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Living Out of a Suitcase and Things in Storage


mom31257
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for several weeks...  I would love any advice for our current moving situation. 

We close on the sale of our home later this week. We can't close on our new home until early August. Our household belongings are going into storage. Ds will stay with our close friends here and keep working his summer job. We will be visiting family and friends in other states and possibly doing a road trip, too. 

Best way to transport your clothes and easily move them from place to place? 

Best way to keep medicine safe while traveling? 

Were there things you put in storage you wished you hadn't? 

Things that helped you stay sane while not being in your own house or bed for so long? 

Thank you for any advice, especially things I haven't even thought of yet! 

 

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Any prescriptions or OTC meds or herbal remedies go in a duffel bag that I never don’t have with me.  Also included is an inhaler, a thermometer, and a pulse oximeter.

Pack one box that says, “Open this first”, to be moved to the house. That is the one with immediate essentials—sponges, TP, soap, towels, napkins.  In your car carry your clothes, layers preferred, and a picnic kit.  In the picnic kit add plastic bags in several sizes for leftovers and such.  You’ll be glad you have them.  Save the planet another day.

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At times we’ve lived entire summers away from home and my husband’s family often travelled for most of the summer when he was growing up (public school teachers). I think packing light is the key. I like to use packing cubes and roll my clothes so that everything fits in a carry on size suitcase. If you’ll have the same car the entire time, then hanging some clothes might be a possibility if needed. I can’t think of anything we’ve missed or regretted not having, as I’m a minimalist and most things can be purchased if really needed. For very long trips because I still like to read physical books, I will buy a few used ones and then sell or donate them along the way and buy a few more used ones. 
 

I think your trip sounds like lots of fun. For me personally, it might get overwhelming staying with family and friends rather than on our own, so I would plan time away from them either each day or every few days, even if that just means going for a walk alone or with my spouse.

Edited by Frances
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We do this all the time, although it’s usually for months rather than weeks.  Mostly, I’ve realized there’s very little that I can’t live without for a few weeks. We use small rolling suitcases for clothes/stuff.  I usually take a few basic multipurpose kitchen items (a few knives, a cast iron pan for cooking or baking, a cheese grater, a couple of wooden spoons, a small pot) that I can cook a variety of things in.  I’m always happier with less stuff though, and if you’re traveling around the US, you can always buy something if you really need it.  By the time I’m finished getting the stuff packed up and out of the house, I’m just happy to not deal with it for a while.

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When you load your storage unit, leave walking space so you can get to boxes - clearly labeled. There's nothing worse than realizing something you need is in storage and then storage is not well organized. 

Consider using packing cubes for clothes. It's easier to keep things organized in the suitcase and hotels.

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When my kids were little and we were on a long road trip, I packed all their clothes in ziplock bags, an entire outfit in each one. That way, when we stopped for the night, I just had to grab one bag for each, toiletries, and their pj's. I don't know if there's some way you could pack that way for adults, but it really simplified getting in and out of hotels, and the car stayed neater.

Don't forget to pack a sharp knife or two in the car for cutting fruit! 

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21 minutes ago, mom31257 said:

Best way to transport your clothes and easily move them from place to place? 

Best way to keep medicine safe while traveling? 

Were there things you put in storage you wished you hadn't? 

Things that helped you stay sane while not being in your own house or bed for so long? 

Thank you for any advice, especially things I haven't even thought of yet! 

Best way to transport your clothes and easily move them from place to place? A suitcase. I would pack about 1-2 weeks worth of clothes - more tops and less bottoms (you can wear bottoms longer before it becomes awkward). You will do laundry on this trip - scout out how to make that happen (laundromat, friends machine, detergent pods). 

Best way to keep medicine safe while traveling? I use ziploc bags or "makeup" bags for all my toiletries and medicine (I don't have much just contact lenses and maybe Tylenol). I put all those in a large gallon bag (or similar sized reusable bag) then organize different categories in smaller bags (bathroom stuff, shower stuff, etc.).

