Lessons in Packing

I’ve always prided myself on being an efficient packer. (I last wrote about this in Packing Light.) When I travel, I fit everything into a carry-on suitcase, no matter how long I’ll be away. I don’t bring anything “just in case”. Everything gets worn or used by the end of the trip.

Those rules were put to the test last week when my husband and I vacated our home for a few days because of the remodeling we have going on. Luckily we have a daughter nearby with an extra bedroom, and she still had two more weeks of winter break before graduate school started up again.

We would be staying for two nights, so I packed a few items of clothing, my travel toiletries, my chargers, and just enough medications. However, when we were preparing to go home on the afternoon of day 3, we heard from our contractor. They had discovered a leaky pipe (not their fault) and would have to shut off the water. Because it was already Friday afternoon, it wouldn’t be fixed until Monday.

That meant we would be staying over the weekend. My daughter suggested we just wash our dirty clothes there and wear them again, but I had not brought enough prescription medication to stay longer. So after the contractors left, we brought our dirty clothes home and picked up clean clothes and additional medications. We also took some food from our refrigerator to finish up at her house.

I decided to play it a little smarter this time. I took an extra two days of my prescription medications. It didn’t take up any more room and weighed practically nothing. In the future, I will always pack a little extra medication to be prepared for the unknown.

I’m happy to say that the pipe got fixed when expected and we were able to return to our apartment. It’s a bit of a shambles because of the ongoing destruction and construction, but it’s still home. And the time at my daughter’s was well spent: she asked me to help her organize certain problem areas, and we made a huge difference. It was a busman’s holiday!

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