Confessions Of A Severe Overpacker

But kids need a lot of crap, right? Am I crazy or am I on to something?
This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

So I have a little problem. It involves packing. Overpacking. Waaaay overpacking. Like ready-for-a-zombie-apocalypse-type overpacking. All I need is a Winnebago and some zombies and I'm good to go.

But kids need a lot of crap, right? Am I crazy or am I on to something? Perhaps it's time for me to work on minimizing in the packing department, but for now I thought I'd share some of the things that people say to me when they see how much I've packed...

1. You know they have a grocery store there, right?

For some reason I feel like I have to bring food with me. ALL of the foods we like: lunch for the next day, snacks, cereal, and any type of condiment that we might need. But guess what? They seem to have these little things called grocery stores everywhere we go. The thing is though, the last thing I want to do when I arrive anywhere is to go to the grocery store right away to stock up. So I pack my entire pantry for a weekend away. But if we were to become stuck in the zombie apocalypse with all of my pantry, wouldn't you be the grateful one then? Bet I wouldn't get teased about my overpacking as you're ripping into a delicious case of granola bars or sipping one of my bottles of water while the rest of the world is foraging for roots in the forest and looting convenience stores. So maybe I'm onto something.

2. Woah! Are you moving in?

Haha, very funny. "No I'm not moving in," I say as a drag my three suitcases of clothes into the cabin. I am just your typical overpacker. Rather than packing one outfit for each day I've gotten into the not-so-good habit of packing ALL of the clothes that we like to wear... just in case. Options are good, people! And if it's winter time and we randomly get snowed in and have to stay a few extra days, you will be thanking me that you don't have to turn your underwear inside out like everyone else because I packed EXTRA!! So maybe I'm onto something.

3. Did you pack the kitchen sink?

No Captain Obvious, I did not pack the kitchen sink, but of course I packed everything else in sight and even somehow managed to fit the bathroom sink in at the last minute.

Yes I pack more DVDs than there are nights and I also packed more books than any of us could possibly read in a week. Sometimes I even pack a board game or two in case it rains. If it does rain ALL week and you are still enjoying yourself... then you're welcome. It's likely my big selection of books, movies and board games that have kept you entertained so well. So maybe I'm onto something.

4. You know we couldn't fit all this if we were only bringing one car, right?

So sometimes we have to bring two cars on vacation if our holiday timing is slightly different, but the thing about me is that I'm kind of like spray foam in that I expand to fill all the space I'm given. So yes of course, I could pare it all down and fit my stuff into one car, but why would I? I've got two cars worth of space, and I intend to use it all. How will I get it all home, you ask? Well as long as there's no zombie apocalypse, we will use up all the groceries on our holidays and that will enable me to fit everything into one vehicle again. So maybe I'm onto something.

5. You know it's only a weekend, right?

Yes.. I know it's only a weekend, people. I booked this holiday myself. I made the plan. I counted the days and now I've done the packing. The tricky part is that you basically have to pack the exact same amount of stuff for a weekend as a couple of weeks, only less clothes. So yes I've got a lot of stuff. But you'll thank me when everybody else really minimizes because it's only a weekend and I'm the only one who has brought any books or movies and now you're all coming over to my little lending library. Look who's laughing now? So perhaps I'm onto something.

6. Why would we bring (insert item here) when we knew you'd have it?

So this is true. I almost always have extra sand toys, and snacks to go around at the beach. I've also got enough art materials to keep my kids (and any kids in seats A through F) occupied on an airplane. You see, because I'm a classic overpacker, it means other people don't have to be. So basically I'm selflessly saving others from having to experience the neuroticism that leads to packing like this. So perhaps I'm onto something.

I do realize in my head that I should probably begin to practice minimizing in this area and I do get embarrassed sometimes by how much I pack, but the problem is I just really like being prepared. I like being randomly able to pull a can opener from my bag when someone is in need of one (true story). And while a can opener in actually a rather ridiculous thing to carry around with me, most of the items that I pack are reasonable and I use it all.

So maybe I should start with baby steps. Like instead of packing all of our clothes, I could pack an outfit for each day. But I'm not quite ready to go beyond baby steps yet in my overpacking habits.

So.... Zombie apocalypse? Snowed in? Rain all week? Forgot your beach toys? I've got you covered! Can opener anyone??

Anyone else an overpacker?

Also on HuffPost: