Living out of a suitcase packing list.. - Mothering Forums
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 12 Old 01-05-2011, 08:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
OkiMom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 5,407
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

We are moving in April from Japan back to the states. As part of the move we will be visiting family for 1- 1 1/2 months then living in a hotel at the base we are moving to for anywhere between 2 weeks and 2 months depending on how long it takes us to find housing, sign a lease, etc. Now I'm a terrible suitcase packer!! I always (and I mean always) forget things or end up with to much and not enough space in the suitcase. It will also take anywhere from 2-4 weeks after we get into a house for the household shipment to get to us (maybe less if we are lucky!!) Add in the fact I'm due next month with our third and we will be moving when hes just 2 months old and I'm thinking maybe I should save my sanity and start making a packing list now. Maybe if I'm more organized I won't forget the underwear again.. or PJs.. or my wallet (oops). I'm double-ly worried now since I have to pack for myself, my husband and out three kids (who will be 2, 4 and newborn during the move).

Only problem is I have no idea where to start! We will have 10 bags to travel back with (2 for each of us) but I rather not use all of the bags if I don't absolutely have to. When we are with my in-laws we will have access to a washer/dryer, stocked kitchen etc.. At the hotel though we will have to pull ourselves to the coin op laundry but there is a small kitchenette with pots/pans and dishes. When we move in to the house we can borrow pots/pans, dishes, pack and plays etc from the loan locker for a month until our household shipment comes.

So I'm figuring I don't really have to worry about pots/pans or anything of the like. I was going to buy any art supplies there because it would be easier than trying to take it with us. Past that I'm stumped. I know I want to take some of the children's favorite toys since they are having a rough time with the idea of moving anyway.  I thought it would be good to have them surrounded by some of their favorite things. From my understanding its HOT and rains alot during the time we are moving and there isn't much to do around the hotel for kids so Im figuring Im going to need to figure out some things they can play with without breaking anything. I was also going to bring a few of the pictures/items we have hanging around and some 3M hooks to hang them in the hotel rooms so they can have some semblance of a "home" even though it isn't really home.

 

Anyone want to help me figure out a packing list? I really don't like moving, I want to try to make this as stress free as possible for my children though.


~Heather~ Mama to Miss E (1/07), Miss A (11/08), Mr.T (2/11) and Miss A (10/12) Expecting our newest blessing sometime late Sept/early Oct.. Wife to my Marine since 11/2005
OkiMom is offline  
#2 of 12 Old 01-06-2011, 12:18 PM
 
KoalaMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: OH CANADA!
Posts: 2,394
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

While our duration is much shorter than yours, we're actually currently on the road in the middle of a move... We spent 3 days in hotels and are now at my MILs for 10 days.

 

For clothing, I would take just enough to get you through maybe 3-4 days before washing. (Maybe pack the same amount of clothes for everyone in separate bags as stand-by, but don't get into it unless you really need to.) When you're with your family, that will be easy enough. And when you need to go to the laundry mat, you won't want to cart along more than that anyway. Don't worry about sorting loads... everything will be fine tossed in together, and then you can do a load when you have one rather than trying to deal with a load of X and a load of Y. This approach has been *so amazing* for us... in fact, I'm thinking of getting rid of even more of my clothing now that I see just how little I really need it. 

 

I would actually skip things like pictures for hanging. Unless it's something the kids are really attached to and wanting to take along, I doubt they'll  notice they're even there. It will just be one more thing for you to cart around and worry about, which is exactly what you don't need!

 

I've found my kids don't need, or care about, a lot of toys. They'll play with just about anything. I packed one tote of craft supplies (markers, crayons, activity books, glue sticks, scissors, etc.) which they are into regularly. My MIL also has a basket of blocks here, which is the other thing they occupy themselves with. If we were going to be here longer I might have chosen a few more open-ended things to cycle through so there'd be something 'new' after a while... maybe another building toy, or some figures of some sort. I think keeping things simple and only bringing out one thing at a time is a good approach... that way whatever is out is fresh, will get played with while it's out, and will be exciting again once it's brought back into circulation.

