I had a religious experience this week at The Container Store. As a compulsive organizer with a dash of OCD, I could spend hours in this specialty retailer. Unfortunately, Caroline and I only had about 30 minutes for our Container Store visit, but we voiced a litany of, “wow, look at this,” “this makeup bag is adorable,” and “what a creative drawer organizer!” as we browsed each and every aisle. My daughter inherited my organizing mania and so a trip to this store was the ultimate bonding experience – much more so than would be a shopping trip for clothes or shoes. We love poring over the latest gadgets for organizing anything and everything, especially if they’re both clever AND pretty. I found myself wishing I had a kitchen or a closet to organize so I could buy some of the cool things for sale. One of my favorite rainy day pastimes as a child was to organize my mother’s “junk drawers.” Where was The Container Store when I needed it back then?
We’re getting down to the wire in terms of exactly what we’re going to bring with us and how we’re going to pack it and our Container Store pilgrimage was so that I could pick up some “organizing supplies.” Remarkably, I’ve never tried it before, but have decided to use the zip-lock bag system of packing. No matter how carefully I load my suitcases, I always find myself unable to locate what I need when I unpack, especially on a brief trip when we live out of our luggage. Where is my sports bra? Where did my sandals go? Where did I put my phone charger? And as a manic organizer, not being able to find things makes me crazy. So, on this trip of all trips, I’m trying a new system. I’m going to pack in clear plastic zip-lock bags in a variety of sizes with everything divided into categories: underwear, pants, shorts, tee shirts, sleepwear, etc. I’ll use one clearly labeled plastic bag for each type of clothing so that even if we have one- or two-night stays somewhere, I can just pull out my plastic bags and immediately see what I’m looking for. No exasperating rummaging through my suitcases needed! At least, that’s how it’s supposed to work. We shall see.