You’ve probably created one or two packing lists for vacations you’ve been on over the years. But did you know that packing lists for everyday outings can make getting out of the house with your kids a lot less stressful?
The benefits of creating everyday packing lists
There are multiple benefits to creating packing lists for the everyday errands and outings you need to run. With kids in toe, things can get hectic and chaotic very quickly. Putting a system in place to ensure you don’t forget things you might need while you’re out will reduce your stress levels, keep you from forgetting essentials, and even help you to get out of the door quicker.
Before taking this simple extra step, I would be tearing my hair out all the time because I was always scrambling around trying to remember everything we need before we leave, and then I would be really stressed to find out that I ended up forgetting something anyways while we’re out.
But since putting together a few simple everyday outing packing lists, I don’t typically forget anything we need, and I’m always better prepared.
Do you need everyday packing lists for your family?
Now, maybe every family doesn’t need this. But if you have a family with littles, then I’d highly recommend implementing everyday packing lists into your routine. It’s easy and simple to do and will save you a ton of stress and time.
But perhaps even those family’s with only older kids could benefit from this too. Kids are prone to getting bored and hungry when you’re out and about, so at the very least making sure that these areas are covered is a good idea. However, a car bag might be just the thing to solve those kinds of situations. But, that’s a topic for another post. 🙂
What kinds of outings should you have packing lists for?
Personally, I have a generic “short day” and “long day” packing list. We still use a diaper bag (or some variation of one) so personally I have to account for the amount of diapers and bottles, etc. that we bring based on how long we’ll be out. But, again, if you don’t have any more littles in your family then maybe this isn’t as necessary.
But, it’s good to have some specific type of packing lists too, no matter what age your kids are. Here’s a few examples of other types of packing lists that would be good to have for any family:
- beach packing list
- park packing list
- all day errands packing list
- going out on boat packing list
You can create any kind of custom packing list based on your own family’s needs. But, there are certainly special types of outings (like going to the beach) that would be good to make packing lists for, so that you don’t forget any of the essentials and can have a stress free and enjoyable time with your family.
Determining what you need on your packing lists
Every packing list is different. As we discussed above, there will be outing specific packing lists, and then your generic short/long day packing lists. Determining what you’ll need is a personal thing for your family, but it all starts with a brainstorm session. Sit down with a pen and paper and make a list of everything you can possibly think of that you might need in general or on a particular outing.
After you’ve made your brainstorm list, go back through and try to clean it up and narrow it down to a reasonable amount of things.
Keeping track of your various packing lists
There are many ways that you can keep track of your everyday packing lists. You can keep them in a physical notebook or in your home management binder. Or you can use an app on your phone to keep track of them.
For me personally I like using an app called OneNote from Microsoft. We have a Microsoft Office subscription for Word, Excel, etc. and it comes with that. It works really well because I can sort my packing lists by type and then just check things off (and then re-set the list when I need to) from right within the app.
But there are a lot of ways that you can keep track of your packing lists. I think it really depends on what you are personally comfortable with and what you think will work for you in the long run.
Do yourself a favor, and don’t make packing lists just for going on vacation
As moms, there always seems to be a million-and-one things that we always need at any given moment. Kids just seem to need so much. And instead of driving yourself crazy trying to get out of the house and remember everything, give yourself the gift of planning ahead. Make a plan for what you need and getting out of the house with your kids to run errands or whatever other outing you need to go on will be easier and less stressful.