 

I also want to say not to try not to worry too much about your kids adjusting. Even if they seem to dislike the idea now, I bet they'll get over that pretty quickly at those ages. For us, it has helped to focus a lot on all the exciting aspects of our move -- close to family, new friends, things we'll do at our new home... Other than a couple of comments here and there, my kids have really been great with the whole moving thing and being out of their space, and it's turning out to be a super easy transition. (And they loved it where we lived before.) Just so you know it can be like that. <hugs>

 

Good luck with your move!


Melanie
Magical Mama, joyfully home educating my three wonders: FR (12/02), EG (05/05), DK (06/09)
KoalaMama is offline  
#3 of 12 Old 01-06-2011, 03:32 PM
 
IsaFrench's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: now back in Europe
Posts: 1,919
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)

a simple tip for the time of the plane trip; don't forget to pack an extra pair of underwear for anyone in your group in your hand luggage ... never know whose suitcase might go missing for 1-3 days as you get off the plane; it happened to us once so now I always remember !

 

+ I wouldn't pack many toys if you can have a few dollars of spending money on toys at a second hand shop during your temporary stay

 

+ for the long wait at the airport, I've used a few very cheap blown up balloons that you can inflate as needed, and leave behind for other kids, as you move along towards your plane => you are likely to find other kids to play with yours for 10-15 minutes, there's no need to talk so no language barrier or the like ... there are cheap too

IsaFrench is online now  
#4 of 12 Old 01-07-2011, 09:39 AM
 
larablue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 200
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Don´t pack one or two suitcases per person, but put things from each person in one suitcase.

Mix the clothes, so if some of them get lost or stay behind somewhere, you still have at least one extra set of clean cloths for everyone!

Try to put together similar sets, ie rain jackets and boots go all in one suitcase.

Same with a bag for everyones tooth brush.

 

Try to limit toys to the one favourite doll/teddy and bring smaller toys.

It helps putting them in separate little bags which can be taken out separately.

Make sure to label each bag, it really makes things easier.

I second the idea of balloons.

 

Take a good baby carrier or long wrap with you. Wraps can be used for other things than carrying a baby as well.

 

Make sure, every child has your mobile phone number and name in his clothes or on the arm or sth. similar.

 

 

 

 

larablue is offline  
#5 of 12 Old 01-07-2011, 04:29 PM
 
ReadingMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: the South
Posts: 1,557
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

We've been living in an extended stay hotel for 3.5 weeks now while we wait to close on our new house.  We packed what we don't use day to day into storage PODS and only kept out 10 days worth of clothes for each of us.  My son packed a big box of toys, but it accidentally got loaded into the POD, so he only has the toys he got for Christmas to play with now.  It's actually kind of freeing to have less stuff to worry about!  I've learned that 10 shirts and 5 pairs of pants really is enough for day to day wear.  You know, diaper bags are great for packing toiletries and medications.  I love the waterproof inner pockets for shampoo, lotion, etc...  My son is 10 and I still use his big diaper bag for toiletries when we go out of town!  orngbiggrin.gif

 

A place to start might be making a list of what you use every single day.  What are your essentials as far as clothing, shoes, toiletries, jewelry, etc.?  What about your husband?  And the kids?  For toys, I'd choose a space to store them and then determine what will go into it.  In other words, instead of making your space fit what you take, determine how much space you will allot and choose stuff that will fit that space.  (Someone here at MDC gave me this advice when I was trying to declutter our closets!)


Book-lovin', relaxed homeschoolin', dog snugglin' mom of the best kid EVER!  AND...waiting for baby #2, due 5/9/14!  stork-boy.gif

ReadingMama is offline  
#6 of 12 Old 01-11-2011, 10:21 PM
 
skreader's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 681
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Every summer for the past dozen years I have taken my kids on extended trips to see relatives overseas. We usually do ot w/ 1 carry-on sized suitcase per person.

