How to pack for nine months

DSC_0099Everytime a new housemate arrives for a three week average stay and the same size suitcase as me I get a slight tinge of anger, call it rage or jealously whatever it is it surfaces when I see suitcases.

Multiple people have asked how did you pack everything for nine months? Well it didn’t happen over night. Early last summer a to do list started on my phone and a pile of ‘Tenerife items’ started accumulating in the corner of my room. The pile grew considerably in size with 10 or so jumpers, 8 or so bikini’s, numerous amounts of shorts, a torch, sleeping bag, shoes, lots of shoes. And that was just the start of the clothes pile. Then came the electrical goods and every kind of charger associated with them plus adapters etc. Next the actual work pile, books, pens, glasses, dissertation proposal etc. By this point the pile is more of a sea of Tenerife associated items taking up majority of my floor space.

Meanwhile while the sea of items causes tidal waves through my room my mind is also preoccupied with taking my name off all household bills, cancelling numerous unnecessary contracts and charities I’ve managed to sign up to and meeting all friends before d-day on August 15th.

The two weeks before departure day consisted of visits from uni friends and many pub sessions with various groups to say farewell. Needless to say my mind wandered off the checklist and pile in my room to which my mother helpfully added clothes and items I definitely didn’t need.  So much so that when I eventually returned to it the mountain range of useless tat infront of me seemed impossible to tackle.

Choice of bag is also a dilemma when packing for a long time. In a magical cupboard in our house we stock the entire John Lewis selection of travels bags. From oversized totes to matching suitcases, you’d be pushed to find an array of bags covering more variations and decades as the Daly’s cupboard. I went for the soft holdall option under the impression that after unpacking I could fold it away to minimize space. After 5 months of living here I still havnt unpacked (despite vague efforts at a clothes rail – see photo) and continue to live out of that hold all.

So then came the arduous task of actually packing. I went with the rolling technique under the apparent myth that it takes up less room…who knows. I packed, unpacked and packed again realizing after packing for the first time I had left out important item such as toiletries and included usless items instead like a large mirror.

Something else you should think through is weight. I went for the put all heavy things in hand luggage option as they never check it. Well after a 15 minute walk to what always seems the furthest gate and several stops later I enjoyed the company of mild back ache for the four hour flight.

Once finally packed the day before my flight I took the decision to ignore it for the rest of my time at home and not double check my packing. This resulted in arriving in Tenerife with no socks, no toothpaste, no memory stick and a card-reader for the one bank card I left at home.

Needless to say, although this post is entitled “How to pack for nine months” I believe I have written a fairly accurate account on how NOT to pack for nine months.