 

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Check your prescriptions to see if temperature during storage is an issue. If so you might want to buy a small cooler just for medications, and an ice pack or two to keep them from getting too hot.

I used packing cubes even in our RV. They really help with keeping things organized.

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I’m living this life right now! My number one tip—less is more! Be VERY realistic about clothing and shoes. Take a week’s worth of outfits and shoes and wash clothes. I have way too many things to move from house-to-house right now. Make it all fit in one medium-ish suitcase each. Alternatively, if you’ll be traveling with a cargo attachment on the back, get plastic totes (Home Depot) for each family member and all clothes go in there. 
 

That’s truly my best tip right now. PACK LIGHT! only take what you need, not what you think ‘would be nice to have” “just in case” stuff!

All meds go in one bag that stays with you. 

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14 minutes ago, PeppermintPattie said:

When my kids were little and we were on a long road trip, I packed all their clothes in ziplock bags, an entire outfit in each one. That way, when we stopped for the night, I just had to grab one bag for each, toiletries, and their pj's. I don't know if there's some way you could pack that way for adults, but it really simplified getting in and out of hotels, and the car stayed neater.

Don't forget to pack a sharp knife or two in the car for cutting fruit! 

Packing cubes!  They are awesome.

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I echo everyone, pack light.   I assume you will have laundry so a few days worth of clothes and 2 pairs of shoes.  Keep meds in a packing cube that goes into your "home" and doesn't sit in your car.  I always try to pack lighter and lighter each trip and I end up not even wearing half the things I pack because I can just easily do a load of laundry.  And I am always so surprised when we come home how much stuff I could live without.  

Packing cubes are going to help so much.

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1 hour ago, mom31257 said:

Best way to transport your clothes and easily move them from place to place? 

Packing cubes. Invest in several sets, prune down your pile of clothing to one week's worth (STRICT), and two pairs of shoes. You finish the week and wash. 

Like Rick Steves says, if you can pack for a week, you're packed for a month. I like to cruise now with my ds and that's how we do it. We go for two weeks but it turns into more with days in and out, etc. We use packing cubes, pack strictly, and wash. Hotels, campgrounds, everyone will have laundry. 

1 hour ago, mom31257 said:

Best way to keep medicine safe while traveling?

Keep out of the heat obviously. I use one of those 7 day, 4X/day big huge pill organizers that you can buy at walgreens and it fits in a packing cube. Then I use another packing cube to hold my bottles of weird stuff that isn't divided over days (extra vitamin C, inhalers, etc.). 

1 hour ago, mom31257 said:

Were there things you put in storage you wished you hadn't?

Flip the question. If you store it, can you replace it easily if you need it? Of course you can for almost anything. You can buy an inexpensive version at Dollar General and make it work if you need it or you can borrow. 

1 hour ago, mom31257 said:

Things that helped you stay sane while not being in your own house or bed for so long?

You need to feel *organized* which the packing cubes do for you, and you need the *sensory* things that make you feel comfortable. So like with my ds and me, I take weighted blankets. They fold up to fit in packing cubes and they go right in the suitcase.

The trick to this is to buy suit cases (not a set, just specific pieces) that make this easy. If I'm doing an overnight with no weighted blanket, I can fit that in a carryon size. If I'm doing 2-3 days of clothing, a Bible, and a weighted blanket, that needs a normal size suitcase. And if I'm doing a week of clothing and a weighted blanket, I need a large (still checkable) suitcase. If you hit the luggage section of Target or JCP you'll see what I mean. Try American Tourister as it's decent and not too pricey. You can order it online or find deals in a store. A good piece of luggage, packing cubes, and a LAUNDRY BAG will solve a lot of your problems.