 

 

Carry-on-bags per person (If your little one cannot use a toilet - pack enough disposable diapers to last you 36 hours - get more on arrival as necessary)

 

Undies - 5

Socks - 5 pair

trousers -  2 pair (maybe wear one on the plane)

shorts  - 2 or 3 pair

long-sleeved t-shirts - 3

short-sleeved t-shirts  4

jammies - 2 sets

flip-flops/slippers

swimming suit (you mentioned heat & maybe the hotel has a pool?)

sun hat

sun-glasses

toiletries: ( toothbrush, hair brush, comb)

Favorite bedtime story

1 soft-toy per kid

 

In your purse:

passports

wallet

bank-book

cash money  (in all the currencies that you will need for your trip - Japanese yen? US dollars? Other?)

mobile phone

pens, pencil

crayons, coloring books, blank paper

band-aids, tylenol, any other medication that you or your kids

 

In the checked-in bags:

toothpaste,shampoo, soap, sunblock (if these go missing for a few days, it's not a disaster)

Photocopies of passports, birth certificates, marriage certificate, etc.

clothes suitable for season

good shoes

fancy clothes (if you need them)

 

What role is your DH playing in all of this? Can you ask him to join with you in making lists and also carrying important things

skreader is offline  
#7 of 12 Old 01-12-2011, 04:02 AM
 
mesa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Tacoma, WA
Posts: 2,461
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Taking notes over here ;)  We PCS back to the states in August from South Korea...we'll have our two dogs and an extra kid (bringing us up to 4 kids total, lol).  We'll also have an undetermined amount of time in lodging.  I feel your pain :)  One thing I'm considering is some sort of contraption to strap the car seats on to make hauling them through the airport easier.  My Ergo was indispensable when we came here (my daughter was 18 months old)...I couldn't have made it here without it.  Also, Space Bags!  Very handy :)


Misti, mom to DS (12), DS (9), DD (3), and Mr. Man (October '10)!

mesa is offline  
#8 of 12 Old 01-12-2011, 08:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
OkiMom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 5,407
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Thanks everyone..

Skreader- My husband usually carries all the important paperwork in a notebook with him since my bag tends to be the one that gets gotten into a lot. He has never (well once, when DD1 was 5 months old) traveled with children so hes lost when it comes to having to make packing lists/coming up with activities etc. He actually wondered why a book and a laptop wouldn't be enough to entertain our 2 year old during the 24 hour plane trip. Love him but clueless when it comes to flying with kids.

mesa- I'm so glad we don't have pets to take care of as well. I can just imagine the extra things to worry about. As for car seats, what I did last time (alone, two kids) is get a luggage cart and strap the car seats one on top of the other then put the carry ons on top of that. I rolled that around and it was great. Just make sure you get some strong bungee cords, mine were the ones that came with the cart and they were giving out by the end. The things that strap the seat to a rolling carry on I found didn't work to well, at least for me. I ended up having to alter them then it was useless for why I bought them (DD1 loved to ride in her car seat so I thought "ya something she can ride in and serve double duty.. didn't work!). A good carrier is essential but DD2 won't ride on my back and DS will be 2 months old if hes born on his due date so way to young to ride on my back. I could ask DH to carry DD2 but I can just imagine the look on his face "Umm, how do I do that??"

