Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Packing for a Retreat: Part 3 - Packing and Transportation

This is part 3 of a series of posts about my plan for packing/prepping for a crafting retreat.  See my previous post for information about picking a Venue and Packing Prep


Now we've really come to biggest point I'm going to make about packing: Pack Small.  You have to cart everything in and out, and lugging giant boxes will be uncomfortable and unsafe.  I'll take a picture later when I have everything packed, but it is normal for me to have 20-30 small bags for all my supplies, rather than 4 or 5 large tubs/totes.  I used to pack large.  Trying to carry tubs full of cardstock up a flight of stairs changed that for me.

My #1 go-to bags for packing are actually my grocery store totes and the bags I've picked up from Archivers!  I also have a nice metal rimmed tote bag for groceries that is built for heavy things like gallons or milk or juice.  These are the perfect size for retreat packing.  You might be tempted to pack large boxes but I'm telling you - avoid it!  You will not want to take that many trips!  

Pack many bags, and pack light.  You may have to take more trips (or maybe your friends will help!) but you will be happier for it.  This also means you'll be packing your supplies more safely - not only for you, but also for the product!  If you're like me, you probably have one or two tools or supplies that cost a pretty penny.  For me, my Cricut and Sewing Machine go with me every time.  Avoiding the large boxes means I can pack things a little more strategically, and avoid accidental breaks in the car.

Speaking of cars, always make sure you're packing your vehicle properly - don't block any windows, and don't stack anything in a way that will cause it to tumble out when you open doors (or onto any passengers you may have!).  If you're the organizer, keep your reservation confirmations, directions, and paperwork at hand or in your purse.  Food should be packed in ice if needed and out of the sun if you'll be stopping for any period of time.  Its also handy to have phone numbers for everyone on the retreat, as well as the property managers.

Stay tuned for my next post about how to decide which supplies to bring.  This is probably more important and more complicated than the actual packing process.

But for now - what tips do you have on right-sizing your packing and traveling to retreats?

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