Tuesday Tip: Organizing Expert Simplifies Packing for the Country

Tuesday Tip: Organizing Expert Simplifies Packing for the Country

By Yehudit Garmaise

Instead of rushing around your house and throwing things into boxes the night before heading upstate, Mrs. Esty Teitelbaum, an organizing expert from Kiryas Yoel, simplifies the process: when you don’t know where to start.

The biggest mistake packers can make? 

“Not using separate boxes for each person and type of items!” says Esty, who two years ago, took her natural love of organizing to create the business Sorted by Esty. “Things getting jumbled causes stress and things to go flying and go missing. If you create a category for each box and keep things in their own boxes, there shouldn’t be any issues.”

Start by assigning a box to each family member: Whether you use sturdy boxes from grocery stores or luggage, make sure that each family member gets his or her own box or suitcase, making packing and unpacking much easier for everyone. Similarly, each category of items gets its own box, whether kitchen items, Shabbos table necessities, toiletries, towels, or toys. Include each set of linens in each family member’s box, so you can make beds right away when you arrive without digging around for sheets and blankets.

If you run out of room in your boxes, stuff each family member’s linens in laundry sacks or pop-up bins, which can be used for laundry hampers once you are settled in your bungalow.

Label each box, suitcase, and laundry sack clearly: with a permanent marker so you know exactly where to put each box when you arrive. Family members can use the same boxes when they pack up to return to the City. 

Pack one person at a time: Think through each person’s day, item by item, and pack everything “absolutely” needed for a typical summer day. T-shirts, shirts, skirts, swimwear, dresses, tights, pants, pajamas, socks, and shoes in protective plastic bags,

“Place everything in its box in an orderly manner," Esty tells BoroPark24. "Then, when you unpack, you just need to take out clothing: stack-by-stack that gets put right into the right drawers.”

“I definitely pack room-by-room, just as you would pack as if you were moving, which you are basically doing for the summer,” Esty says, “You are trying to take everything with you you could possibly need for two or three months.”

Then, add extras that will not be needed every day: such as Shabbos clothing, rain boots, raincoats, sweaters, jackets, and non-leather shoes for Tisha B’Av. 

Seforim, books, toys, art supplies, and cleaning supplies all go in separate, labeled boxes, but if special books or other articles are wanted by a child’s bed: include those special items in that child’s box, so everything is readily accessible when you get there to prevent spending the first night searching for a beloved stuffed animal, book, or toy. Also, remember you can pick up most forgotten items at a store once you arrive.

Keep it simple in the kitchen: “You don’t need three kinds of pans and fancy things,” says Esty, “The kids are out all day.

The organizing expert recommends bringing along a Betty Crocker, which has liners, is easy to clean, and heats up simple things like French toast, pancakes, eggs, pizza, and grilled cheese. 

“I am a big fan!” she says about the inexpensive gadget. 

If you bring food, pack it up well-sealed, and in its own box so it doesn’t spill on anything. 

After allowing a short period of time to continue to toss in things you might have forgotten,  seal boxes with good, sturdy packing tape. Then, once you move every box from the bedrooms, bathrooms, and kitchen to the front door, count the boxes and write the number down so you know exactly how many you are bringing.  

Don’t panic if, at the last minute, you end up with a box that is “mixed and matched.” “No matter how organized you are, at least one box is likely going to serve as a catch-all for the items you remember at the last minute,” Esty says.  “If your boxes end up not 100% categorized, don’t worry: we are human!”  

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