Not too long ago I found a link on the web that offered a free subscription to Martha Stewart Living magazine if I filled out a survey. I fully expected that this was just a ploy to get my address, but alas, my magazine arrived yesterday! (Of course, I got both the February and March issues at the same time... as magazines love to do, but I called up and let them know that I had already bought the February issue and they offered to extend my subscription by two months)
I have to just say, Martha. Oh, Martha. I love Martha and respect her (even with that whole insider trading thing) but I just can't get my head around what living her life must be like. In the February 2008 issue she has a whole article on packing tips. These are great tips. But if you aren't Martha I just don't see how you can implement these and do all of the other things that Martha must do during one day and not have your brain melt.
Martha advises that you should pack your clothes (separated into outfits) on hangers and wrapped in plastic bags (no need for pressing once you get to your destination! let's not discuss how you fit a hanger into your carry-on...) Then your shoes are in shoe bags, your belts are in belt bags, tights and socks are in their own bags as are all of your undergarments. Each electrical appliance (iPod, blackberry, etc.) is in its own labeled plastic bag with a separate plastic bag for its charger. Laptop? In a resealable plastic bag. Kindle? Plastic bag. Don't forget to bring extra plastic bags and god forbid never leave your luggage with a bellman or permit a driver or any other person to separate you from your luggage because they might damage it. Since the TSA has a pesky habit of breaking open luggage locks, used waxed twine to tie together the zippers of your luggage. That way you can see if anyone has opened your bag.
Don't get me wrong. All of these things are great ideas and I have to say that I, like Martha, have some sort of unhealthy attachment to plastic ziploc bags (not to mention that I have also actually tied luggage zippers together), but even I have to say: Who has the time for all of this?? You'll spend more time packing than you'll actually spend on your trip! I love the idea of living a regimented and organized life (and I also won't let anyone put my luggage on the ground) but wow! Somebody needs a Valium.