Some people like on the door hanging bags for their toiletries. If you use makeup, etc. you'll want that. If you're more simple (me, haha), I use a ziploc bag. Then I get $1 foldable fabric organizers from Dollar Tree that will fold and go in the front pocket of my suitcase. That way when I get in to whereever I'm going my rings, etc. have a safe place to land. I take *2* foldable organizers for me and one for each additional person. So you can use them in the bathroom to hold your toothbrush and toiletries, in the bedroom to catch your rings, wallet, and loose papers, or even to hold all your medications and bottles so they don't skitter when unpacked. Organization like this will make you feel more peaceful and it costs almost nothing.

https://www.dollartree.com/essentials-gray-collapsible-storage-containers-115x85x475-in/219597  These are what I like. They come in several colors, so you can match or distinguish by person, whatever you like. And when folded they will go in the front pocket of your suitcase quite nicely. I've been using the same ones for several years now. 

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https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01NCVHY4S/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1   I just bought a set of these packing cubes to top off my other 3 sets. You can never have too many, lol. Buy 3 sets for 2 people would be my advice. I put my shoes in them, everything in them. That way I never dig for stuff because it's easy to see and find. Makes it super fast to unpack when you arrive somewhere for just a couple nights.

Sometimes I pack specific to that location, so one cube for that night and the next day. Then I only unpack that one cube when I get there. So like if I'm flying in, that might be one cube for that night and dressing the next day, plus a cube for swimsuit and flipflops. Then I might have my other cubes packed more normally by tops and bottoms to go a week. They're very flexible that way.

Feeling organized will make you feel peaceful, so invest in organization. Look up tips for packing for travel, packing for RVing, whatever. I watched videos to learn how and get ideas. Rick Steves' people have videos on youtube.

Remember, everything can go in packing cubes to make your world feel more tidy. Cell phone cords and chargers in a cube. Feminine hygiene products in a cube. Nothing has to skitter and be hard to find or leave you wondering where it went or how many you have left. Packing cubes will save you. :biggrin:

Edited by PeterPan
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10 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

Packing cubes. Invest in several sets, prune down your pile of clothing to one week's worth (STRICT), and two pairs of shoes. You finish the week and wash. 

Like Rick Steves says, if you can pack for a week, you're packed for a month. I like to cruise now with my ds and that's how we do it. We go for two weeks but it turns into more with days in and out, etc. We use packing cubes, pack strictly, and wash. Hotels, campgrounds, everyone will have laundry. 

Keep out of the heat obviously. I use one of those 7 day, 4X/day big huge pill organizers that you can buy at walgreens and it fits in a packing cube. Then I use another packing cube to hold my bottles of weird stuff that isn't divided over days (extra vitamin C, inhalers, etc.). 

Flip the question. If you store it, can you replace it easily if you need it? Of course you can for almost anything. You can buy an inexpensive version at Dollar General and make it work if you need it or you can borrow. 

You need to feel *organized* which the packing cubes do for you, and you need the *sensory* things that make you feel comfortable. So like with my ds and me, I take weighted blankets. They fold up to fit in packing cubes and they go right in the suitcase.

The trick to this is to buy suit cases (not a set, just specific pieces) that make this easy. If I'm doing an overnight with no weighted blanket, I can fit that in a carryon size. If I'm doing 2-3 days of clothing, a Bible, and a weighted blanket, that needs a normal size suitcase. And if I'm doing a week of clothing and a weighted blanket, I need a large (still checkable) suitcase. If you hit the luggage section of Target or JCP you'll see what I mean. Try American Tourister as it's decent and not too pricey. You can order it online or find deals in a store. A good piece of luggage, packing cubes, and a LAUNDRY BAG will solve a lot of your problems.

Some people like on the door hanging bags for their toiletries. If you use makeup, etc. you'll want that. If you're more simple (me, haha), I use a ziploc bag. Then I get $1 foldable fabric organizers from Dollar Tree that will fold and go in the front pocket of my suitcase. That way when I get in to whereever I'm going my rings, etc. have a safe place to land. I take *2* foldable organizers for me and one for each additional person. So you can use them in the bathroom to hold your toothbrush and toiletries, in the bedroom to catch your rings, wallet, and loose papers, or even to hold all your medications and bottles so they don't skitter when unpacked. Organization like this will make you feel more peaceful and it costs almost nothing.

https://www.dollartree.com/essentials-gray-collapsible-storage-containers-115x85x475-in/219597  These are what I like. They come in several colors, so you can match or distinguish by person, whatever you like. And when folded they will go in the front pocket of your suitcase quite nicely. I've been using the same ones for several years now. 

