The Art of Packing Lightly

Can someone please teach me this desirable craft? Too late for my rucksack (or backpack, as I should probably say, to sound more international, now I’m on the road. Well, strictly speaking, I’m at Charles de Gaulle airport, but the voyage has Officially Begun). I’d envisaged it as a svelte, light-footed animal, with roomy hollows for local accessories and cowboy boots to be tucked in strategically every now and then. But no. It is stuffed to the gills and lumbers in like an elephant at more than a quarter of my body weight. Packing 8 books plus a Spanish dictionary doesn’t help, I guess. Nor does the mega bottle of Chanel Cristalle.

And like rucksack (I just can’t help it),  like life. My bewildered estate agent claimed he’d never had to inventory so much stuff, as he blinked his way through the deceptive tardis of my one bedroom flat. And that’s after I’ve spent the last 2 weeks emptying it and ferrying its contents to temporary homes far and wide (thanks, kind hosts of my possessions). I said my tenants would be grateful: he kept putting off the kitchen, home to many a muffin tray and Le Creuset frying pan. He darted through on more than one occasion, eyes averted, muttering ‘I can’t face it’. I offered him tea: he suggested whiskey might be closer to the mark. Apparently the open bottle of Absolut Cranberry in the cellar didn’t hit the spot. Eventually he wrote a 20 page list and took 97 photographs. Which actually makes my 16 kilo bag sound positively gazelle-like in comparison …

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3 thoughts on “The Art of Packing Lightly

  1. Oh Liz. Tom has made me read this http://www.paulgraham.com/stuff.html first. I too am packing and it all has to leave the house as we’re the tenants. How to pack a family of four into suitcases to live in the States for 3 years? Still at least we’ll have a home to put things and buy things for when we get there.

    My tip – throw away the books as you read them (if not before!) and ditch the perfume, it’ll only attract insects of both the six and two-legged varieties.

  2. Not only are you going off for a wonderful six months of adventure but you managed to make an estate agent’s life a misery on the way out. Sweet. I can’t believe you’re winging it over the Atlantic (asleep by now if I know you) – have a ball. Jx

  3. Hmm, if only I’d known you were secretly filling those painfully aquired BACKPACK spaces with Chanel and the likes I would have insisted on filling a travel sized atomiser! Have I taught you nothing?!?

    Stage one complete – hope its stopped raining! xx

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