins or bags ready in a spot in the house (out of the way) so that you can file items as you find them, instead of having to think about it later. Do it in the moment, as you touch anything. Decide which box each item belongs to, as you handle it, on a day-to-day basis:

  1. Garbage bin
  2. Recycling bin, please.
  3. Charity shop/donation. But, don’t use op-shops as garbage dumps…spare a thought for those lovely ladies sorting through your stuff. Make it easy for them.
  4. One bag for ‘stuff-to-go’ – to friends, family, and ‘other’ destinations (libraries, repair shops, cleaners etc.).
  5. Got anything valuable you want to sell? Fashion recycling, garage sales, vintage retailers. Fodder for Box 5.

So now, you have the best of the rest. This is where the strategy comes in. See my next post on ‘The Strategy of Organised Storage’.

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