One of the more common topics of interest for people outside of the travel nursing world is “how do you travel around with all of your belongings?” My answer? Easy. I shove it all in my car until the seams are busting and rust starts flying off from the pressure.
Between all of the different assignments and housing arrangements in the past three years, I have loaded my car up with all of my earthly treasures 13 times now. That’s more experience than a hermit crab has changing shells throughout its entire lifetime! Since I have done this so often, I have also developed the ability to pack up everything and put it in the car in an hour and a half because I know exactly where everything goes to make it fit. So, what are my tricks?
Use every bit of space you can and maximize on efficiency using these Travel Nurse Packing Hacks
What do I mean by that? It means shoving clothes in empty shoes, wrapping breakable items in scarves or blankets, putting all of your spices in your crockpot, and filling boxes and drawers to their breaking point (but don’t actually break them, that defeats the purpose).
Put all of your liquid cosmetics and toiletries in Ziploc bags, squeeze all of the air out, and zip them tight! If they don’t fit in a bag, place a small bag around the pump or top to help control any leaks or spills. Even though you don’t need to do this every time, it saves a whole lot of cleaning up. The one-time altitude causes one to bust open, or it gets squished somewhere in the process.
It seems obvious, but I have a box for toiletries, a box for outdoor gear, a box of papers and valuable, and a box just for kitchen supplies. This makes the constant packing extremely easy and helps you feel in control about where all of your belongings are while in transit.
Don’t fold all of your laundry!
This is my favorite part because I am horrible at folding my laundry anyway, so why would I want to fold or roll it all to have to re-do it when I unpack? I take everything on my hangers and shove it in my laundry basket. Voila. You also don’t have to re-buy hangers on every assignment this way too.
In the few weeks and days leading up to your move, go through all of your belongings and ask yourself, “did I use this during the last three months?” If the answer was no, there is a good chance you don’t need to take it with you. Either donate it or find someone who could use it to downsize your belongings.
Everyone will find their own strategies and methods that work best for their individual needs. Still, I have found that keeping things organized by category in containers that don’t need to be unpacked constantly has decreased stress and work. Carry on your traveling friends; make that packing business your enemy so you can conquer it with gusto!
We hope that these travel nurse packing hacks help you on your way. Do you have any travel nurse packing hacks to share? Comment them below.