While I definitely agree with packing cubes, I think one can get by with a carryon suitcase for far more than one night. That’s all we took for a month in Europe plus a small daypack for each of us. We checked no luggage. 

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https://www.amazon.com/Honey-Can-Do-LDY-03277-Extra-Capacity-Laundry-Carrying/dp/B00LASJ2VO/ref=sr_1_6?dchild=1&keywords=laundry+duffle+bag&qid=1624216365&sr=8-6  I don't know if this one is any good, but it looks similar to my Lands End one (no longer made?) that I've been using for several years. This thing is the BOMB. I *fold* my laundry when I put it in, so it doesn't take up so much room. You can laugh, but it doesn't take long and it works, lol. Then if I have something wet, I use a small bag (grocery, white trash bag, bag from the hotel closet, whatever) to pop the wet items in. 

Ds wets at night, so his clothes go into a pop up hamper from Dollar Tree. Then at the end of the week I fold and put them in a plastic bag and put in the laundry duffle. Then I *check* the laundry duffle at the airport, hehe. Can you imagine some soul opening this? Hahaha. 

I'm seeing LLBean has a laundry tote, but theirs does not close. I personally would not do that for traveling, because I wouldn't want my laundry seen or falling out.

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4 minutes ago, Frances said:

While I definitely agree with packing cubes, I think one can get by with a carryon suitcase for far more than one night. That’s all we took for a month in Europe plus a small daypack for each of us. We checked no luggage. 

Oh sure, most people. Just not me. We travel very heavy even when pared down, because we're taking bed pads for a week, my special metal sleeping blanket (don't ask), etc. etc. 

For op, plan an extra bag to hold things you accumulate in your travels. It can start off folded in the suitcase and then pop out as needed. :biggrin:

Edited by PeterPan
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7 minutes ago, Frances said:

That’s all we took for a month in Europe plus a small daypack for each of us. We checked no luggage. 

LOL and paring down as much as we can, we end up checking 3 bags flying out and 4 bags flying back. And that's still with an underseat bag for ds and a carryon and personal item for me. But we travel heavy because of the disabilities. Extra medications, weighted blankets, extra stuff. My mother went cruising with me and she had done a Rick Steves tour of Europe. She showed up for a week with a small carryon with room to spare. LOL 

Edited by PeterPan
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10 minutes ago, Frances said:

I think one can get by with a carryon suitcase for far more than one night.

Haha, I was just remembering I used to fly with a carryon for a long weekend. That was BC, lol.

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1 hour ago, PeppermintPattie said:

Don't forget to pack a sharp knife or two in the car for cutting fruit! 

Alternately, take a pocket knife (not if flying obviously) or stop for a smoothie or buy fruit in precut bowls at the grocery store. That would be expensive with a family but fine with two adults.

Edited by PeterPan
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7 hours ago, PeterPan said:

LOL and paring down as much as we can, we end up checking 3 bags flying out and 4 bags flying back. And that's still with an underseat bag for ds and a carryon and personal item for me. But we travel heavy because of the disabilities. Extra medications, weighted blankets, extra stuff. My mother went cruising with me and she had done a Rick Steves tour of Europe. She showed up for a week with a small carryon with room to spare. LOL 

Yeah, dh doesn't really get it how I have to travel with lots of stuff.  I now have a medical rolling bag that I use for all my medical stuff.  (Unless I am going for under a week, I have to bring so many prescription bottles too -along with my weekly 4 x a day medication thing)>

 

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I sewed a bag to use as a laundry bag for dirty stuff. Mine is bright so I don’t leave it behind somewhere- my sister used to use a pillowcase and left it behind in a hotel, thinking it was a pillow from the bed. (It was stuffed w dirty laundry).  It makes it easy to hide/hold dirty stuff, is easy to transport to wherever you’re doing laundry, and folds up when not being used. 
 

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