Packing

Now that’s an understatement. 

Never have I packed so instensely for what seems like weeks. Packing, unpacking, organizing, reorganizing. It’s honestly taken up most of my time is just going out and buying items I still need then organizing them into categories so I don’t forget what I packed, then actually packing them. 

It’s pretty much been my full time job for the past week or so. 

I have, however, seemed to have most of it done by now… though there is still some to go! I purchased those Ziplock storage bags… 

They’re phenominal. There’s absolutely no way I’d be able to fit all my clothes into one suit case without it. I seriously fit about 8-10 thin sweaters in one “Medium” sized bag. And about 10-12 pairs of pants and leggings into a large bag. It’s impressive. Thank god I thought to use those is all I have to say!

(This is what it looks like)

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My categories which helped me a lot to figure out what the heckt to take (and perhaps to leave behind) are as follows:

Clothes – dress pants, casual pants, leggings, sweaters, dress shirts, blazers, casual clothes, T-shirts, lots of toiletries, socks (lord help me I just realized I haven’t packed the winter socks yet…) bras and hats, scarves and gloves. 

I still have shoes to pack — that ought to be fun.

The main ones to make sure I have enough of are pants, shoes and underwear because they have much smaller sizes in Japan vs. in the USA. In fact, I read that the average BMI in Japan for women is around 20-23, while in the USA, it’s 27 (with anything over 30 being considered “obsese.”)

My other categories include stuff like books, technology items (so far is just headphones, computer, iPod, extension cord, chragers and 2-pronged plug-ins), sentimental items like cards, photos or other keepsakes, items to show my students like American menus (if you have any take-out menus are at a restuarant with a take-home menu… give it to me before Wed. !) and maps of Madison/Wisconsin, and of course omiyage!

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Omiyage are souvineers to bring friends, co-workes and people you meet. For my 22 staff members at my school, I will be bringing Badgers items — a sticky note pad and stickers tied together with red ribbon. I think it will be very cute 🙂 

I am also bringing some american candy, chocolate-covered pretzel sticks made in Sun Prairie, WI, and hand-made Kleenex holders that are WI-sports themed. 

I hope these will work out, and that I won’t lose my mind packing. Next big step is picking up my VISA in Chicago this Monday. 

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Amid it all, I got a chance to hangout with my wonderful mother and go to one of my favorite spots on Lake Monona…

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