When I go on vacation I am prone to pack everything but the kitchen sink and if I could figure out how to get it in the suitcase I would probably pack that as well. I know I am a pack rat when it comes time to clean out my closets or utility room or anywhere else in the house, I just don’t throw anything away. My packing routine seems to take the same road, I leave very little hanging in the closet and as a result my suitcase weighs about as much as I do. The number of days I plan on being away affects my packing very little. One day, two days, three days or whatever, I pack as if I never plan on coming back.
I had the opportunity to take off a few days in August and spend some time with my daughter and her family at the beach. Naturally I had a suitcase filled with clothes that I never wore, since most of my days were spent in a bathing suit either at the pool or at the beach. However, I am always afraid that when I get to my destination I will want something that I don’t have and as a result I have a suitcase that is bulging at the seams. Sometimes my suitcase is so heavy I can hardly pick it up — thank goodness for a suitcase that has rollers.
I have said that when I have lots and lots of time, more than likely that will be when I retire, I plan on taking about a month and traveling to those areas of the United States that I have never visited. Some of the states on my “want to see list” include South Dakota, North Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho and Oregon. I would also like to spend a little time in Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Tetons. Now you can imagine what my packing is going to be like if I stay gone that long. I may not have enough suitcases for all the clothes I will be needing. And even if I did, I’m not sure I could get all of them in my car without having overload springs installed. So I’ve decided that when I make that trip I’ll pack for three or four days and when I stop for the day I’ll locate a coin operated laundry and do my washing and drying. I used to do my own laundry when I was in the Navy but have left that chore up to my friends at the local Laundromat in recent years.
I really need to go through my closets and get serious about thinning out my wardrobe. It would not only help me find room for those things that I don’t have room to hang up, but it would eliminate those shirts, slacks, casual pants, suits and sport coats that I can no longer wear. It would also be a help to the folks at the Salvation Army and Thrift Store. I noticed just the other day that the hanging rods in my closets are beginning to bow just a little. That should certainly tell me I have too many clothes for the closet. But as I said earlier, I just never throw anything away, whether it fits or not.
If I do the thinning out of my wardrobe then my suitcases may become a little lighter, too, since I will have less clothes to select from and as a result less clothes to pack.
Jerome Wassmann is editor and publisher of the Daily Mountain Eagle