Many years ago, my method of packing for quick getaways was throw some items in a bag and run out the door. And invariably I would forget something. Usually something important. Then I would have to purchase the forgotten item where ever I happened to be. One time I even forgot to pack my underwear...which is kind of important. I learned my lesson and created a standard list of things that I always needed when going on a trip: underwear, socks, personal items (make-up, hair products, lotions, etc), phone charger, camera. No matter what length of trip or where I was going, I nearly always needed these items and it would be difficult if I didn't have these things. The need for this Pack List (as I call it) became even more important when I started to travel with my newborn. Trips could be almost unbearable without items like pacifiers, monitors or their favorite blankie. I have upgraded recently from the worn out steno pad page I used for so long to a list making application on my smart phone (I use Evernote but I also have used ColorNote in the past). An application like Evernote backs up to the web so I can access my list from a computer or my phone (or still have access to it if I lose my phone). And I will have it with me so I remember to re-pack everything I packed in the first place. Your pack list doesn't need to be overly detailed or specific. Just think of it as your must have basics for each trip. The Pack List will ensure you have the basics you need on every trip and that important items are not accidentally left behind.
Since summer is nearly upon us, we'll take the month of May to discuss ideas for staying organized when it comes to planning, packing for and getting the most from your vacation.