Pack and Go

Now that winter is winding down, many families are planning a spring get away. The key to a relaxing get away is to pack effectively. A personal packing list simplifies the packing process.


  • Buy sturdy, lightweight suitcases on wheels, ones that nest together for easy storage.
  • Invest in luggage straps to securely strap smaller luggage onto bigger rolling pieces.
  • Pack only what you can comfortably carry and lift by yourself.
  • There is lots of walking through airports, so wear your most comfortable shoes (remember that you'll have to take them off to go through security).
  •  Dress in layers for comfort on the plane.
  • Plastic compression bags are the best new invention for compact packing. Vacuum pack or roll wrinkle-proof items like underwear, bathing suits, bulky sweaters or socks. Coming home, use the bags to compress dirty laundry to make room to pack souvenirs.


  • Pack a roomy, waterproof tote or backpack for necessary carry on items, ID, tickets and mini sized cosmetics. You can use it again as a beach bag or when sightseeing.
  • Carry personal prescriptions with you at all times. Include motion sickness remedies available in pills, patch or a magnetic bracelet.
  • Remember that you can only carry on a total of 100 ml. of liquids, stored in a see through zip lock baggie. Obtain current international luggage restrictions regarding carrying fluids at . Also check with your airline for their specific baggage weight regulations and charges since the rules frequently change.
  • Have a friend or family member drive you to the airport so you can leave winter wear in the car until you return from the sun. No sense lugging the extra weight of bulky coats.


  • Label identification tags using a work address and cell phone number in case luggage is misplaced. (For security reasons never use your home address.)
  • On bus tours and cruises luggage is often left unsupervised, so invest in good quality locks.
  • Will a safe be available in your room? This may determine whether you travel with real or costume jewellery.
  • Don't take a bulky wallet, instead pare down to the essentials: license, health card, ATM and charge cards.
  • Code your cell phone with an ICE number (In Case of Emergency contact)
  • Pack a flashlight or nightlight to navigate in dark, unfamiliar places


  • Check if your destination or cruise ship has a dress code in effect requiring dress jackets and ties for men. When sightseeing find out if there are clothing restrictions, i.e. shorts may not be appropriate in some locations and women may have to cover their heads to enter a church. Be prepared with a pashmina that can double as a scarf or evening shawl.
  • Begin with the "Classic Packing Rule of Nine"
             -  3 bottoms (skirts, slacks or shorts)
             -  4 tops (shirt, blouse, T-shirt, shell or tank top)
             -  2 jackets (one weatherproof windbreaker and a jacket, blazer or cardigan)
  • Mix and match outfits starting with coordinating classic colours: black, navy, white, and then add bright contrasts. Accessorize to glamorize using belts, scarves, or shawls for a burst of colour. A dressy cardigan with a bit of glitter can dress up any outfit for evening.
  • Plan double duty items - an oversize shirt can double as a bathing suit cover or a housecoat.
  • Pack one pair of dressy, low heeled sandals
  • Pack flip flops instead of slippers and tuck them into your backpack for comfortable sightseeing when your feet tire of walking shoes.

 Professional Organizer Karen Sencich is owner of Havoc to Harmony.







Tackle it Now Day

Tackle it Now Day


Do you feel overwhelmed by obligations and priorities that never seem to end?

Are you bogged down by clutter and piles of paper?

Don't worry, everyone occasionally needs a push in the right direction.

Semi-annually, on the Sunday designated for the change to Daylight Savings Time, Havoc to Harmony will provide simple shortcuts to inspire you to tackle whatever action items that you've been procrastinating about.

Listen to the message that was featured on Wave 94.7 FM.


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Tackle it Now Tip

Hints for Handling Your Gift List

How do you handle your holiday wish lists? Sometimes the simplest hints are the best. For years I have been using the same easy to implement method.

  • I purchase the tiniest address book I can find and assign one page for each person on my guest list.
  • I record their sizes, colour and style preferences.
  • I include family members, friends, hairdresser and all service providers.
  • I keep the list inside my wallet so it can quickly and easily be updated.
  • Information for stocking gifts is also recorded.
  • I can frequently review what I have purchased to keep my budget on track.
  • As I wrap gifts I check them off!
  • If certain gifts need to be hidden I record where they were put.
  • I also list ideas and purchases of hostess gifts to keep on hand.

There are many benefits to this system. It is lightweight and portable, but most importantly since I keep the lists year after year, it helps me to prevent repeating gift ideas. Who wants to get a sweater or tie year after year?


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