Packing for the All-American Road Trip

After a long #pandemic year, lots of people are anxious to get out of the house and #travel. They want to see new sights, visit friends and relatives, and generally shake things up a little bit after spending an extended time in quarantine.

While airline travel has become less daunting now that more than half of U.S. adults are fully vaccinated, rental cars are prohibitively expensive. That makes a #roadtrip in your own car a good option, even with gas at $3 per gallon.

Start with a clean, roadworthy car. If your car has unaddressed mechanical issues you think might affect your trip, you’ll want to get them checked out before you go. At the very least, you’ll want to check all tires and top off the fluids.

Once you’ve vacuumed the car’s interior and cleaned its windows, you can begin to pack. You and any companions will spend a lot of time inside the car during the trip, so bring only what you need and can keep organized.

Pack clothing and other items you won’t need until you reach your destination in the trunk, along with a roadside emergency kit. Inside the car, a cell phone mount, charger(s), and a small cooler for drinks and snacks are essential, says the travel blog A Dangerous Business.

If you start the trip with a fresh car, the main challenge will be to keep it organized for the duration of a trip. If you’re traveling with children, give each a bin, packing cube or over-seat organizer to keep their chosen road trip essentials in.

Good things to pack include sunblock, a blanket, bath towels, paper towels and cleaning wipes, and a refillable water bottle. Passengers might like to add a neck pillow, window shades, and other items that can help them travel in relative comfort.

To manage the trash you produce during the trip, have a garbage receptacle handy, and empty it whenever you stop for gas or a restroom break.

Thrift stores supplied by your generous #donations to ClothingDonations.org often have used items that can be repurposed for your road trip. Check them out before you go as a good source of inexpensive travel accessories.

Then, be on your way. Have a #safe and #orgnaized trip!

Managing a Move During the Pandemic

While slowing the spread of COVID-19 has required Americans to stay at home for more than year, where their homes are is changing rapidly. Since the start of the #pandemic, millions of people have pulled up stakes and #moved permanently.

Some people lost their jobs and were forced to move to save on expenses. Others want to find more space for their new #remote offices and classrooms. And some just want to get out of congested city centers and pursue a more socially distanced lifestyle every day.

If you’re looking at a move in the near future, be forewarned that the coronavirus has (of course) complicated the process. “Every task is just a little bit harder during the pandemic,” says USA Today.

To start, you’ll have to observe the proper sanitizing, masking and distancing precautions with any number of new people, including realtors or leasing agents, movers and storage facilities, and contractors and delivery personnel. And you’ll need them to take antiviral protocols seriously, too.

Look for “companies that require employees and customers to wear masks, detail how they practice social distancing, and can explain what steps they are taking to screen and protect their employees from becoming sick,” The New York Times says.

If you are in the market for a new home, rental and real estate agents are offering video tours to help people scope things out from a distance before they commit. Google’s Street View can also offer a preview of the new neighborhood.

Moving also means packing everything you own into boxes. Whether you’re purposely #downsizing or just trying to #streamline the moving process, weed out the things you won’t need in your new home; there’s no reason to move them.

As the disused clothing, books, small appliances and other household items start to pile up, set them aside in separate boxes and bags and contact ClothingDonations.org for a free, #contactless #donation #pickup. A masked driver will arrive on the appointed day to relieve you of that extra stuff.

Moving is never easy, but moving in pandemic times is that much more difficult. Let ClothingDonations.org help you strike at least one item off your long to-do list — and help you resettle happily in a new location as the pandemic slowly recedes.

Moving? Start Packing in the Kitchen

With all of its specialized appliances and accoutrements, the kitchen is arguably the most time-intensive area of the house to pack up during a move. Start on it first, The Frugal Girls advise, and consider switching to disposable plates for the final weeks ahead of the zero hour. Speaking of disposable plates, you can use Styrofoam plates to pad your fragile, reusable dinnerware when packing—simply place a foam plate in-between pottery plates when stacking. And if you want everything to survive the move without damage, don’t skimp on the bubble wrap and shrinkwrap, they add.

How to Pack for a Move

To streamline the packing process before a move, U-Haul advised Denver Post writer Marni Jameson, make a little-used area of your old place into a packing station and stock it with flattened boxes, tape, bubble wrap, markers and other supplies. Use small boxes for heavier items; not only will it save your back and your movers’, it will also be more secure for the contents. Use trash bags for soft items. If you are moving locally, take hanging clothing directly to your new closets. Finally, don’t move empty dressers and suitcases. Fill them with stuff to maximize truck space.