 

What I figured so far (I'm going to be mixing them up so not everyone's clothing is in one suitcase but its easier to use a suitcase as a measurement):

1 suitcase for the baby clothes/blanket/extra diapers (learned to carry a pack last flight, didn't get in to after midnight was out of diapers and none of the stores were open..). I'm going to bring 0-3 and 3-6 month clothing since he should be wearing the 0-3 and grow into the 3-6 month while we are waiting for our shipment

1 suitcase for DH's clothing/uniforms/toiletry. He has to carry 5 sets of cammies and 2 sets of boots as well as regular clothing so he will need a whole suitcase worth of space

1 suitcase for DD1 and DD2 to share

1 suitcase for me and towels/other household things we need

1 suitcase for the girls to pack with whatever toys they want to bring or any books they want

1 suitcase for home school items

 

As for carry ons:

diaper bag with diapers/change of clothing for baby (probably do 2 times the number of diapers I need plus several changes of clothing. There is something about airplanes and my kids that make them explode out of their diapers) Depending on how nursing is going I might invest in a travel nursing pillow to help.. if so that would go in here as well.

backpack for DD1 (shes big enough to carry hers alone)- toys, a change of outfit, her special animal

backpack for DD2 (also big enough to carry it as long as its light)- toys probably 2 changes of outfit and her monkey... Shes potty trained but still young so I'm wondering if I should take pull ups for her? She will be around 2 1/2 and will be using the potty for over 6 months by the time we leave.

laptop backpack for DH- this will have the laptop, our folder of important papers, his service record and both of our nice cameras in it as well as whatever he wants to take to keep busy on the plane

garment bag for DH (has to hand carry his uniforms, I don't trust the airlines not to lose them and he needs them to check in)

If needed a backpack for me to carry anything else needed.

Double umbrella stroller for the girls to ride in and a carrier for the baby. Probably put an extra carrier in the diaper bag just in case he explodes all over it like my youngest did her first plane trip.

DH is responsible for the car seats, I'm waiting to get the baby's but they should all stack neatly on the luggage cart. If not we will have to look at what to do and cross that bridge when we come to it.

 

I'm sure I'm probably forgetting stuff. I need to sit down and really look at it. Its just is on the back burner after all the baby prep stuff. I'm hoping the baby comes near his due date so I can have the time to recover and get the moving stuff done. I'm beginning to feel like a pack mule thinking about this though. It couldn't be worse than when I flew with two by myself.


~Heather~ Mama to Miss E (1/07), Miss A (11/08), Mr.T (2/11) and Miss A (10/12) Expecting our newest blessing sometime late Sept/early Oct.. Wife to my Marine since 11/2005
OkiMom is offline  
#9 of 12 Old 01-14-2011, 10:19 AM
 
rightkindofme's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Bay Area, CA
Posts: 4,580
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)

Respectfully, the first thing that jumped out at me was the suitcase of homeschooling supplies.  Given the ages of your kids I would totally skip that.  It seems like you have bigger fish to fry. :)


My advice may not be appropriate for you. That's ok. You are just fine how you are and I am the right kind of me.

rightkindofme is offline  
#10 of 12 Old 01-15-2011, 05:08 PM
 
KoalaMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: OH CANADA!
Posts: 2,394
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:

Originally Posted by rightkindofme View Post

Respectfully, the first thing that jumped out at me was the suitcase of homeschooling supplies.  Given the ages of your kids I would totally skip that.  It seems like you have bigger fish to fry. :)


I agree. I would also consider putting the baby into the bigger clothes and skipping the smaller size all together. At that age you're likely to be talking mostly sleepers anyway (well, that's what we do... I understand some babies wear 'regular' clothes!) and you can just roll up cuffs if they're a bit too big. The baby isn't going to care.

 

Will you need towels and household items at your family's place and/or the hotel? I would skip those things too if you can get away with it.

 

Sounds like you have a great plan overall! I'm sure it will go very well. :) 
 


Melanie
Magical Mama, joyfully home educating my three wonders: FR (12/02), EG (05/05), DK (06/09)
KoalaMama is offline  
#11 of 12 Old 01-15-2011, 08:41 PM
 
2lilsweetfoxes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: My own little world...
Posts: 1,359
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by OkiMom View Post


What I figured so far (I'm going to be mixing them up so not everyone's clothing is in one suitcase but its easier to use a suitcase as a measurement):

1 suitcase for the baby clothes/blanket/extra diapers (learned to carry a pack last flight, didn't get in to after midnight was out of diapers and none of the stores were open..). I'm going to bring 0-3 and 3-6 month clothing since he should be wearing the 0-3 and grow into the 3-6 month while we are waiting for our shipment

1 suitcase for DH's clothing/uniforms/toiletry. He has to carry 5 sets of cammies and 2 sets of boots as well as regular clothing so he will need a whole suitcase worth of space

1 suitcase for DD1 and DD2 to share

1 suitcase for me and towels/other household things we need

1 suitcase for the girls to pack with whatever toys they want to bring or any books they want

1 suitcase for home school items

 

As for carry ons:

diaper bag with diapers/change of clothing for baby (probably do 2 times the number of diapers I need plus several changes of clothing. There is something about airplanes and my kids that make them explode out of their diapers) Depending on how nursing is going I might invest in a travel nursing pillow to help.. if so that would go in here as well.

backpack for DD1 (shes big enough to carry hers alone)- toys, a change of outfit, her special animal

backpack for DD2 (also big enough to carry it as long as its light)- toys probably 2 changes of outfit and her monkey... Shes potty trained but still young so I'm wondering if I should take pull ups for her? She will be around 2 1/2 and will be using the potty for over 6 months by the time we leave.

laptop backpack for DH- this will have the laptop, our folder of important papers, his service record and both of our nice cameras in it as well as whatever he wants to take to keep busy on the plane

garment bag for DH (has to hand carry his uniforms, I don't trust the airlines not to lose them and he needs them to check in)

If needed a backpack for me to carry anything else needed.

Double umbrella stroller for the girls to ride in and a carrier for the baby. Probably put an extra carrier in the diaper bag just in case he explodes all over it like my youngest did her first plane trip.

DH is responsible for the car seats, I'm waiting to get the baby's but they should all stack neatly on the luggage cart. If not we will have to look at what to do and cross that bridge when we come to it.

 

I'm sure I'm probably forgetting stuff. I need to sit down and really look at it. Its just is on the back burner after all the baby prep stuff. I'm hoping the baby comes near his due date so I can have the time to recover and get the moving stuff done. I'm beginning to feel like a pack mule thinking about this though. It couldn't be worse than when I flew with two by myself.


Household items:  you probably won't need them at your family or hotel.  If you have to wait at your post for them to arrive, you can go to the family support center and get loaner items.

Toys and books:  mail a box per child to your parents

Homeschool items:  mail them to your folks or pick up art and craft materials at your destination and utilize the library and online resources until you get your stuff

In fact, mail anything you can back to your folks.  I know it is a bit pricey, but then you don't have to deal with hauling it around.

2lilsweetfoxes is offline  
#12 of 12 Old 01-16-2011, 03:54 PM
 
zebra15's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: State of Confusion
Posts: 4,692
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)

I may be in the minority but kids clothes are cheap, dont waste precious space sending clothes when you can pick them up state-side at consignment shops and kiddie resale stores for a couple bucks.  Of course take the items you make (I see you on the craft thread alot) but other stuff, leave behind.   Books and homeschool stuff?? too heavy, mail it ahead and have mom/dad get it for you.  Art supplies are cheap in the US, tons of stuff in the dollar bins at the craft stores, target, walmart etc,  ask you mom to get you stuff if you really need it.

 

Check out the hotel for things to do, will they have a pool? will the area you are in have a community center type thing with a pool, park, play area?   IDK where you are PCS to but now is the time to find out the demographics, weather and such.  Also look online and see if you can join a moms group or play group.


Mom to J and never-ending , 0/2014 items decluttered, 0/52 crafts crafts completed  crochetsmilie.gif homeschool.gif  reading.gif  modifiedartist.gif

Seeking zen in 2014.  Working on journaling and finding peace this year.  Spending my free time taking J to swimteam

zebra15 is online now  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off